Suspected hijacker associate pleads innocent
Charges unrelated to September 11 attacks
ALEXANDRIA, Virginia (CNN) -- A man investigated for possible ties to hijackers who rammed a jetliner into the Pentagon on September 11 pleaded innocent Monday to charges he illegally diverted rent assistance money he received from local government.
Mohamed Abdi was taken into custody September 14 after FBI agents found his telephone number on a Washington, D.C., map in a rental car at Dulles airport.
The car had been rented by suspected suicide hijacker Nawaf al Hazmi, a Saudi national, who is thought to have been among the terrorists who crashed American Airlines Flight 77 into the Pentagon.
The only charges against Abdi are unrelated to the terrorist attacks. He is charged with several counts of forgery in connection with rental subsidy checks. He allegedly took checks from the Arlington County, Virginia, government for housing subsidies and failed to pass the funds to his landlord.
Abdi pleaded not guilty through his lawyer and was granted a jury trial set for December 17. There is a motions hearing November 30.
His lawyer later told reporters authorities have nothing on his client except the forgery charges and said there is no evidence supporting any connection to the hijacking.
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