A Saudi Arabian man who was arrested the night of the Sept. 11 hijackings as a possible co-conspirator was sentenced yesterday on immigration charges and should be on his way home to the Middle East by the end of the month.

Manassas Park police stopped Khalid S.S. Al-Draibi, 32, driving on a flat tire and called the FBI after finding flight manuals in Arabic and multiple driver's licenses in his vehicle.

But Al-Draibi passed two FBI polygraph tests and made a deal with the government late last year to plead guilty to making false statements on his visa application.

Assistant U.S. Attorney John T. Morton told U.S. District Judge T.S. Ellis III yesterday that "the FBI has concluded that Mr. Al-Draibi's behavior, while odd and criminal, was not related to the attacks."

Al-Draibi not only took flight lessons in Birmingham and Kansas City, Mo., but also bade his American wife goodbye in Alabama on Sept. 10 and then illegally obtained a Virginia driver's license the same day, said Morton and Drewry B. Hutcheson Jr., Al-Draibi's attorney.

At least seven of the 19 men who crashed four planes into the Pentagon, the World Trade Center and a Pennsylvania field had obtained Virginia driver's licenses or state identification cards in the six weeks before the attacks.

Morton told the court that Al-Draibi had entered and left the country several times since 1996 and falsely claimed on his latest visa application, filed in February 2001, that he was unmarried and planned to visit a brother in the United States. He has no brother. Morton said the government remains suspicious of Al-Draibi's 1997 marriage but cannot say for sure whether he was trying to use a sham marriage to obtain permanent resident status.

Al-Draibi told the court he simply wanted to come to the United States to work. "I want to apologize for the visa application," he said.

Al-Draibi received a four-month sentence, and he already has been in jail for nearly that long. He agreed not to contest immediate deportation as part of the plea deal.

Hutcheson said his client did not attend a formal flight school but took a few flying lessons at small airports. He said Al-Draibi had the flight manuals with him because he was living out of his vehicle.

Hutcheson said his client insisted from the first that he had no connections to the terrorists. "He loves the United States and . . . said: 'What kind of people could do something like that? That's not what Islam is about,' " Hutcheson said.

Khalid S.S. Al-Draibi addresses Judge T.S. Ellis III. With Al-Draibi is attorney Drewry B. Hutcheson Jr.