In F.B.I., Innocent Detainee Found Unlikely Ally

Let this be a lesson to you.  Don’t take cameras to NYC if you aren’t fluent in English and a member of a government agency.


Published: June 30, 2004

Piers Benatar/Panos for The New York Times
Purna Raj Bajracharya, who is home in Katmandu, Nepal, remained imprisoned in Brooklyn long after the F.B.I. found he was no terrorist.

Piers Benatar/Panos, for The New York Times
From left, Mr. Bajracharya in Katmandu with Kalyani, his wife, and two of his sons, Rustam and Gaulam.

It took no more than a week for James P. Wynne, a veteran F.B.I. investigator, to confirm the harmless truth that only now, more than two years later, he is ready to talk about. The small foreign man he helped arrest for videotaping outside an office building in Queens on Oct. 25, 2001, was no terrorist.

He was a Buddhist from Nepal planning to return there after five years of odd jobs at places like a Queens pizzeria and a Manhattan flower shop. He was taping New York street scenes to take back to his wife and sons in Katmandu. And he had no clue that the tall building that had drifted into his viewfinder happened to include an office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Posted by SPN on 06/30 at 02:23 PM in Blogging

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