An FBI agent is being held on anti-terrorism charges in Pakistan after authorities found ammunition in a bag as he boarded a plane in Karachi, Pakistani and U.S. officials said Tuesday.
The agent was detained by airport police in Karachi about 4 p.m. Monday when he tried to board a Pakistan International Airlines flight to Islamabad. He was in possession of 15 bullets and a magazine for a 9mm pistol, police officials said.
On Tuesday, he appeared in court on charges that he had violated local anti-terrorism laws that prohibit the carrying of weapons or ammunition on a commercial flight. A judge ordered that the agent be detained until at least Saturday so Pakistani security officials can investigate the matter.
The American’s arrest was news across Pakistan, and one television station aired footage of the agent sitting in a jail cell in Karachi, the country’s largest city and one of its most dangerous .
U.S. officials in Washington confirmed that the agent, who is assigned to the FBI Miami Field Office, was in Pakistan on temporary duty. They requested that the agent’s name be withheld, citing the sensitivity of the situation.
A U.S. official with knowledge of the case said the agent was not armed and had apparently forgotten about the loaded magazine in his bag. The agent was in Pakistan as part of a multi-agency effort to help the Pakistanis investigate corruption, the official said.