Federal agents in Charlotte tell 6NEWS they believe a 35-year-old man from Pakistan who was arrested uptown has terrorist ties. Kamran Akhtar was arrested by a Charlotte-Mecklenburg police officer July 20 while videotaping the downtown area of Charlotte.
Officer Anthony D. Maglione said he witnessed Akhtar at the intersection of Stonewall and Tryon around noon.
“I observed a gentleman taking videos of the skyline. Once I slowed down to take a closer look at him, he started to act a little irrational,” Maglione said. “He turned away from me, tried to become evasive. I stopped my vehicle and that’s when I got out and addressed him.”
Maglione said he asked Akhtar what he was doing and he stated several different things.
“His statements were all over the place”¦from taking video for his brother to just visiting,” Maglione said.
Maglione said his curiosity was peaked when Akhtar said he had to hurry to get to the bus station, but then started walking the opposite way. Maglione said Akhtar voluntarily went with him to police headquarters.
According to an affidavit, a review of Akhtar’s videotape showed the downtown area of Charlotte including the Bank of America and the building Wachovia Bank once leased. The local FBI office also is located in the building.
“All necessary security measures are being taken and our company continues to work closely with appropriate national and local authorities to monitor this situation.”
Wachovia said in a statement that it was assessing the information about the videotape. The bank also said that it has “robust security procedures in place and have taken measures to enhance security at all of our facilities over the last several years.
Federal officials say Akhtar also had other videotapes of buildings in other major cities such as Atlanta, Austin, Houston, Dallas and New Orleans. It it not known at this time what Akhtar planned to do with the video….
Stephens said Akhtar had been in custody since July 20, but they did not release any details on the arrest because they were trying to determine if Akhtar was a tourist.
Yeah, whenever I go on vacation (which ain’t often, my friends), I always take videos of the local banks in the cities I visit. Makes for a boffo keepsake.