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US national still in detention, FBI clearance awaited

Source: PTI
February 12, 2010 19:25 IST
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An American citizen held from Indira Gandhi International airport in New Delhi with a knife remained in detention for the third day on Friday as the security agencies were corroborating his statement besides awaiting a clearance from the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

61-year-old Winston Marshall Carmichael, who was detained in the wee hours of February 10, when he was to board a Qatar Airways flight to Doha, had been subjected to extensive questioning by several agencies. The US Mission in New Delhi was informed about the arrest after which a team of FBI officials visited and took details from Carmichael, a resident of New York, official sources said.

The US national, who was being quizzed to probe if he was a similar operative like Lashkar-e-Tayiba suspect David Headley, was detained at the Indira Gandhi International Airport after a knife concealed in a herbal plant Shilajit was recovered by the Central Industrial Security Force from his hand baggage. The knife, though, was too small to be considered in the category of a weapon. A chemical examination of the herbal plant was also being conducted, the sources said, adding if that was also found clear, he would be released. However, the security agencies were also awaiting a clearance from the FBI who were verifying his activities back in the US, the sources said. Carmichael, a convert from Christianity to Islam, had a tourist visa to India, Pakistan and Bangladesh and came here from Bangladesh.

Carmichael had arrived in India in the last week of January and travelled to Pakistan through the Wagah border where he attended religious congregations of Tabliq-e-Jamaat and went upto Karachi before flying to Dhaka in a Pakistan International Air flight. He later entered India through West Bengal and took a train to the national capital where he was staying in a hotel at Nizamuddin. Delhi Police and security agencies were verifying his places of stay in the national capital and while travelling from West Bengal.

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