HTTP/1.0 200 OK Content-Type: text/html Drug-Raid Jumper Was Suspected Terrorist
Pubdate: Thu, 14 Aug 2003
Source: Vancouver Sun (CN BC)
Copyright: 2003 The Vancouver Sun
Author: Petti Fong


Multiple IDs Found In West End Flat Of Man Who Plunged To His Death

Pieces of identification with different names were found in a West End 
apartment after a man with possible terrorist links plunged to his death 
Saturday when he tried to jump from his balcony to escape a drug raid.

Vancouver police spokeswoman Constable Sarah Bloor said the man, who was 
the sole resident in the seventh-floor Burnaby Street apartment, had a 
number of IDs with different names.

Neither Vancouver police nor the RCMP would confirm the man's identity, but 
based on a B.C. driver's licence, Vancouver coroner Nic Snyckers identified 
him Wednesday as Mohammad Saleh Aramesh, with a birth date of July 21, 
1972, making him 31. Vancouver police say the victim was 21.

Mohammad Aramesh is listed in an online phone directory as the occupant of 
the apartment at 1650 Burnaby Street.

Aramesh was also identified by his friend Rob Arbab Wednesday as the man 
who died when he fell seven storeys while trying to jump from his balcony 
to another balcony to escape police who entered his apartment.

Arbab said he last saw Aramesh a week ago Wednesday when his friend stopped 
by for a hot dog in East Vancouver to say goodbye.

"He had an airplane ticket leaving for Pakistan. He was supposed to go 
[today]," Arbab said. "He was excited about going to see his newborn son 
for the first time. He said he was going to bring his family here, his 
wife, his daughter, his mother and father."

Arbab said he has heard media reports that allege Aramesh was linked to 
selling drugs to funnel money to al-Qaida.

"That would surprise me. In the last seven to eight months, he's changed. 
Everybody has their own secrets, but I can't see him with terrorism. 
Selling drugs, I don't know," Arbab said.

Aramesh has lived in the Vancouver area on and off for the last decade, 
according to Arbab. Two years ago, Aramesh left Canada to stay with friends 
in Norway for a year. When Aramesh returned to the Lower Mainland in 2002, 
Arbab said he noticed a change in his friend.

"I can't say exactly how he's different. But he was different when he came 
back," Arbab said.

RCMP Corporal Pierre Lemaitre said he could not discuss if there is a 
connection between the dead man and two Pakistani men being held on 
possible immigration violations in Seattle after their names came up on a 
"no-fly" list when they tried to buy one-way tickets. One of the men, the 
Seattle Times reported Wednesday, had a B.C. driver's licence and was 
planning to fly to New York's John F. Kennedy Airport.

Any speculation at this time is premature, Lemaitre said.

"We're trying to determine right now and confirm if this person was linked 
to a group or groups," he said Wednesday. "We don't know."

Lemaitre said the lead investigators in the case are members of INSET, the 
Integrated National Security Team, an RCMP and municipal police unit formed 
after the U.S. terror attacks, with a mandate to investigate national 
security issues.

"They focus on the criminal activity of individuals or groups linked to 
terrorism," Lemaitre said. "This file belongs to INSET and by their true 
nature of doing national security investigations, they don't discuss 
ongoing investigations."

The search warrant issued to look for drugs at Aramesh's apartment has been 
sealed by the courts.

Because the man died while in police custody, a coroner's inquiry is being 
conducted in conjunction with a Vancouver police investigation.
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