2006_08_msu.jpgA group of Egyptian students headed to Montana State University for an exchange program have been missing since last month, after flying into JFK Airport. The FBI has issued a "be on the lookout" alert to look for the eleven male students who are around age 20, but the agency emphasized, "We do not know of any association with any terrorist or criminal groups. There is no threat associated with these men. We have simply asked law enforcement's assistance in locating them so that the FBI and ICE may interview them." Which of course has the subtext: They might be terrorists. The NY Sun has a quote from Rep. Vito Fossella: "Not to be an alarmist, but in this day in age, we have to err on the side of caution and vigilance when these situations arise. The fact is that in situations like this, bells and whistles start going off because it's identical to the way September 11 hijackers found their way here."

Others tell the Sun that eleven is "too big a number" to smuggle in and besides, the US and Egypt have a good relationship.
Hmm, if you were visiting the United States for perhaps the first time, and you were going to Montana but you had a stopover in NYC, wouldn't you want to explore? Still, six other Egyptian students did manage to make it to Bozeman.