Videotapes seized from a Pakistani man filming on the streets of Charlotte last month play like a list of potential terror targets: skyscrapers, dams, transit centers and government buildings, says the Charlotte Observer. Officials say they aren’t beefing up security or taking any extra precautions beyond those in place since the 9-11 attacks. It’s unclear whether Kamran Akhtar of New York — arraigned yesterday in federal court in Charlotte on immigration charges — had any connection to terrorists, or what he intended to do with his tapes of landmarks in Texas, Atlanta, New Orleans, and Charlotte.
In New York, a high-ranking law enforcement official said investigators view Akhtar as a “video buff” with no terrorist links. However, he’s a suspect in crimes besides the immigration violations, said the Associated Press. A Charlotte-Mecklenburg police officer stopped Akhtar — a 35-year-old Pakistani who had been living illegally in the United States for more than a decade — on July 20. He had videotaped the 60-story Bank of America building, Charlotte’s tallest skyscraper. He also had tapes showing scenes of downtown buildings, trolley cars and transit centers in the other cities. “This was not the type of video a tourist or sightseer would take,” said Austin Assistant Police Chief Rudy Landeros. “In our opinion, it looked like surveillance tapes.”