Press Release

For Immediate Release
August 12, 2006

Washington D.C.
FBI National Press Office
(202) 324-3691

Nine of the Missing 11 Egyptian Students are now in Custody

WASHINGTON, D.C — U.S Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents have arrested three additional Egyptian nationals in Iowa who were part of a group of 11 Egyptian students that entered the United States at John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York last month and failed to show up for a scheduled academic program at Montana State University.

Thus far, special agents from ICE and the FBI have apprehended nine of the original 11 Egyptian students who were the subject of a BOLO issued to law enforcement agencies nationwide last week.

At roughly 9:00 PM Eastern Time Friday night, ICE agents arrested in Des Moines, Iowa the following three Egyptian nationals: Ahmed Refaat Saad El Moghazi El Laket, age 19; Mohamed Ibrahim El Sayed El Moghazy, age 20; and Moustafa Wagdy Moustafa El Gafary, age 18. The arrests were made without incident. ICE agents tracked these students’ travels from New York to San Francisco to Des Moines. All three were arrested on administrative immigration violations as out-of-status students.

On Thursday morning, ICE agents located El Sayed Ahmed Elsayed Ibrahim, a 20-year-old Egyptian national, and Alaa Abd El Fattah Ali El Bahnasawi, a 20-year-old Egyptian national, at a residential location in Dundalk, Maryland. Both individuals were taken into custody on administrative immigration violations as out-of-status students. Also on Thursday, the Chicago Police Department detained Ahmed Mohamed Mohamed Abou El Ela, a 22-year-old Egyptian national, at O’Hare International Airport as he was attempting to book a flight to Montana. ICE agents took custody of El Ela on an administrative immigration violation as an out-of-status student.

On Wednesday, the Manville (New Jersey) Police Department took custody of Mohamed Ragab Mohamed Abd Alla, a 22 year-old Egyptian national, and Ebrahim Mabrouk Moustafa Abdou, a 22 year-old Egyptian national. ICE agents responded and took both into custody on administrative immigration violations as out-of-status students. In addition, FBI and ICE agents Wednesday arrested 21year-old Egyptian National Eslam Ibrahim Mohamed El-Dessouki in Minneapolis on an administrative immigration violation as an out-of-status student. 

Preliminary investigation by ICE and FBI agents has not identified any credible or imminent threat posed by any of the eleven Egyptian students. The ICE and FBI investigation is ongoing, as we remain interested in locating and interviewing the remaining two Egyptian students who failed to report for their academic program at Montana State University.

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