August 10, 2006

US picks up six of 11 missing Egyptian students

CHICAGO (Reuters) - Six of 11 Egyptian students who failed
to turn up as scheduled for a Montana university exchange
program last week have been apprehended and authorities said on
Thursday none of them posed a terror threat.

The six were either taken into custody or turned themselves
in to authorities in Minneapolis, Chicago, suburban Maryland,
and a town in New Jersey.

"There is no terror threat" from the students, who were in
their early 20s, said Tim Counts, a spokesman with Immigration
and Customs Enforcement, an agency within the Department of
Homeland Security.

The government will seek to have them deported, he added.

An alert went out last week for the students after they did
not show up as scheduled for an academic program at Montana
State University in Bozeman, the agency said.

Chicago police detained Ahmed Ela, 22, at O'Hare
International Airport on Thursday as he was attempting to book
a flight to Montana. Some of the others were apprehended at
private residences.

All U.S. airports were on a state of heightened alert
following the thwarted U.K. airline bomb plot.

Authorities were looking for the remaining five students.
Those in custody were held on violations of their temporary
student visas.