WASHINGTON - A State Department spokesperson said Wednesday that US officials are working with Pakistani authorities to resolve the matter of the arrest in Karachi of an FBI agent on charge of carrying bullets at City’s Jinnah International Airport.
Spokesperson Jen Psaki confirmed that the individual detained is an employee of the FBI (Federal Bureau of Investigation), who was on a temporary duty assignment to provide routine assistance to the legal attache at the US mission.
“We are coordinating closely to resolve this matter with authorities, and we are hopeful in that regard,” Psaki said in response to a question at the daily briefing. She did not name the FBI man.
Meanwhile, an FBI source told journalists that while agents are authorised to carry guns in the country, they are prohibited from boarding aircraft armed. It is not unusual for FBI agents to be stationed outside of the US as they frequently are assigned to consulates and embassies around the world, the source said.
The arrest, and its possible fallout, has dominated the national media in Pakistan since officials first announced they had an FBI agent in custody.
The most explosive arrest was of Raymond Davis, a CIA contractor who was charged with killing two men in Lahore. Davis maintained that he was acting in self-defence after the two men allegedly tried to rob him, inciting protests throughout Pakistan and adversely affecting Islamabad-Washington relations.
Davis was eventually freed in 2011 after a deal was agreed that would compensate the relatives of the dead men with a payment worth up to $2.3 million.
When asked at the time where the funds were coming from, a US official said only, “We expect to receive a bill.”
KARACHI POLICE PROBE ON
A US spy, booked for possessing bullets, was arrested on Monday from Jinnah International Airport in Karachi, has turned out to be an agent of US prime investigating agency, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), police said on Wednesday.
The senior superintendent of police (SSP) of district Malir, when contacted, said investigation was in progress. He, however, confirmed that the American was associated with the FBI and had reached Pakistan for a three-month mission.
FBI agent Joel Cox was travelling from Karachi to Islamabad by PK-308 on Monday last when during a routine search by the Airport Security Force (ASF) staff, 16 bullets of 9mm pistol along with a magazine were recovered from his bag. He was, later, handed over to the airport police who registered a case against Cox under Section 23-1 (a) of the Sindh Arms Act, 2013. The district Malir court has already remanded the suspect to police till May 10.
The suspect has been moved to an undisclosed location where police and other agencies are interrogating him. “Not only the bullets and the magazine but also three small daggers, a laptop, a cell phone and spy cameras were recovered from his custody,” SSP Anwar disclosed.
The police officer said the items recovered from his possession had been sent to a forensic laboratory for analysis. The SSP added there were many things under investigation and the police would make the reports public after completion of the investigation. He said the officials of the US consulate were making efforts for a meeting with the accused, but the police dealing with the issue would act as per the law. He said the US consulate had arranged lawyers for the accused person. Anwar denied the association of the accused with the FBI team that has come to Pakistan to train police officials.
The police investigators are also gathering the details of all the passengers of that flight. They said the suspect landed in Pakistan’s capital, Islamabad, on May 1 from where he landed in Karachi on April 4, adding that he was detained when he was attempting to travel on May 5.