The Strange Story of the Egyptian Students Arrested in Dundalk

The story of the Egyptian exchange students is getting very strange. Concerning the pair arrested in Dundalk, Maryland, local Baltimore TV station WJZ has this to say:

Two of the missing students were found and arrested in Dundalk, but the family that housed the students said they weren’t aware the students were missing.

The students were found staying with Jennifer Evans and her husband, who had introduced the pair to her as family friends from his village in Egypt. Thinking nothing of it, the couple welcomed the students into their home where they resided for a week before INS officials arrived to take custody of the students.

El Sayed Ahmed Elsayed Ibrahim, 20, and Alaa Abd El Fattah Ali El Bahnasawi, 20, were arrested by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents.

It was then that Evans realized the students should have been staying in Bozeman, Mont. attending a month-long academic program at Montana State University.

The husband (last name “Evans”??) didn’t know they were missing? Really; he had no clue? How did he happen to bring them home? Did he meet them at the airport in New York, or just find them on the street? What did he think they were doing there?

The employment explanation comes up again:

Evans’ housguests [sic] will now face some major immigration violations and may be deported. Authorities believe they were looking for jobs in a place of opportunity.

Mr. Evans, who is from Egypt, thought they were looking for work. Did he not know about the student visas they carried, which specifically prohibited their holding employment in the United States? Or did he turn a blind eye to it, knowing that such visas are routinely abused by “students” who obtain employment?

Notice that the husband’s first name is never mentioned. Do you suppose it might begin with “M”? And is his last name Evans, or did his wife simply retain her maiden name? The WJZ account coyly avoids the whole issue.

This story raises more questions than it answers.

But there’s one thing we can always count on:

Immigration officials say the two students who stayed with Evans are not a terror risk.

The Mandatory No-Terror DisclaimerTM.

Update: Thanks to CP and commenter Johnnie for digging up the name of the husband. He is Attia Gouda, and a pizza shop owner, according to the Baltimore Sun.

A woman called Jennifer Evans writes regularly for the Egyptian publication, Weekly Al-Ahram (which also has an entire section of its website devoted to Yasser Arafat, as a matter of interest). I have no idea whether it’s the same person.

Also: three more of the students have been arrested, leaving only two at large. I’ll be posting on the topic later.

9 thoughts on “The Strange Story of the Egyptian Students Arrested in Dundalk

  1. Baron Bodissey, if I use on my blog “The Mandatory No-Terror Disclaimer TM.” Do I need to worry about being sued? 😉

    Great post by the way!

  2. My Dear Baron Bodissey:

    Listen to the podcast from Glen & Dr. Hellen, with Dunnigan and Austin Bay

    Good stuff on information collecting.

    On the Oil War Economics front …

    Much More insidious is IRAN setting up a Petroleum Derivatives and Pricing Market in EUROS to go to War with the U.S. to Screw with our trade deficit to deny us the ability to print money to pay for oil.

    I predict an Iranian bombing war before 2008 election results or shortly thereafter.

    Prices are staying up, There will be oil drilled and drilled and the Saudi’s will pay for the rebuilding of the Bridges and Power Grid in Lebanon in order to deny Hezbollah the bragging rights.

    If this U.N. brokered truce goes into effect, I predict the Hezbo declaring Victory, the Iranians resupplying ALL the weapons, the Olmert Govt. falling by Thanksgiving, More rockets and more war.

    This things going to get worse before it gets better, and that isn’t necessarily Bad … for the long run

  3. I bet Jennifer Evans is the same woman who writes for the weekly.

    As for what Scott has to say about the repercussions of the UN-brokered truce, I agree, those will all come true. And, we will all get hit even harder than ever before. They are emboldened by what they perceive as our defeats.

  4. Debbie Schlussel is wrong about Attia Gouda and his pizza shop: there are three other shops with the same name and different owners in the Baltimore area. Still fishy, though.

    Also, let’s keep the speculation to a minimum: there are 13 women named Jennifer Evans in the Baltimore area alone, and hundreds or thousands worldwide, including an actress and an obstetrician. Do you think it’s a coincidence that the Palestinians have a high birthrate?!

  5. It’s better not to jump to conclusions. I am the Jennifer Evand you all are talking about, the writer for the Al Ahram Weekly but I’m not the same Jennifer Evans with the Egyptian houseguests. As AlAndalus said, there are thousands of people who share this name and you should be careful getting sensational over a connection in a country of 70 million people. I was there in a journalistic capacity during an internship with the Canadian Department of Foreign Affairs and the National Council on Canada-Arab Relations who sends young journalists to developing countries to promote relations. Get it? Got it? Good. Now back to the drawing table.


    Jennifer Evans

  6. By the way, it’s pretty scary when you’re looking on the Internet for links to your published work and find a bunch of people trying to tie you into something you’ve got nothing to do with.

  7. Ms. Evans, on the off-chance that you return here —

    Good to hear from you. You might have noticed that I said:

    I have no idea whether it’s the same person.

    i.e., I did not assert that the Egyptian woman was in fact you.

    BTW, if it’s an old post, it’s always a good idea to send an email rather than a comment. I’m more likely to see it.

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