Arrest of Muslim Doctoral Student Worries Area Foreign Students

March 10, 2003

Source: San Francisco Chronicle

On March 10, 2003 San Francisco Chronicle reported that "a recent predawn arrest of a Muslim doctoral student in Moscow, Idaho, has left residents there wondering if the roughly 100 federal agents who swarmed into their small college town made a major terror-related bust or an alarming blunder... A detention hearing is to be held in Boise on Tuesday for Sami Omar Al- Hussayen, who faces an 11-count federal indictment for alleged visa fraud and making false statements to the government. Al-Hussayen, who has pleaded not guilty to the charges, is a Saudi Arabian who has studied computer science at the University of Idaho since 1999... While Al-Hussayen, 34, faces no direct terror-related counts, federal prosecutors allege that he failed to disclose his role in the Islamic Assembly of North America, a Muslim charity based in Michigan whose offices were raided at the time of his arrest on Feb. 26. Simultaneously in Syracuse, N.Y., four other men were arrested on charges they used Help the Needy, an affiliated charity, to funnel money to Iraq... Still, Al-Hussayen's arrest has jarred Moscow, a college town of about 25,000 that is a close neighbor of Washington State University across the state line in Pullman. And the manner and implications of the episode have proved most worrisome among the university's 830 foreign students, many of them Middle Eastern."