STAMFORD, Conn. – Federal agents on Wednesday refused to say whether the questioning of a person in Stamford over the weekend was related to the hunt for five foreign-born men the FBI says may have entered the United States on falsified passports.
Agents from the FBI's New York City office interviewed the person on Sunday, but did not take anyone into custody, said Lisa Bull, a spokeswoman for the FBI in Connecticut.
Bull deferred questions about whether the interview was connected to the search for the five men to the New York FBI office.
Joe Valiquette, a spokesman for the New York FBI, said he did not know about any questioning in Connecticut. He said agents have been checking out tips from people who thought they might have seen the five men.
"The Joint Terrorism Task Force has done a few interviews in the [New York City] metro area, none of which have panned out," Valiquette said. "There were interviews done in Brooklyn [N.Y.] with regard to the five and that didn't pan out either. There is no specific information that any of the five are in New York City."
On Sunday, the FBI released photos, names and birth dates of the five men believed to be of Middle Eastern origin and sought the public's help tracking them down for questioning. The names of those five are Abid Noraiz Ali, Iftikhar Khozmai Ali, Mustafa Khan Owasi, Adil Pervez and Akbar Jamal.
FBI agents are expanding their dragnet for a growing list of foreign-born men they believe may have entered the United States illegally from Canada in a false ID case that has heightened terrorism fears around the New Year's holiday.
Sgt. J. Paul Vance, a spokesman for the Connecticut Department of Public Safety, which has a homeland security division, said the FBI and the federal Homeland Security Department met with state authorities last weekend to share information about the five men.
Vance said he did not know about the questioning in Stamford or any actions in Connecticut related to the five men.
Chris Cooper, a spokesman for Gov. John G. Rowland, said he had no knowledge of the Stamford interview.
Stamford police referred questions to the FBI.
"Whatever happened, it didn't lead to the capture of any of the five," Valiquette said.