Skip to comments.Search for missing Egyptian students continues
Posted on 08/12/2006 12:08:10 AM PDT by NotJustAnotherPrettyFace
Anxious families of some of 11 Egyptians who failed to show up for studies at an American university said Thursday that the students may have decided to try to look for work and live in the United States.
The students' failure to show up for their monthlong study program at Montana State University prompted a police hunt for the 11, though U.S. authorities said they had no indication there was a terrorism threat from any of the 11. Three of them were taken into custody or turned themselves in this week -- one in Minnesota, the other two in New Jersey.
They were among a group of 18 students from Mansoura University, located in Egypt's northern Nile Delta. The other seven students from the group reported for the program on English Language and U.S. History in Bozeman, Montana.
Egyptian security officials said they believe the 11 students, who had no criminal records or known ties to Islamic militants, decided to abandon their studies and seek work in the U.S. Egyptian police were not pursuing the issue, said the officials, speaking on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak to the press.
The father of Eslam El-Dessouki, the student arrested in Minnesota, said his son likely wanted to try to find work.
"America is something super. It must have been in his mind to stay where there are plenty of job opportunities. You know how much a dollar is worth here in Egypt," said Ibrahim el-Dessouki, a retired army officer living in the village of Sinbelawan, near Mansoura. He said he spoke to his son when he arrived in the States but not since.
After hearing reports about a terror plot foiled in London, el-Dessouki became worried that American authorities might think his son was involved. "Will he be fine? Will they torture him?" he said.
U.S. authorities have said the missing students are not suspected of any connection to the London plot.
The students arrived in the U.S. on July 29, and when they did not report to the school, Montana State repeatedly tried to contact them. When that failed, the school notified Homeland Security officials and registered the Egyptians as "no-shows" in the system developed after the Sept. 11 attacks to track foreign students.
The sister of another of the students -- 18-year-old Mustafa Wagdi, who is still missing -- said she spoke to him on the day he arrived in Egypt and a second time five days ago.
He assured her "that he is OK and he is living with his colleagues," but he did not say where, the sister said in a phone interview from Mansoura. She refused to give her name because of worries of trouble with Egyptian security services over the incident.
The sister was quoted in the Egyptian press as saying her brother had told her over the phone that he would stay in the U.S. to find work. Speaking to The Associated Press, she denied making those comments, saying she didn't know what he was doing.
But she added that if her brother had decided to look for work, "I know that it's wrong to do, but everybody does it."
U.S. government tightened the student visa process after the 9-11 attacks. One of the hijackers involved in the attacks had arrived in the U.S. with a student visa.
Illegal emigration is very common in Egypt, where rising unemployment and inflation prompt young men to seek jobs in the West. Many Egyptians are returned home on weekly flights from Malta, Cyprus, or Greece after failing to sneak through borders to Europe.
Mansoura University required each student in the group heading to Montana to sign a piece of paper promising to return home on schedule and "represent Egypt in a good manner" while in the United States. The university has said it will expel the students who disappeared.
According to the families, each student paid around 25,000 L.E., equivalent to $4,500 dollars, to participate in the program.
The mother of Mohammed Ragab Abdullah, 22, who surrendered in Manville, N.J., was furious her son had slipped away, saying her husband paid "lots and lots of money."
But the elder el-Dessouki said it was worth the investment, given the bribes some have to pay to find government jobs in Egypt.
"A cleaning worker in a ministry paid 6,000 pounds ($1,050) to get a job," he said. "So it's not strange to pay 25,000 L.E. to get my only son a chance to go to the States."
WASHINGTON - Nine of 11 Egyptian exchange students who recently entered the United States and failed to appear at their college program were in custody Saturday after three were arrested in Des Moines, Iowa, officials said.
They were Ahmed Refaat Saad El Moghazi El Laket, age 19; Mohamed Ibrahim El Sayed El Moghazy, age 20; and Moustafa Wagdy Moustafa El Gafary, age 18.
The students were to attend a monthlong program at Montana State University in Bozeman, Mont. A group of 17 students arrived in New York on July 29. Six reported to Bozeman on time.
