Jewish World Review July 10, 2002 / 1 Menachem-Av, 5762

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Consumer Reports

Texas stripper spills beans on Arab customers after terror threats | SAN ANTONIO (UPI) -- Three men with Arab names were charged Tuesday with making terrorist threats after allegedly telling a stripper at a topless bar they intended to blow up military bases in San Antonio.

According to a police report obtained by WOAI radio under the Texas Open Records Act, the men were "very serious" and said they were "having a good time and spending our money just like our others did before 9/11."

Some of the Sept. 11 suspects were believed to have spent the week before the attacks in a topless bar in Florida.

Patrolman Al Ballew said the three men, identified by police as Jadallah Abdallah, 21; Matram Sayez Hijaz, 20, and Rabhi Abdalla, 25, were paying "large amounts of money" to a stripper for private dances.

Abdallah and Abdalla gave addresses in San Antonio, although Abdalla claimed he was from "the West Bank." Hijaz gave police an address in Mesquite, Texas, a Dallas suburb.

Police confiscated a brown paper bag from Abdalla containing "several names and numbers and vehicle keys," as well as 21 gold and platinum credit cards. They also confiscated three Texas driver's licenses from Abdalla.

Officers also found a road map of Florida in the men's car, as well as "envelopes written in Arabic."

Mark Rich, an FBI spokesman in San Antonio, said the men were questioned by agents, and he said they were "very interested" in the comments they made, but he told WOAI that federal charges were unlikely.

The men were being detained for the Immigration and Naturalization Service and were facing state charges of making terrorist threats. They were held in the county jail in lieu of $2 million bond apiece.

Officials could not confirm if the names given were the men's real names, if they are Arabs, or whether Hijaz really was from the West Bank. Their car was registered in North Carolina.

The manager of the topless club declined to comment.

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