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Terror suspect's family says he asked to go to US

By Colleen Long

Associated Press

Published: Thursday, Oct. 18 2012 4:25 p.m. MDT

Belal Ahmed, a spokesman for the university, said Nafis was a terrible student who was put on probation and threatened with expulsion if he didn't bring his grades up. Nafis eventually stopped coming to school, Ahmed said.

Ahsanullah said his son persuaded him to send him to America to study, arguing that a U.S. degree would give him a better chance at success in Bangladesh. "I spent all my savings to send him to America," the father said.

Nafis moved to Missouri, where he studied cybersecurity at Southeast Missouri State University. He also became vice president of the school's Muslim Student Association and began attending a mosque.

But he withdrew after one semester and requested over the summer that his records be transferred to a school in Brooklyn. The university declined to identify which school.

Dow, his former classmate at Southeast Missouri State, said Nafis spoke admiringly of bin Laden. At the same time, "he told me he didn't really believe bin Laden was involved in the twin towers because he said bin Laden was a religious man, and a religious man wouldn't have done something like that," Dow said.

He said Nafis gave Dow a copy of the Quran and asked him to read it. But he "didn't rant or rave or say crazy stuff," Dow said.

"What really shocked me the most was he had specifically spoken to me about true Muslims not believing in violence," Dow said.

Dion Duncan of St. Louis, a fellow student and member of the Muslim organization, said: "Nafis was a good kid. He showed no traces of anti-Americanism, or death to America, or anything like that. He was a trustworthy, honest kid."

"He was polite and courteous. He was helpful. All the things you would expect from a good Muslim kid. He prayed five times a day," Duncan said.

Associated Press Writers David B. Caruso in New York, Jim Suhr in St. Louis, and Farid Hossain in Dhaka, Bangladesh, contributed to this report.

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