- The Washington Times - Wednesday, July 17, 2002

ELKTON, Md. (AP) A man carrying a diagram of a military installation and several "suspicious" letters written in a Middle Eastern language is being held at the Cecil County Detention Center, the sheriff's department said yesterday.

The man, identified as Shakur Khabir of Elkton, was wanted in Connecticut as a fugitive after failing to appear in court on a robbery charge, said Maj. Ed Koluch, director of law enforcement for the sheriff's department.

Cecil County sheriff's deputies arrested him Saturday morning. Maj. Koluch said police stopped Mr. Khabir's vehicle after receiving a report of suspicious activity.

"Some neighbors had seen a lot of people come and go from his residence, and they felt he might be switching tags on his vehicle," he said.

The Connecticut robbery charge showed up when deputies entered his name in a database, Maj. Koluch said.

After being served a fugitive warrant, Mr. Khabir was taken to the detention center, where he is being held on $30,000 bond pending extradition proceedings.

Detention center personnel conducted a routine screening of personal property and found what the office described as "a diagram of what appeared to be a military installation and suspicious letters that appeared to be written in a Middle Eastern dialect."

The diagram was a "roughly drawn sketch that indicates a barrack, and some other buildings," Maj. Koluch said. "Exactly what it is, we don't know."

The department notified the regional FBI office, and federal agents interviewed Mr. Khabir for more than three hours Saturday evening, Maj. Koluch said.

In a news release, the sheriff's office said the steps were taken because of law enforcement's "level of high alert for terrorist activity and suspects."

Barry Maddox, a spokesman for the FBI's Baltimore office, said he could not comment on the case.

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