Authorities aren't overly concerned:
FBI Special Agent Richard Kolko emphasized that there was no indication that the men were involved in any illicit activity.The students entered the country on 29 July for cryin' out loud! That's about 10 days ago, by my count.
"At this point, all they have done is not show up for a scheduled academic program," Kolko said. "There is no threat associated with these men."
Cases like these are actually quite common, Kolko said. Oftentimes when large groups of foreign students arrive in the United States, it is almost inevitable that some will break off and head to tourist destinations before turning up several days later.
The University of Montana where they were scheduled to attend classes appears to be more concerned over the implications for the exchange program than for national security:
Montana State has tried repeatedly to contact the students, university spokeswoman Cathy Conover said. When that failed, the school notified Homeland Security officials and registered the Egyptians as "no-shows" in the system developed after Sept. 11 to track foreign students.And they ask me why I drink. Yeesh.
"We hope this doesn't cast doubt on this program because we think it's important to have international students on our campus and in our community," Conover said.