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YOUNGSTOWN Police detain 7 Pakistani men for questioning by local FBI



Published: Wed, September 19, 2001 @ 12:00 a.m.



Police found problems with birth dates on some visas.

YOUNGSTOWN -- Seven Pakistani men found in a white van at the Islamic mosque on Homewood Avenue this morning were checked out by city police who have increased patrols at the mosque since last week's terrorist attacks.

The men, all of whom had plane tickets and none of whom spoke English, had been in Chicago since July, said Capt. Dave Williams. He said the airline and destination are classified.

The seven Pakistani men are being driven to New York by two men from Illinois who have valid driver's licenses and speak English, Williams said. The nine travelers had permission to stay overnight at the mosque, he said.

After following the van to a gas station for a fill-up, police escorted it downtown to the old Republic Steel property near the Market Street bridge. While there, the men pulled out their prayer rugs.

Some problems: Police called the Immigration and Naturalization Service to check out the men's visas. Some of the birth dates -- not the names -- revealed problems, Williams said.

The men, whom Williams said were congenial and cooperative with police, were then escorted to the FBI office in Boardman.

FBI Special Agent John Kane, resident agent in charge, could not be reached.

Williams said police nationwide are being very cautious after last week's attacks.




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