Emory cops nab suspect near CDC

A few days before a group of worried congressmen raised doubts about the security of the Atlanta-based Centers for Disease Control, Emory University police quietly arrested a Pakistani man carrying several forged passports as he attempted to rent a room a stone's throw from the center's facilities on the university campus.

The man, who authorities say was carrying eight passports in several different names, is being held in DeKalb County at the request of FBI and immigration authorities. Using the name Abu Abdullah Qastalani, the 20-year-old was arrested Oct. 6 trying to book lodgings at the Emory Conference Center Hotel using what the local prosecutor says was a credit card stolen in Israel.

"We're working very closely with federal authorities to ensure that we know exactly who it is we're prosecuting," says DeKalb District Attorney J. Tom Morgan. Qastalani had flown in from Paris on a one-way ticket purchased the day before the flight, says Morgan, and paid for with a stolen credit card. "Normally, the district attorney doesn't get involved with a credit-card theft, but I wanted to make sure the search was legal and that we were doing everything by the book," Morgan says.

Whoever he is, it's not Qastalani's first brush with local authorities. He was arrested under another name in an Atlanta suburb last year on what his attorney, Glenn Cooper, recalls as "some traffic charge or something minor." Cooper says Qastalani, who was charged by Doraville police under the name Fahie Aziz, has consulted with him on the recent arrest.

"He seems like a real nice young man, from a very good family," says Cooper, who declined to speak at greater length until he could review the arrest records.

Morgan says Qastalani/Aziz is being held without bail at the county jail until federal officials conclude their investigation.

The suspect is just one of an estimated 970 aliens being held on various charges — or merely upon suspicion, in some cases — at the behest of INS authorities around the country in the wake of last month's attacks.??

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