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Nine Egyptian students in U.S. custody

2 still missing; 11 of 17 exchange students didn't show up for school



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The students would have had to register fingerprints on a machine such as this one at JFK International Airport.

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Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI)
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WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Nine Egyptian students out of 11 who went missing in the United States two weeks ago are in custody, a government statement said Saturday.

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement and FBI investigators are trying to locate the remaining two students. The FBI issued a nationwide alert with the students' names, ages, passport numbers and photos.

Three students were found and arrested Friday night in Des Moines, Iowa, according to the statement from the FBI and the immigration service.

"The arrests were made without incident. ICE agents tracked these students' travels from New York to San Francisco to Des Moines," the statement said. "All three were arrested on administrative immigration violations as out-of-status students."

They have been identified as Ahmed Refaat Saad El Moghazi El Laket, 19; Mohamed Ibrahim El Sayed El Moghazy, 20; and Moustafa Wagdy Moustafa El Gafary, 18.

Six students were arrested earlier this week.

A preliminary investigation "has not identified any credible or imminent threat posed by any of the 11 Egyptian students," the FBI has said.

The agency also stressed that there are no ties between the Egyptians and the suspected terror plot announced Thursday by British and U.S. authorities, The Associated Press reported.

The 11 male students were part of a group of 17 that arrived at New York's John F. Kennedy airport July 29 for an exchange program at Montana State University. All had valid student visas, but only six showed up for class, authorities said.

Federal authorities began thoroughly tracking international students after learning that one of the 9/11 hijackers was in the country on an expired student visa.

The students unaccounted for have been identified as:

• Mohamed Saleh Ahmed Maray, 20

• Mohamed Ibrahim Fouaad El Shenawy, 17.

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