CHARLOTTE, N.C. – A Pakistani man charged with immigration violations after filming Charlotte skyscrapers is described as a "terrorist" who came to the country "to kill you" in a new television ad from a North Carolina congressional candidate. Vernon Robinson (search) began airing the ad days before his runoff election Tuesday in a Republican primary against state Sen. Virginia Foxx (search).
Kamran Akhtar, arrested July 20, has been in custody ever since on immigration charges and on charges he made false statements to officers.
Authorities say he also videotaped buildings in Dallas, Houston and Las Vegas, and an investigation into whether he has ties to terrorism is ongoing. His family has said Akhtar is a video buff.
Akhtar's attorney, George Miller, called the political ad "grossly unfair."
"We haven't even had a probable cause hearing," Miller told the Charlotte Observer. "There's been no trial. There's been nothing."
Stricter enforcement of immigration laws has been a central issue in Robinson's campaign. His new ad shows a picture of Akhtar.
"When Vernon said our unguarded Mexican border was a threat to our national security, the liberals laughed," an announcer says in the ad. "They're not laughing anymore. This is Pakistani terrorist Kamran Akhtar. He got arrested videotaping targets in Charlotte, North Carolina. He came here illegally, across our Mexican border."
Then Robinson speaks: "I'm Vernon Robinson and I approve this message because Akhtar didn't come here to live the American dream. He came here to kill you. In Congress, I will shut that border down."
Robinson doesn't apologize for the ad.
"If it quacks like a duck and we're in war time, I think it's a fair assessment," he said. "He wasn't a tourist (and) wasn't here to study architecture."