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Indian ‘Boxcutter Detainee’ Arrested

January 24, 2003

HYDERABAD, India (AP) _ A man who spent 16 months in U.S. custody, initially as a suspect in the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, arrived home Friday only to be arrested again.

Mohammed Azmath was taken into custody in this southern city on charges of filing false information in his passport application. He was released on bail later Friday.

The charges were prompted by information that surfaced during the U.S. investigation. Azmath is one of two Muslim men from India better known in the United States as the ``box cutter detainees.″

On Sept. 11, 2001, they were on a flight from New Jersey to Texas but the flight was diverted to Missouri because of the attacks. From there, they caught a train to Texas but were taken off in Fort Worth when police found them carrying box cutters, several thousand dollars in cash and hair dye.

The box cutters especially drew suspicion, since the hijackers of the airliners that smashed into the World Trade Center and the Pentagon were believed to have used box cutters.

The two Indians told authorities the tools were for their work at a newsstand in New Jersey and that they were heading for Texas to find new jobs.

They were cleared of suspicion in the hijackings in January but kept in custody on charges of credit card fraud. Both were convicted, fined and sentenced to prison terms, most of which they had already served.

The other man, Gul Mohammed Shah, returned to Hyderabad earlier this month, claiming he had been kept in solitary confinement for a year and been subjected to psychological torture at the Metropolitan Detention Center in New York City.

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