Va. man sought to be another Mohamed Atta

Sept. 20, 2005 at 10:02 AM
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WASHINGTON, Sept. 20 (UPI) -- A Virginia man told interrogators in Saudi Arabia he devised a plan to kill U.S. President George Bush but the plot never advanced past the planning stage.

Ahmed Omar Abu Ali, 24, is charged with conspiracy with al-Qaida to assassinate Bush. On Monday documents regarding Abu Ali's questioning in Saudi Arabia were unsealed and showed Abu Ali compared himself to Mohamed Atta, who led the group that carried out the Sept. 11, 2001, hijackings, The Washington Post reported.

The court documents claim Abu Ali said he wanted to get close enough to Bush to shoot him or kill the president with a car bomb, the Post said. The plan was never fully developed, he said.

Abu Ali was arrested in Saudi Arabia, where he was studying at a university, in June 2003. He was returned to the United States seven months later. His attorneys claim any statements he made while in Saudi custody were the result of torture. Physicians say Abu Ali's body shows signs of being tortured.

Saudi officials have testified Abu Ali was "treated in a respectful and humane manner," the Post said.

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