Pakistani man indicted for anthrax threat earlier accused OU students of assault

Friday, December 21st 2001, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) _ A Pakistani man who accused two University of Oklahoma students with physically and verbally abusing him has been charged with lying to the FBI about an anthrax threat.

A federal grand jury indictment unsealed on Thursday accused Mohammad Yaseen Haider of falsely claiming that someone else had hacked into his computer and sent an anthrax threat over the Internet to an acquaintance. Haider actually sent the threat, the indictment says.

Haider, 22, pleaded not guilty before Oklahoma City federal Magistrate Doyle Argo. His case was placed on U.S. District Judge Ralph Thompson's Feb. 11 trial docket.

Haider could be sentenced to up to five years in prison and fined up to $250,000 if he is convicted.

First Assistant U.S. Attorney Dan Webber asked Argo to order Haider held without bail, saying the government views Haider as a flight risk. Webber said federal immigation officials have ordered Haider's deportation for working off campus on a student visa.

Haider's defense attorney, Robert Joyner, said he was unaware of any other foreign student in the last 10 years who had been ordered deported for working off-campus. Joyner asked for a reasonable bond.

Argo set a pretrial detention hearing for 1:30 p.m. Thursday.

Haider, a computer science student, was once president of the OU Pakistani Student Association.

He alleged that two OU students accosted him Sept. 16 outside a Norman convenience store where he worked. Haider had refused to sell the students beer because it was after 2 a.m. and beer sales are not allowed.

OU officials forced two of the alleged assailants to withdraw from classes over the incident. Steve Shipman, the father of one of Haider's alleged attackers, contested Haider's version of events in an interview with the OU newspaper.

Shipman said his son denies saying anything racist and contends Haider provoked the struggle.