- The Washington Times - Thursday, August 10, 2006

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Three Egyptian students who were being sought for failing to turn up for an exchange program at Montana State University were taken into custody yesterday, more than a week after they arrived in the United States.

One student was arrested in Minnesota, and two others surrendered to authorities in New Jersey. They were among 11 students being sought by law enforcement after they failed to attend a monthlong program on the English language and U.S. history and culture in Bozeman, Mont., the FBI said.

Eslam Ibrahim Mohamed El-Dessouki, 21, was taken into custody on an immigration violation. Two other students surrendered to police in Manville, N.J., after hearing press reports that they were wanted, FBI spokesman Steven Siegal said.

Eight students remain at large. They arrived in New York on July 29 as part of a group of 17 students. Six students reported to Bozeman on time.

The FBI said the missing students pose no terrorism threat.

Montana State repeatedly tried to contact the missing students. When that failed, the school notified Homeland Security officials and registered the Egyptians as “no-shows” in the system developed after the September 11 attacks to track foreign students.

The government tightened the student visa process after the attacks. One of the 19 hijackers involved in the attacks had arrived in the U.S. with a student visa, and immigration officials approved student visas for two other hijackers after they entered the country. A fourth attended flight-training school without a student visa.

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