Yemeni sentenced to 6 months in US jail [Archives:2002/41/Local News]

October 7 2002

A former Yemeni college student in the USA was sentenced last Wednesday to six months behind bars for lying to a U.S. immigration officer, according to Associated Press.
The US authorities suspect Mohdar Abdullah of helping three Sep. 11 hijackers get driver’s licenses and establish themselves in the US.
Mohdar, a former student at San Diego University, has been in custody since shortly after the September terrorist attacks.
With credit for time served, he was to be set free Wednesday to the Immigration and Naturalization service for deportation.
Mohdar, 24, acknowledged that he lied to the immigration officer when he told him he entered the US on Dec.7, 1998 at New York on an Italian passport. He actually entered three days later from Canada on a Yemeni passport.
Prosecutors accused Mohdar of telling the hijackers Nawaf Alhamzi and Khalid Almihdar how to get social security cards and California driver’s licenses. They also accused him of arranging flight lessons and regularly dining, working and praying with the hijackers.
The FPI agents said in court papers that Mohdar remained illegally in the US to help the hijackers and/or any future hijackers in the furtherance of terrorist activities against people in the US.
But, Mohdar’s attorney, Kerry Steigerwalt, said the allegations were never substantiated. He insisted his client had only accident contact with the hijackers without advance knowledge of the attacks.
The sentencing did not address these allegations.