“At this point, we have no information about what has happened to these students and cannot speculate. We are doing everything we can to work with the federal authorities,” said MSU spokeswoman Cathy Conover.
The 11 students from Mansoura University in Cairo are part of a group of 17 students who were expected to travel to Montana from a connection at JFK airport on July 29. Only one student arrived in Montana July 29, another student arrived July 30, and four students arrived July 31.
Norm Peterson, MSU’s vice provost for international education, said it’s not uncommon for foreign students to arrive in Bozeman later than expected, owing to the sometimes lengthy process of getting through Immigration Services. However, this is the first time foreign students have failed to arrive within a few days of their scheduled date of arrival.
MSU reported the 11 remaining students as “no shows” Aug. 3 to the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System. Known as SEVIS, the system is the official database maintained by the Department of Homeland Security.
The FBI issued a nationwide alert for the students Aug. 5, according to MSU police chief Robert Putzke.
The 17 students, all male, are between the ages of 18 and 22.
Young males. Islamic. Arabic-speaking.
Ring any bells?
Oh, wait a minute… That’s racial profiling. Sorry; I take it back.