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FBI investigates e-mail from Weldon library

October 30, 2001

WELDON — The FBI is investigating suspicious e-mails sent from the Weldon Public Library to the middle eastern country of Yemen, Weldon Police Chief Tim Byers said this morning.

Byers said the FBI informed him the transmissions seemed "a little bit out of the ordinary," but did not believe there was anything to it.

Yemen is what Byers described as an unstable country and was also the country where the USS Cole was attacked, reportedly by Osama bin Laden's al-Qaida organization.

Byers said he was not sure whether the e-mails were intercepted or whether FBI agents received a tip. The FBI did not give him names of the sender or receiver of the transmissions.

It was unclear what the FBI seized when its agents were in Weldon Wednesday.

Two computers were marked out of order, assistant librarian Robert Gregory said this morning.

Gregory said he recalled two men of Middle Eastern descent who would frequent the library before and after the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon on Sept. 11.

He said one would sit at the table in the library and the other would use the computer. Gregory said one of the men's name was Mohammed.

Gregory said he assisted the man interested in the computer with sending the e-mail. Gregory said he did not try to see what the messages were. "I was trying not to pry."

The men would come in and out of the library on a frequent basis throughout the day, which Gregory said he thought was suspicious.

Gregory said he has not seen the men in the library in recent weeks.

Ginny Orvedahl, director of the Halifax County Public Library system, said she did not know what was taken from the library.

Byers said the FBI promised to keep him updated on the investigation. "They were just following up. They didn't think it was anything to be alarmed over."

An FBI spokesman could not be reached for comment this morning.


By Lance Martin Herald Staff Writer


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