After Montana State repeatedly tried to contact the missing students, it notified Department of Homeland Security officials and registered the Egyptians as no-shows in a system to track foreign students developed after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.
When will we stop letting them in?
Get rid of them...we don't need them.
Pretty darn suspicious how they scattered all over the place to Minnesota, Iowa, New Jersey.
What a question! He should ask other questions such as, "Did he blow up something (already)? Did they make him talk?"
All of them should have to wear tracking devices on their ankles until they depart.
You are far too kind...
After 9/11 the universities were one of the first to complain about their foreign students being subjects of interest. Does the government pay the universities for foreign students? The answer is always $$$$.
One was arrested at Chicago's O'Hare trying to use his ticket from NY to MT. He got irate at the ticket counter and that's what flagged the local Chicago police officer to take him aside for questioning.
Was he trying to get to Montana from Chicago or was he trying to cash in the ticket to another destination? I wonder what caused him to be irate.
I fly frequently, I get from point A to point B 10 to 15 times a year, year after year, and never have had a situation where I needed to become irate.
Which is why Islamic militants use them...
"He tried to check in for a Chicago-to-Montana flight using an invalid ticket marked for a New York departure, Chicago police said.
El Ela raised his voice and became unruly after an employee at a Delta ticket counter refused to let him exchange the ticket for a valid one." (SunTimes)
When we get rid of Ted Kennedy. Ted Kennedy a few months after 911 set up a program to make it easier for students from the middle east to come here. I forget the details but I remember being pretty outraged when I read about it, I mean of all things to be focusing on after 911!
"All of them should have to wear tracking devices on their ankles until they depart."
NO. All of them should be kept in custody until they are able to be sent home.
What's this? Sounds like USAID needs to give a close look at what Egypt is doing with OUR dollars and why there are no jobs. Isn't that what USAID is all about - promoting economic reform and help to every freaking country in the world? Since fiscal year 1992, USAID's Cash Transfer Program has provided about $1.8 billion in economic assistance to the Egyptian government for completing reform-related activities, such as privatizing state-owned companies. Oh never mind, we're talking about Egypt and one of our biggest US bureaucracies.
This was to have been an 'exchange program'. What about the other half of this program, where are they, and did they prepay.
10. MARAY, MOHAMED SALEH AHMED; DOB OF 09/12/1985, PASSPORT 862634
11. EL SHENAWY, MOHAMED IBRAHIM FOUAAD; DOB OF 08/12/1988, PASSPORT 862534
RE-CAPPING DETAINEES FOR YOUR BINGO CARDS:
1. IBRAHIM, EL SAYED AHMED ELSAYED; DOB OF 4/29/1986, PASSPORT 954757
2. EL DESSOUKI, ESLAM IBRAHIM MOHAMED; DOB OF 02/21/1985, PASSPORT 1002756
3. EL BAHNASAWI, ALAA ABD EL FATTAH ALI; DOB OF 04/02/1986, PASSPORT 934679
4. ABD ALLA, MOHAMED RAGAB MOHAMED; DOB OF 02/15/1984, PASSPORT 860972
5. EL LAKET, AHMED REFAAT SAAD EL MOGHAZI; DOB OF 09/01/1986, PASSPORT 943306
Des Moines, IA
6. EL ELA, AHMED MOHAMED MOHAMED ABOU; DOB OF 02/02/1985, PASSPORT 595081
O'Hare Intl Airport, Chicago, IL
7. EL MOGHAZY, MOHAMED IBRAHIM ELSAYED; DOB OF 08/08/1986, PASSPORT 861073
Des Moines, IA
8. ABDOU, EBRAHIM MABROUK MOUSTAFA; DOB OF 02/25/1984, PASSPORT 828682
9. EL GAFARY, MOUSTAFA WAGDY MOUSTAFA; DOB OF 07/01/1988, PASSPORT 861673
Des Moines, IA
Iowa; Des Moines, IOWA?
