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FBI: Heinz Field Break-In Not Terrorism

November 7, 2006

PITTSBURGH (AP) _ Two college students charged with trying to break into Heinz Field last weekend were pranksters, not terrorists, the FBI said.

``This appears to be two kids who did something stupid, and it came on the heels of the threat last month to blow up football stadiums,″ FBI Special Agent Jeff Killeen said Monday. ``Any suspicions that were raised concerning terrorism were addressed and dismissed.″

Carnegie Mellon students Sudeep Paul, 21, and Anand Durvasula, 20, remained jailed Tuesday, unable to post $1 million bond each. Police said they were caught trying to climb into the stadium about 2 a.m. Sunday, 14 hours before the Pittsburgh Steelers played the Denver Broncos.

Authorities believe the men were trying to sneak into the stadium so Paul, a film student, could videotape Durvasula for a homemade music video.

A city magistrate imposed the high bail because the action by the students triggered a response by the Joint Terrorism Task Force, which includes federal, state and city officials. Bond could be reduced at a preliminary hearing Thursday. It was not immediately clear if the students had attorneys.

Paul, of Woodbury, N.Y., is charged by city police with conspiracy while Durvasula, of Morgan Hill, Calif., who allegedly climbed the fence before the men were caught, was charged with conspiracy and criminal trespass.

Killeen said the NFL and federal authorities had been on heightened alert since a Wisconsin grocery clerk allegedly hatched a hoax last month threatening terrorist attacks on stadiums.

Update hourly