Sources: Texas train suspects not tied to attacks
WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Two men carrying box cutters and $5,600 in cash when authorities arrested them on a train in Texas in mid-September are not connected with the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon, law enforcement sources said Thursday.
Ayub Ali Khan and Mohammed Jaweed Azmath were caught in a wave of detentions that began in the days after the September 11 hijackings of four U.S. airliners. "We have not found any ties to 9-11, and it doesn't look like we'll be able to do so in the future," said one source.
The two men took a flight that day from Newark, New Jersey, which was grounded in St. Louis, Missouri, when the Federal Aviation Administration imposed a nationwide "ground-stop." Traveling together, the two then boarded a train for San Antonio, Texas.
Police arrested them in Texas during what was called a routine drug sweep of the train.
Authorities say the men were carrying box cutters similar to ones used by the hijackers, $5,600 in cash and hair dye. During a strip search, investigators discovered both men had shaved all their body hair -- just as the hijackers had been instructed to do in a so-called "mission manual" left behind by the 19 suspected hijackers.
Khan's lawyer, Lawrence Feitell, told CNN there is "no case for terrorism or suspected terrorism" against his client.
The hair dye was actually the anti-graying product, "Just for Men," Feitell said. The box-cutters, he added, were "tools of the trade."
Khan and Azmath worked at a newspaper stand at a New Jersey train station and lost their jobs when the newsstand was sold. They told officials they were heading to Texas, where they said they have friends, to find work.
The men, both from India, have told authorities they had nothing to do with the hijackings.
Despite law enforcement sources' admission that the men have not been linked to the September 11 attacks, both remain in custody on immigration charges.
Khan now faces additional charges, which sources said include credit card fraud.
-- CNN Correspondents Susan Candiotti and Deborah Feyerick contributed to this report.
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