VIENNA, Va. — Residents of Orrin Street in this leafy Washington suburb have hung American flags from their porches and even lined their lawns with little flags in honor of the thousands of Americans killed Tuesday by Islamic terrorists. Little did they know that one of their neighbors may have been one of the killers.
Federal authorities suspect Waleed M. Alshehri was one of the kamikaze pilots who hijacked American Airlines Flight 11, which ripped into the north tower of the World Trade Center like a guided missile.
Rented Virginia home of suspected terrorist-pilot
Authorities say Alshehri, 25, may have lived for a time, possibly as recently as 14 months ago, in Vienna, at 502 Orrin St., as well as in Daytona Beach, Fla., where he graduated from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, authorities say. Another suspected hijacker, Ahmed Alghamdi – who was aboard United Airlines Flight 175, the other flight out of Boston that was the second to hit the World Trade Center – lived at the same Vienna address, according to the FBI.
Neighbors on the otherwise quiet street told WND that the five-or-six bedroom rental house where Alshehri – a Saudi citizen and son of a wealthy diplomat – stayed had numerous tenants, who parked their luxury cars on the street and often had loud parties, upsetting neighbors.
During one party several years ago, a woman ran outside the house and shot a pistol into the air several times, recalls a next-door neighbor.
“A woman came out shooting a gun after getting in a spat with someone,” said Mary Ann Neupert, who has lived at 500 Orrin St. for 37 years. “She was shooting in the air.”
Neupert, 77, and her husband, Stanley E. Neupert, 79, say two FBI agents, a man and a woman, interviewed them yesterday about activities at the house, which property-tax records show is owned by Hamid Keshavarznia, an Iranian native and U.S. citizen who lives in Reston, Va. His ex-wife is from Canada, WorldNetDaily has learned.
His brother, Saeed Keshavarznia, is currently living at the Vienna house, WorldNetDaily also has found. He’s listed as a co-owner.
“We thought it was a drug house,” said another neighbor, who wished to have her name withheld. “All the cars parked on the street were new BMWs, new Mercedes. People were always walking around out front with cellphones.”
She said as many as eight people, mostly “Arab-looking” men, lived in the house at one time. And so many cars were parked out front on the street that neighbors complained to the local police. She says that she noticed most of the cars had out-of-state tags.
“The gentleman who owns the place rents out rooms quite often,” said Capt. John Cheyne of the Vienna Police Department. “We did have parking complaints, noise complaints, stuff along those lines.”
“Over the years, there have been questions about how many people the owner actually has living there, but those are zoning issues, not police issues,” he said in an interview with WorldNetDaily. “And that’s what has led to the complaints about the cars.”
Fed up with the parking problem, and suspicious of activities at the house, the neighbor across the street at 503 Orrin St., John E. Albritton, called federal authorities, according to his wife.
She says they observed a van parked outside the home at all hours of the day and night. A Middle-Eastern man appeared to be monitoring a scanner or radio inside the van, she says.
Another neighbor says residents have called the FBI within the last two years to complain about the house.
“The inside is real chopped up,” she said, explaining that the relatively small, old house has far more bedrooms than it was designed to have.
Indeed, real estate listings obtained by WorldNetDaily through the Metropolitan Regional Information Systems database show that the house, which was built in 1956 as a 3-bedroom, 2-bathroom rambler, now has five bedrooms and four bathrooms — as well as two kitchens.
“Those bedrooms are cubicles,” said a local realtor.
Neupert said the owners were in the process of adding yet another room off the living room of the house “about five or six months ago.”
“This area is supposed to be single-family houses,” his wife said. “In other words, the house shouldn’t have been divided up like that.”
She says she found it somewhat suspicious that tenants seldom entered the house through the front door, but “went from the street straight to the gate and entered the house from the backyard.”
Her husband notes that, a few years ago, the owners or the tenants erected a satellite dish on the roof.
Federal authorities suspect that the home may have been used as a safe-house for terrorists.
Vienna does not have a big Arab population and, as far as local authorities know, has not been a haven for terrorist cells, Cheyne said.
Fairfax County tax records show that Habid Keshavarznia bought the Vienna house with France C.A. Carriere and Saeed Keshavarznia in 1993. Though appraised at $196,705, comparable homes in the neighborhood have recently sold for as much as $265,000.
Interestingly, there is no rental listing for the home, meaning the owners were able to rent it to apparently scores of tenants on their own, either by advertising or by word of mouth.
According to the realty listings database, Habid Keshavarznia put the home on the market on July 22, 1996. The listing expired Jan. 19, 1997.
He listed it for sale again on May 3, 1998, for $209,000.
The listing agent remarked: “TENANTS RARELY HOME.”
In July 1998, Keshavarznia listed the home with a different broker. He asked $220,000, before reducing the price to $209,900. He withdrew the listing on Oct. 14, 1998.
A realtor’s lockbox sits on the railing leading up to the side door of the house.
The garage of the rather rundown home, which is not cordoned off with police tape, houses two cars shrouded with protective covering. A third car beside the garage also is covered.
Near the garage stands a wooden crate and rubber trash can brimming with auto parts, including manifolds and whole engines blocks. A tire rests on the chain-link fence.
Vienna is also where former FBI agent and convicted
Moscow spy Robert
Hanssen called home. And a former National Security Council adviser to President Clinton, who breached security
by loading Top Secret data from a White House “SCIF” computer to her unsecured
computer, also lives in Vienna.