The Federal Bureau of Investigation said yesterday it was hunting five men in its war on terrorism and asked the public to be on the lookout for them.
In a posting on its Web site titled "Seeking Information, War on Terrorism," the FBI displayed pictures of the men and named them as Abid Noraiz Ali, 25, Iftikhar Khozmai Ali, 21, Mustafa Khan Owasi, 33, Adil Pervez, 19, and Akbar Jamal, 28.
"Although the FBI has no specific information that these individuals are connected to any potential terrorist activities, based upon information developed in the course of ongoing investigations, the FBI would like to locate and question these persons," the agency said.
It said the men were thought to have entered the United States illegally on or about Dec. 24 but cautioned that the names and ages could be fictitious.
The FBI said the information had been circulated to law enforcement agencies across the country and throughout the world. "Anyone with any information pertaining to these individuals is asked to contact their nearest FBI office," the FBI said.
Publication of the names and pictures of the men was an unusual step in the Bush administration's campaign to track down potential terrorists. U.S. intelligence and immigration authorities have been criticized for failing to prevent the 19 hijackers who crashed four U.S. airliners Sept. 11, 2001, from entering the country.
CNN said the men were thought to have entered from Canada.