Skip to comments.Agents Arrest 3 Exchange Students In Des Moines
Posted on 08/13/2006 3:22:59 PM PDT by cornfedcowboy
WASHINGTON -- Immigration officials have now picked up all but two of the 11 Egyptian exchange students who came to the U.S. for a summer course in Montana but never showed up for classes.
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents tracked three of the students to Des Moines. They were arrested at about 8 p.m. Friday, and are being held in the Polk County Jail.
They will be here until a federal immigration judge decides if they will face charges or be deported. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents won't say what led them to find these students in Des Moines or where they were staying. The students are Ahmed Laket, 19, Mohamed Moghazy, 20, and 18-year-old Moustafa Gafary. Agents are not releasing their pictures.
Others were picked up earlier in New Jersey, Maryland, Chicago and Minnesota. They were part of a group of 17 who arrived in New York July 29 en route to a month-long program at Montana State University in Bozeman. Six reported on time, but the 11 others were no-shows.
Immigration officials said the students are not considered a terrorism risk, but all the no-shows now face deportation.
Montana State contacted Homeland Security officials after repeatedly trying to contact the missing students, under procedures put into place after Sept. 11, 2001, to track foreign students.
Well call me a skeptical, non-tollerant, alertist pig, but....
Perhaps phone calls from London? (Noting that they found some phone calls had been made to US cities.)
The ACLU will be defending them, no doubt.
Did they buy large numbers of pre-paid cellphones?
Apparently they wanted to enjoy our State Fair. James Taylor was awsome Friday night. I hoped they caught it after they attended the swine barn.
Well, hey, then maybe we should stop helping them look for the other 2. I don't believe this. They wanted them too bad.
So far most of them have ended up someplace where the local airport identity code has an MN in it somewhere.
Back in the good old days of ad hoc charter flights out of NYC (JFK) I found myself with more than one affinity group I didn't know much about.
No doubt I missed some group meetings and went to the wrong terminal in London, but who cares.
I suspect these university "English language enhancement" exchange operations have the same flavor, and not knowing they were with a group 11 of these guys managed to get themselves lost.
Take them all to Israel. Let Mossad interrogate them.
Perhaps phone calls from London? (Noting that they found some phone calls had been made to US cities.)
Naw - couldn't be. It would have been reported in the NYT if they had.
yeah...here in Indiana, Red State, corn-belt, bible-thumping, and the genius in charge of entertainment at OUR State Fair, headlines none other than....Kanye West.
lost? they were "lost" in all these locales? living where? when you get lost someplace, what do you do?
Perhaps the local "journalists" can round up more details to explain this behavior.
We'll only hear about it if said journalists find something that can be spun to make America, Americans, or President Bush look bad. If it makes these "students," their religion, or their culture look bad, we'll hear nothing.
BTW, one of those places is the Manassas Regional Airport about 14 miles from here. They actually have Arab operated taxicabs serving the area.
It's my guess several of them managed to get there and then end up in suburban DC and in Baltimore with friends of their families, or relatives in their extended families. Probably arrived with advice to "Be sure to call Aunt Alia" along with her phone number.
SO far none of these guys have gone anyplace that can't be explained as "lost". Now that could be part of a plan, or they could be lost.
Although Manassas has no regularly scheduled service, it's not that hard to get a hop to take you there from major airports up and down the East Coast. In fact, "this is the major reliever airport for Dulles International Airport and Washington National Airport.
A reliever airport is one that accepts smaller, private aircraft so that the major airport can focus its capacity on airline operations.
Because Manassas Regional has four flight schools, Manassas has a large amount of training traffic. Training operations account for approximately 50% of our yearly operations, with the other 50% being corporate traffic."
There's that flight training school deal again ~ maybe some of them knew an Egyptian terrorist there eh?!
Hmmmmm. Wonder how long it would take me to get to Des Moines. I've got room for all three of them ... in my trunk.
Put 'em in jail.
Remember, Manassas is a world center for urology ~ this is where Mr. Bobbit got chopped, and fixed, in the same night. Not going to find that sort of thing just anywhere ~ microsurgeons, urologists, etc.
I can see these guys being misled by a guy working at JFK as a janitor or a cabbie finding themselves as fill-in on a training flight in a light plane to Manassas instead of Montana (which probably looks pretty much the same in Arabic).
Happens all the time.
BTW, you get to Indianapolis on a Grayhound, and ask for the bus to Bloomington, they go to Bloomington MN and IL, but not IN.
How did these 11 guys all get lost in different states? It doesn't make sense since they were travelling as a group.
And once they realized they were "lost" they made no attempt to contact the school.
To me at least, it doesn't add up.
They may have been "encouraged" to visit family and friends prior to the start of the program to see what our response would be.
Were there just 11 who were coming here for the courses, and ALL of them somehow never made it ---- or were there 11 of a much larger group, and these 11 played hooky?
Well, there was the famous German tourist who spent two weeks in Bangor, Maine under the impression he was in San Francisco*, so maybe they hadn't figured out they were lost yet.
*Not impossible; Bangor has hills, lots of very good Victorian architecture and an ocean semi-nearby, so what's not to confuse?
