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Pakistani detained after terror attacks dies in jail

NEWARK, New Jersey (CNN) -- A 55-year-old Pakistani man initially detained by the Immigration and Naturalization Service on September 20 for questioning in the investigation into terrorist attacks against the United States died Tuesday in jail of unknown causes.

A federal official said he was found to have no connection to the September 11 attacks and was being held because his visa had expired.

He died Tuesday in his cell at the Hudson County Jail, county officials said. An autopsy was ordered by the Regional Medical Examiner's office in Newark and was expected to be conducted later Wednesday. His identity was not disclosed, pending notification of relatives.

"The INS inmate expired yesterday morning, and he had been at the jail for about three weeks," said Hudson County spokesman Jacob Delemos. "All he complained about were his gums, so we brought in the dentist and it was determined that he had gingivitis."

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A federal government official told CNN the man was taken into custody "as a result of a lead into the September 11 investigation."

"He was interviewed by the FBI and INS and it was determined preliminarily there was absolutely no link between him and terrorist attacks," the official said. "He was charged with an INS violation, overstaying his visa. He had not made bond."

The man had been treated for the gum infection gingivitis with 500 mg of tetracycline three times daily from October 1 to October 6. Tetracycline is one of the antibiotics commonly used to treat anthrax exposure, but a post-mortem test showed no signs of the bacterium. The deceased showed no flu-like symptons before his death, Hudson County officials said.

"The Hazmat unit from Jersey City was called in as a precautionary measure because the man was detained days after the attacks and he was of Middle Eastern descent," said Delemos. "However, no traces of anthrax were found."


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