Sheesh, they sure did scatter once they were here. I'm pretty sure that Dundalk, MD does have a lage Muslim population to blend in with, Hon. They must have known where they were going to meet someone.
Sorry I just used one of the earlier photos that isn't updated with the right guys marked out. I'd have to re-do it and put it on a server somewhere and it's just too much trouble right now, lol.
I'm thinking of doing a reference thread with links to all the UK Bomb Plot threads here at FR, because it's been so hard to keep up with. I have them all gathered, but not sure it would be appropos for a thread by itself.
Notice that the two who are missing have nearly the same passport number, except for one digit? That's a little hinky. Wonder if they're related to each other.
America seems to have forgotten the Egyptian airline pilot who was deadheading back to Egypt prior to 9/11. He siezed control of the craft and plunged it into the oceal while shouting Allah Akbar or Kum By Ya or some such. And we continue to make excuses for various vermin.
Kick the pointy headed educators in the ass for taking the easy cash. I imagine they keep records on how much tuition and fees they get from people who never show up from overseas! This is utter BS that they would turn a blind eye to this established pipeline for melting into the population. The parents apparently were familiar with the scam and were more than willing to fire and forget their own children.
Utter BS that people in foreign countries can so easily buy their way into the USA. The wanted photos do not put me in mind of college kids.
Put pressure on the greedy LIBERAL educators.
I couldn't agree more.
Public Universities don't make any money. Where do you people come up with this nonsense? I think allowing foreign students to visit the US (and US students on foreign exchange is a great idea because it allows for a better understanding on both sides. That said, there needs to be good oversight on who is supposed to attend and whether they actually attend - this is actually a success story when compared to pre-9/11.
I am by no means a liberal or even a moderate Republican, but you sound like a raving lunatic.
That's been my position from the begining.Since there is no way to separate the good from the bad-they ALL have to go.No exceptions and no delays,take out the trash.
They do need money to support their various programs, do they not? They do charge tuition, do they not?
this is actually a success story when compared to pre-9/11
Uh, no, it's not. Read between the lines of what the Egyptian parents are saying: this is not some newly developed ingenious plan to sneak into the US -- it's SOP. The "exchange program" of one month netted Montana U. $4500 a head, with 11 students disappearing, and the university announcing that they've washed their hands of them, they've just netted $49,500, free and clear, because it's prepaid and certainly non-refundable.
You can be fairly certain these disappearing acts happen in similar college and university programs all over the U.S. The difference with this one is the large number involved -- 11 out of 17 flew the coop -- and the fact that someone alerted the media.
Higher ed lobbyists fought the computer reporting system tooth and nail both before and after 9/11, for good reason. Foreign students -- particularly ME students -- are cash cows, and the more that prepay and don't show up, the better -- for the colleges and universities.
Charging tuition does not equal making money (i.e. a profit or surplus).
I personally favor foreign exchange programs. It's good to actually meet other people rather than hide under your sheets and post on FR.
Before 9/11 there wouldn't have been a nationwide search for these men. This is a success.
look at picture #9 and #11...they look like they are about to murder someone. I have also noted the eyes of terrorists look dark and blank.
And it's obvious my post hit a nerve with you. tut tut. It's called a difference of opinion DEAL.WITH.IT. Resist the temptation to smear.
I am by no means a madman or even a moderately paranoid, but you sound like an apologist for broken borders.
I would have suspended immigration for any reason of youths under the age of 30 until we get this whole "Is it an ideology like communism or is it a religion figured out." I think we are tending toward it being an ideology like fascism or communism. We do not need more Dearborns in this country (thank you Henry Ford) until the whole Iran/Al Qaeda/Islam will dominate the world issue is rectified.
Known fascists and communists weren't openly and legally "exchanged" into this country when they were a popular threat.
That would have been, well, lunacy.
I think I bought gas from these guys in Dearborn, MI.
These parents better turn their ire on the reason their kids can't come here to work. The Egyptian cock-eyed-doctor, Al-Zawahiri and the Muslim Brotherhood.
Actually, point #1 and #3 are facts, not opinions. Point #2 is an opinion based on common sense and an understanding of history.