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Profile: Agus Budiman

 
  

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Agus Budiman actively participated in the following events:

 
  

May 17, 2000-May 2001: Bin al-Shibh US Visas Rejected, Apparently Because of Ties to USS Cole Bombing      Complete 911 Timeline

      
Ramzi bin al-Shibh.
During these months, Hamburg al-Qaeda cell member Ramzi Bin al-Shibh tries five times to get a US visa. In 2000, he tries to a get a visa once from Germany, once from Yemen, and twice using the passport of an Indonesian named Agus Budiman, but all these attempts fail. He makes a little-reported fifth attempt made in May 2001. Bin al-Shibh is in Yemen during the two months before the bombing of the USS Cole in that country, and investigators believe he is involved in that attack (see October 12, 2000). [Los Angeles Times, 10/24/01; Australian, 12/24/02] German authorities believe he is in Yemen at least the day before the attack and stays until four days after, though it isn't clear when they come to this determination. [McDermott, 2005, pp 209] Most media accounts claim that bin al-Shibh is refused a visa on economic grounds based on fears that he would overstay his visa and work in the US. One official suggests it was “only by luck” that he was turned down. [Washington Post, 7/14/02; CBS, 6/6/02] However, other accounts note that, as the London Times put it, he is “turned down on security grounds.” [London Times, 9/9/02] Specifically, it appears the US has suspicions he has ties to terrorism, and especially ties to the USS Cole bombing plot. Newsweek reports, “One senior law-enforcement official [tells] Newsweek that bin al-Shibh's efforts to obtain a US visa [are] rebuffed because of suspicions that he [is] tied to the bombing of the USS Cole.” [Newsweek, 11/26/01] The Los Angeles Times similarly notes that “FBI agents [tell] officials of the Florida flight school” that bin al-Shibh wants to attend that he is “rejected because of unspecified involvement ‘with the bombing of the USS Cole...’ ” Hijacker Ziad Jarrah assists bin al-Shibh with his last two visa applications, and vouches for him. [Los Angeles Times, 10/21/01] Yosri Fouda, an al-Jazeera journalist who reportedly interviews bin al-Shibh and Khalid Shaikh Mohammed in 2002 (see April, June, or August 2002), also notes that according to his US intelligence sources, bin al-Shibh's visas are “turned down because he [is] implicated in the USS Cole attack.” The interviewer he tells this to notes, “That's rather odd, because if they knew that and turned him down for that reason, you'd think they would have wondered who else was at that flight school and why? Or, even more to the point they should have issued him a visa just to get him in to the United States and grabbed him for the Cole attack.” [TBS Journal, 10/02] But no other journalist has ever questioned why this information doesn't lead to the unraveling of the 9/11 plot. Not only is there the obvious visa connection to Ziad Jarrah while he is training at a US flight school, but also during this same time period bin al-Shibh wires money to Marwan Alshehhi, Zacarias Moussaoui, and others, usually using his own name. [CBS, 6/6/02]
People and organizations involved: Federal Bureau of Investigation, Agus Budiman, Ziad Jarrah, Zacarias Moussaoui, Ramzi Bin al-Shibh, Yosri Fouda, Marwan Alshehhi
          

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