A 61-year-old American national, identified as Winston Marshal Carmichael, was detained at the Indira Gandhi International airport in New Delhi on late on Wednesday night minutes before he was to board a Qatar-bound flight after a knife was found in his hand baggage.
Reminiscent of the case of 26/11-terror suspect David Coleman Headley, arrested in Chicago in October last for allegedly plotting terror strikes in India, Carmichael is a convert from Christianity to Islam.
The New York resident changed his religion some 40 years ago. Carmichael, who was flying to Doha in a Qatar Airways flight, is being questioned by the security agencies and the American Mission had been informed about the same, sources said.
The New York resident had arrived in India for the first time a fortnight ago on a tourist visa and travelled to various parts of the national capital.
Carmichael, who has a tourist visa to India, Pakistan and Bangladesh, came to India from Pakistan. He had visited Pakistan and Bangladesh on earlier occasions also.
Delhi Police Special Cell and Intelligence Bureau are questioning him.
According to airport sources, during the security check Central Industrial Security Force found the knife concealed between a herbal plant 'Shilajit'.
He was then handed over to the police.