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New charges released by feds in asylum case

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PHOENIX (AP) — Federal officials released a new indictment Monday accusing a man taken into custody in the government's terror probe of using a false identity in his successful 1998 request for asylum.

A federal grand jury in California indicted Malek Seif last week on two counts of making false statements to federal officials. A federal grand jury in Arizona has charged Seif with 41 counts of making false statements, Social Security fraud and mail fraud.

He is not charged in the Sept. 11 attacks.

The new indictment said that in his asylum application and during an interview, Seif falsely claimed to be Malek Mohammed Abdallah, a Somali who fled to a refugee camp in Kenya to avoid persecution and was then smuggled into the United States.

Seif, a native of Djibouti, was arrested in October after returning to Arizona from his new home in France to answer FBI questions about the terrorist attacks. Authorities say he knew Hani Hanjour, who is suspected of leading the terrorists who crashed a hijacked plane into the Pentagon.