- The Washington Times - Wednesday, October 2, 2002

BALTIMORE A Pakistan national detained on immigration charges no longer is being investigated for links to terrorism, an Immigration and Naturalization Service official said yesterday.
The FBI had been investigating Choudhry Jamil Khan and five other men who were arrested Sept. 10 in a sparsely furnished apartment where officers found computers containing information on flight training and airports.
Mr. Khan, who has been held without bail, is now eligible for $5,000 bail and could be released as early as today, said INS spokesman Chris Bentley.
The other immigrants continue to be held without bail while the FBI completes its investigation.
"There are no longer concerns about Mr. Khan being a national security threat," Mr. Bentley said. "He is a routine immigration violator who appears to have been in the wrong place at the wrong time."
Mr. Khan's attorney, Shahid Syed, said his client had never been in the apartment and had no connection to the material found there.
"He had gone there to meet a friend who used to reside there," Mr. Syed said.
Mr. Syed said he expected Mr. Khan to post bail yesterday.
A preliminary analysis of the material found in the apartment has determined that handwritten documents in Arabic contain "what the translator has described as radical fundamentalist rhetoric," according to an FBI affidavit.
Other items being investigated include photographs of Union Station in the District and Times Square in New York City, and receipts for wire transfers of money in "significant amounts" to Morocco "by a person allegedly earning wages barely above minimum wage," the affidavit said.
Officials declined to comment further on the affidavit or the investigation.
The FBI also is analyzing the immigrants' cellular telephone and financial records for potential terrorist connections, the filing says.
Besides Mr. Khan, three of the immigrants are being held without bail in Wicomico County Detention Center on the Eastern Shore on routine immigration charges, pending a bail hearing Monday.
Khoshal Wahid Nasery, 24, an Afghan national, is being held on charges that he overstayed a visitor's visa.
Mr. Nasery repeatedly denied that he had any connection to terrorism, saying he came to the United States from Canada in December 2000 to work as a cook to support his sick mother.
Unsir Hafeez, a 24-year-old Canadian citizen originally from Pakistan, is charged with working illegally while in the United States on a valid visa.
Reza Zazai, 25, a Canadian citizen originally from Afghanistan, is charged with overstaying his visa, the INS said.
Another immigrant, Shamsudin Mohammed, 26, from Somalia, was scheduled to be deported on charges that he had ignored a previous deportation order, Mr. Bentley said.
Officers originally went to the apartment to serve a warrant for harassment, arson and telephone misuse on a sixth man, Abderrahim Houti, a Moroccan national, police said.
He also has been denied bail.

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