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FBI Tests Said to Show Jailed Cleric's Luggage Had No Traces of Explosives

September 24, 2002|From Associated Press

PORTLAND, Ore. — Tests that found explosive residue on the bags of a Muslim cleric arrested at Portland's airport on document fraud charges have been thrown out after they were reviewed at an FBI crime lab, the man's lawyer said Monday.

Stanley Cohen, a New York civil rights attorney who took the case of Sheik Mohamed Abdirahman Kariye, said the FBI tests showed the bags were free of explosives residues.

"I'm talking to the government about a bail package," Cohen said. If that doesn't happen, he said, the defense would request another detention hearing.

Kariye, who served as an imam at the Islamic Center in this city, was arrested Sept. 8 as he tried to board a flight from Portland to the United Arab Emirates with his brother and four children.

Kariye, 41, is accused of using false information--including a changed name--while applying for and receiving three different Social Security cards from 1983 to 1995. The indictment also alleges Kariye used an altered birth date in a 1998 application for asylum.

He has pleaded not guilty to felony charges of unlawful use of a Social Security number and unlawful possession of a U.S. government document.

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