Federal agents arrested the three men around 8 p.m. Friday at an undisclosed Des Moines residence. Agents tracked the men to Des Moines from San Francisco, Counts said.
Counts declined to say how the men were found or why they were in Des Moines. He cited an ongoing investigation that also involves the FBI. An FBI spokesman referred calls to Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
Counts said the details of Friday's arrests were not a matter of public record. He said the arrests were publicized by federal officials only because of the high-profile nature of the Egyptians' disappearance, which has been in the news nationwide since Sunday.
The residents of the house where the arrests occurred are not accused of any crimes."
From the Des Moines Register. Interesting that they made it to SF.
There's something going on since the Feds are all so tight lipped.
I'll be at MSU next week and inquire locally about this program.
Sun doesn't set in the west?
Well hell, then I will
Seventeen arrive here for school. Six report to the school, but the other eleven take off for various parts of the country. Two are still missing. I believe the six that reported were probably a decoy to keep the school(s) from being concerned about the ones that hadn't shown up. I'd like to know if the school questioned any of the six that showed up, about the whereabouts of the 11 that didn't...and if so, what they said. I'd also like to know why 11 individuals all decided to go AWOL at the same time, and were apprehended in most cases...in pairs. Coinky dink? I doubt it. Call me a skeptical, non-tolerant Miss Piggy too.
I live in DSM and what really bothers me is that they were found at a residence and not a hotel/motel. That means they have connections here.
I hope the last two are just as stupid.
whose private residence?
is the FBI going to do their job this time - or are they going to blow this off, like they did with those syrian "band members" on annie jacobsen's flight a couple years back.
exactly right. all these US based connections need to be broken down - who they called, check their financial transactions, everything.
Send 'em to Gitmo.
Like I typed in #18. It almost appears as though they were allowed to get 'lost'. I just hope their not decoys.
It's interesting that we haven't heard much from the Egyptian government about its 'missing' students.
So what happened?
I certainly don't know!
Wait a minute...these all look like Arabic young men, possibly Muslim, between 17 and 25 years old! Hummmm...
HA HA HA, well go figure, it seems to be a trend.
Here is an interesting take:
Did authorities visit with the parents of the missing students? If so, were they concerned that their child has dissappeared?
The way you get lost at a very large airport in a really strange country is go there. Everything goes downhill from that point on.
They are not all ending up in different states. 3 of them were caught right there in Maryland. Best bet is they got a flight from New York to Manassas, then a cab to a distant relative in Baltimore.
The first one was a guy who was found in Minnesota.
The clue is they had "ticketing" that said "MN...." somewhere.
BTW, once inside the United States the telephone number to reach the school changed. To call from Egypt to the United States you must dial "001", then the Area Code, then the number. To call the same number in the United States you simply dial "1" and then the Area Code, etc.
If you have a cellphone you don't dial "1".
From the US to Mexico you first dial "01152". From Egypt to Mexico that's "0052".
You can discover all this neat stuff at http://www.countrycallingcodes.com/
O.K. Personal attack me,if you you must. I'm sorry. After reading your biography on your "Look at me and what I think" page I can see that I am clearly inferior to your superiority
Way to go, you should feel proud
The trick are the international three digit airport codes with "MN". They are:
MNT for MONTSERRAT AIRWAYS,
AMN Alma, MI [Gratiot Community Airport], USA.
MMN Stow, MA [Minute Man Air Field], USA.
MNA Melangguane, Indonesia.
MNB Moanda, Zaire.
MNC Nacala, Mozambique.
MND Medina, CA, USA.
MNE Mungeranie, South Australia, Australia.
MNF Mana, Fiji.
MNG Maningrida, Northern Territory, Australia.
MNH Minneriya, Sri Lanka.
MNI Montserrat (Plymouth) [Blackburne], Montserrat.
MNJ Mananjary, Madagascar.
MNK Maiana, Kiribati.
MNL Manila [Ninoy Aquino International Airport], Philippines.
MNM Menominee, MI [Menominee-Marinette Twin County Airport] USA.
. MNN Marion, OH [Marion Municipal Airport], USA.
MNO Manono, Zaire., MNP Maron, Papua New Guinea
MNQ Monto, Queensland, Australia,
MNR Mongu, Zambia, MNS Mansa, Zambia,
MNT Minto, AK [Minto Airport], USA,
MNU Maulmyine (Moulmein), Myanmar,
MNV Mountain Valley, Australia,
MNW MacDonald Downs, Australia,
MNX Manicore, AM, Brazil,
MNY Mono, Solomon Islands,
MNZ Manassas, VA [Manassas Regional Airport/Harry P. Davis Field], USA,
I strongly suspect an astute Homeland Security Analyst got hold of this early on and did the obvious ~ namely, assume they got lost and might be looking for places in MN ~ then, upon noticing that MNZ (Manassas) is a Washington DC suburb, got the FBI on the phone and 'splained things (lest these fellows turn out to be terrorists).
BTW, whenever I get lost I find somebody who can speak English ~ and that's getting harder and harder.
Moslem taxicab driver from Egypt more than likely. Wish we knew more about the circumstances, but we don't.