JIDDAH, Saudi Arabia – One of the Saudi men the FBI has linked to possible terror threats against America also appears on a Saudi list of militants connected to the May suicide bombings in Riyadh, a Saudi Interior Ministry official said Sunday.
The FBI issued a worldwide alert Friday for four men linked to Al Qaeda (search), including a suspected terror cell leader and an avowed suicide attacker, following new intelligence indicating they might be plotting attacks against the United States.
Zubayr al-Rimi (search), 29, a Saudi native, was among the four men and Saudi authorities identified a photo of him as being that of Sultan Jubran Sultan al-Qahtani, a Saudi Interior Ministry official said, speaking on condition of anonymity.
The FBI bulletin said al-Qahtani was an alias for al-Rimi.
The Saudi official said that al-Qahtani is believed to be his real name.
The names of the four men, including another Saudi, a Moroccan and a Tunisian, were posted on an FBI bulletin amid increased intelligence concerns of possible terrorist activity as the second anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks nears.
Al-Qahtani appears on the Saudi list of 19 alleged militants wanted after police discovered a weapons cache near the capital, Riyadh, in May, a week before the May 12 bombings that killed 25 people and nine attackers.
The 19 men are believed to be both behind the Riyadh bombings, which targeted residential compounds housing Westerners, and in close contact with Al Qaeda, the terrorist network blamed for the New York and Washington attacks and headed by Saudi dissident Usama bin Laden, Saudi officials said.
Four of them were identified as among the nine bombers killed in the Riyadh suicide attacks (search). Six others were killed or captured in the crackdown on militant groups that followed the bombings.
Federal law enforcement officials said the FBI posted the "seeking information" alert hoping someone in America or abroad would recognize one or all the four men.
Al-Qahtani's father, Jubran, told Saudi papers published Sunday that he has not heard from his son since Sept. 1, 2001.
In an interview with Asharq al-Awsat, a Saudi paper published in London, the father said he later discovered his son had gone to Afghanistan, and not to the holy Saudi city of Mecca as he had told him.
Attempts to reach al-Qahtani's father in southern Saudi Arabia were unsuccessful. Police in June arrested the fugitive's Moroccan wife in a crackdown on militant groups, but Jubran al-Qahtani said she is now at his house.
The father said he is awaiting official Saudi clearance to return her to Morocco.
The only clue given publicly by the FBI on al-Qahtani was the identity of his wife, a Moroccan named Hanan Raqib.
U.S. officials said they have no evidence if any of the four men are in America, but because they all have used false names and travel documents in the past, the possibility could not be ruled out. It was unclear if they were working together.
Al-Qahtani's father said he doubted his son could be in America as he spoke no English. He also urged his son to surrender to authorities.