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Middle Eastern man on FBI’s list is captured near Chicago

SHARE Middle Eastern man on FBI’s list is captured near Chicago

CHICAGO — A Middle Eastern man on the FBI list of people wanted for questioning in the terrorism investigation was captured outside Chicago at a convenience where he was working as a clerk, the FBI said Thursday.

Nabil Al-Marabh, 34, was arrested Wednesday night in suburban Burbank, FBI spokesman Ross Rice said. He said the man was being held on an Immigration and Naturalization Service request and a warrant issued in Boston for assault with a knife.

Walid Beitouni, owner of the convenience store, 7 Days Food & Liquor, said Al-Marabh had worked there several days.

Beitouni said he was stunned Wednesday night when FBI agents entered the store with guns drawn and arrested Al-Marabh. He said he asked what the clerk had done and was told by an agent: "He's involved in something you don't want to know about."

Beitouni said Al-Marabh had told him he was living with an uncle nearby and shown him a Canadian driver's license. He said the man had been asking for a job for several weeks.

Federal agents had been looking for him since at least Monday. That day, they raided a Detroit house with Al-Marabh's name on the mailbox and arrested three men after discovering false visas, passports and other ID, as well as what appeared to be a diagram of an airport flight line.

The FBI list that Al-Marabh is on includes suspects, potential associates of the suspects, and potential witnesses related to the attacks, the FBI said.

Al-Marabh was being questioned by the FBI.

While agents were in Detroit on Monday, Al-Marabh was in Three Oaks, in the southwestern corner of Michigan near the Indiana state line, getting a duplicate driver's license, Michigan authorities said.

In December, Al-Marabh pleaded guilty to assault and battery with a dangerous weapon — a knife — in Boston. He stabbed his roommate in the knee during an argument in May 2000.

"If this wasn't America, I'd kill you," Al-Marabh said before stabbing Arafat Abjib, 32, according to court documents.

He received a suspended sentence of six months but failed to comply with the terms of his probation when he did not show up for a meeting. On March 15, a warrant was issued for his arrest.

During the raid in Detroit on Monday, federal agents found a cache of documents and arrested Karim Koubriti, 23, Ahmed Hannan, 33, and Farouk Ali-Haimoud, 21, on charges of having false immigration papers. The men were identified as resident aliens from Morocco and Algeria.

Agents also found a planner with handwriting in Arabic, according to court papers. The planner included information about an American base in Turkey, the "American foreign minister," and Alia Airport in Jordan, the FBI said.

Investigators also found what appeared to be a diagram of an airport flight line, including aircraft and runways, according to the court document, which did not identify the airport.

Hannan and Koubriti briefly worked as dishwashers for an airline catering company, LSG Sky Chefs, near the Detroit airport between May and June, the company said. More recently, they worked for Technicolor in Livonia, putting together cardboard boxes for shipping DVDs and videos.

The FBI did not say where Al-Marabh was from; his former landlord in the Boston area, Marian Sklodowski, said Al-Marabh told him he was Palestinian.

Al-Marabh lived from at least 1989 to 2000 in Massachusetts, and worked for Boston Cab Co., according to state driver's license records.

All four men hold chauffeur's licenses in Michigan, according to state records. Al-Marabh holds a commercial driver's license and is certified to transport hazardous materials. Koubriti and Al-Marabh also hold commercial driving license endorsements allowing them to drive trucks and other large vehicles.