TX Muslim gets 5 years for blades in carry-on



Federal prosecutors believe that security screeners at Dallas/Fort Worth Airport foiled a Pakistani national's attempt last March to evade and test airport security for potential terrorist aims.

Authorities found 32 double-edged razor blades tucked in a coiled belt inside a cardboard box in Fazal Karim's carry-on luggage March 5, 2003.

A few months later, a federal jury convicted Karim of carrying and attempting to carry concealed dangerous weapons in air transportation and of making false statements about his immigration status. Karim, who is a Canadian citizen, was an undocumented immigrant at the time of his arrest.

On Monday, U.S. District Judge Terry Means of Fort Worth sentenced Karim to 63 months in prison and ordered that he be turned over to immigration authorities for deportation after completing his sentence. Means also ordered Karim to pay a $20,000 fine.

The judge rejected a maximum sentence of 30 years requested by Assistant U.S. Attorney Fred Schattman, who argued that Karim carried out a test run to aid terrorism.

At a hearing in November, a federal agent testified that the names and phone numbers of the current directors of the civil aviation systems in Pakistan and the United Arab Emirates were found in Karim's address book _ 10 years after he worked as a computer programmer for the Pakistan Civil Aviation Authority...

A spokesman for the Council on American-Islamic Relations said in an earlier interview that Karim's prosecution fit a pattern of singling out travelers from predominantly Muslim nations after the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001. Karim's defense attorney agreed...

 


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