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Saudi Man Sought by FBI Turns Himself in to Saudi Officials

THE WASHINGTON POST -- AMMAN, JORDAN

A Saudi national who was identified last week in a worldwide alert issued by the FBI as a possible accomplice of the Sept. 11 hijackers has surrendered to Saudi officials, but his family has questioned whether he had any connection to the attacks.

Saudi government officials reached by phone Saturday night said they could not yet comment on the case but confirmed that the suspect, Saud Abdulaziz Saud al-Rasheed, 21, remained in detention and continued to be questioned.

At the urging of his family, al-Rasheed turned himself in to the Interior Ministry on Thursday in the Saudi capital, Riyadh, after an FBI bulletin, posted on the agency’s Web site, said he “is suspected to be associated with the September 11, 2001 hijackers” and should be considered “armed and dangerous.”

The bulletin, which was sent to law enforcement agencies worldwide, was unusual for publicly identifying an individual. The alert sought al-Rasheed’s immediate arrest. His name had not previously surfaced in the Sept. 11 investigation.

The alert was prompted by the discovery of al-Rasheed’s May 2000 passport photograph on a CD-ROM that also contained the photographs of some of the Sept. 11 hijackers. The photographs of al-Rasheed and the hijackers were similarly posted, suggesting to investigators that the CD-ROM was intended as some kind of archive of those involved in the attack.

FBI Probe Turns to Senators

THE WASHINGTON POST -- WASHINGTON

The FBI has intensified its probe of a classified intelligence leak, asking 17 senators to turn over phone records, appointment calendars and schedules that would reveal their possible contact with reporters.

In an Aug. 7 memo passed to the senators through the Senate general counsel’s office, the FBI asked all members of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence to collect and turn over records from June 18 and 19, 2002. Those dates are the day of and the day after a classified hearing in which the director of the National Security Agency, Lt. Gen. Michael V. Hayden, spoke to lawmakers about two highly sensitive messages that hinted at an impending action that the agency intercepted on the eve of Sept. 11 but did not translate until Sept. 12.

The request suggests that the FBI is now focusing on the handful of senior senators who are members of a Senate-House panel investigating Sept. 11 and attend most classified meetings and read all the most sensitive intelligence agency communications. A similar request did not go to House intelligence committee members.

The request also represents a much more intrusive probe of lawmakers’ activities, and comes at a time when some legal experts and members of Congress are already disgruntled that an executive branch agency, such as the FBI -- headed by a political appointee -- is probing the actions of legislators whose job it is to oversee FBI and intelligence agencies.

Others Gain From Andersen’s Woes

THE WASHINGTON POST

It might seem like the worst of times for accounting firms: Accounting scandals dominate the news. Congress last month passed a law to regulate auditors more strictly. Arthur Andersen LLP, convicted of a crime, has virtually disintegrated.

However, for the remaining big accounting firms, the business outlook may be rosy, industry officials say.

The collapse of Andersen, which was the nation’s fifth-largest accounting firm, has created a windfall for Big Five survivors, which have taken on most of Andersen’s former clients.

Furthermore, the parade of accounting horrors at companies such as Enron Corp., WorldCom Inc., Xerox Corp., and Qwest Communications International Inc. has sensitized corporate boards to the dangers of lax audits. As a result, companies have asked their auditors to do more work and are likely to go along with higher audit fees, auditing specialists say.

The Sarbanes-Oxley Act, which Congress passed in July in response to the accounting scandals, limits the consulting work accounting firms can perform for companies they audit. But one big accounting firm’s loss might be another’s gain, industry analysts say.