Just after 4 p.m. on Monday, a man tried to board a Pakistan International Airlines flight in Karachi that was bound for the capital, Islamabad. Before he could enter, though, security officials searching his luggage say they found an ammunition bag with more than a dozen live rounds and a magazine clip for a 9mm pistol.
The man was promptly arrested. And last night, news emerged about his identity: A Miami-based FBI agent on special assignment in South Asia.
Details are still scarce on what exactly a Miami-based agent was doing in Karachi or why he'd be flying with live ammo -- assuming the Pakistani security personnel's side of the tale is true.
But an anonymous source in the agency tells the Washington Post this morning that the agent was in Pakistan to help with an anti-corruption probe, and that he may have simply forgotten to remove the ammo from his bag before flying.
A local FBI spokesman referred Riptide to the State Department for comment. They a spokesperson there sent Riptide this statement:
We are aware of the situation that has been reported and we are coordinating with Pakistani authorities to resolve this matter.
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The arrest has made waves in Pakistan, where mistrust of American agencies runs deep. The agent made his first court appearance yesterday, and a judge ordered that he remain jailed in Karachi's notoriously violent jail until at least Saturday.
The case will surely inflame local tensions that most recently spiked in 2011, when a CIA contractor named Raymond Davis killed two men on the street in Lahore in what he claimed was self defense during an attempted robbery.