The mother of a 20-year-old American college student believed to be detained by Pakistani officials in the restive tribal region along the Afghanistan border told FOX News on Tuesday that her son went to Pakistan to visit relatives, and any questions about why he was there are a “misunderstanding.”
The North Carolina woman, who identified herself as the mother of Jude Kenan -- believed to be the detained student -- said she was recently in contact with her son, but she would not say if she had spoken with him on Tuesday.
"I’m OK and he’s OK. I don’t understand. There must be a misunderstanding because my son is just fine," she said. "I'd rather not talk about it."
On Monday Pakistani officials said they picked up a man who identified himself as a Florida college student in the region to visit a friend. Pakistani intelligence sources said the man was arrested on Sunday at a checkpoint in the Mohmand Agency region of North Waziristan, considered a possible hiding place for Usama bin Laden.
A U.S. official confirmed to FOX News that the name of the 20-year-old being held in Pakistan is Jude Kenan Mohammad, not Juddi Kenan, as previously reported. And officials told FOX News that Mohammad is part of an ongoing FBI investigation, though he has yet to meet with anyone from the U.S. government, which hasn't been able to confirm any ties to terrorism.
From Washington to Islamabad questions have been raised about the young man's identity, and whether he is, in fact, American. U.S. officials said a representative from the U.S. consulate in Peshawar has gone to meet with him.
Pakistani diplomatic sources told FOX News that the man holds both Pakistani and American passports, and said he has been released after officials interrogated him and found no connection to terror groups in the region.
Kenan was reportedly picked up for traveling in the region without government permission, which is required of foreigners in the war-torn area.
He is believed to have been carrying a laptop, maps and CDs and wearing traditional Pakistani clothing at the time of his arrest.
FOX News’ Catherine Herridge and The Associated Press contributed to this report.