Arrested FBI agent released from custody

Published: May 8, 2014
FBI agent Joel Cox.

FBI agent Joel Cox.

KARACHI: The district and sessions court Malir on Thursday released a Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) agent after he posted Rs1 million as bail. 

FBI agent Joel Cox was travelling from Karachi to Islamabad by PK-308 on the evening of May 5 when a routine search by Airport Security Force (ASF) staff at the Jinnah International Airport found 15 bullets and a magazine in his bags.

He was detained before being handed over to the airport police station. A case was lodged against him under Section 23 1(a) of the Sindh Arms Act, 2013. When he was presented before the district Malir court the following day, the court sent him into judicial remanded till May 10.

However, on Thursday, the court heard a bail application from the Cox and approved it. His bail was subject to a surety bond worth Rs1 million. However, the agent would be required to appear before the court once the police presented a charge sheet.

After his bail was posted, Cox was released on Thursday evening.

In his bail application, court sources said, the suspect through his counsel claimed that he was being framed and that the ammunition was not recovered from him, rather a bag. The accused further claimed that without a gun, the bullets and magazine were useless.

Another source claimed said the court was pressured by the government and the US embassy into granting the bail. The chief and home secretaries reportedly visited the jail to ensure the FBI agent was released.

US Consulate

“We are happy that he has received bail from the court and we are still coordinating with the Pakistani authorities to resolve the matter,” said US Consulate spokesperson Andrew Armstrong in Karachi. He clarified that he was not in a position to reveal all details but would certainly disclose as much as possible.

Armstrong said that the consulate was aware of Cox’s visit, however, details of when he came to Pakistan and for what purpose were confidential and could not be disclosed. “All I can say is that he was not an employee of the embassy and consulate and was temporarily in Pakistan.”

He denied that Cox belonged to any spy or intelligence agency, adding that the FBI is a law enforcement agency and it cooperates with law enforcement agencies in Pakistan.


Even after hours of arrest, investigators have failed to decode information from the devices belonging to the agent, Express News reported.

According to the latest details, the police officers at the Artillery Maidan police station are finding it difficult to interrogate the FBI agent as he only speaks English. Also, Cox has been insisting that his embassy should be contacted for all the queries.

The detained FBI agent has been reportedly afforded VIP protocol and provided with fast food meals.

The devices seized from Cox’s possession include pen cameras and locator gadget. The bullets he was carrying are also said to be different than those found in Pakistan.

Malir SSP Rao Anwar told Express News that no criminal record was found against the agent. He said Cox had come to Pakistan with a 90-day long visit visa on a passport made five months ago.

Anwar said people Cox had met during his stay in the country were also being interrogated.

Pakistan-US coordination  

During the daily press briefing, spokesperson for the US State Department Jen Psaki said on Wednesday that US officials were coordinating with the Pakistani authorities to resolve this matter.

“This individual detained is an employee of the FBI who was on a temporary duty assignment to provide routine assistance to the legal attache at the US mission. But we are coordinating closely to resolve this manner with authorities, and we are hopeful in that regard,” she said.

During a press briefing by the Pakistan Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Thursday, spokesperson Tasnim Aslam Khan said that Cox was not a diplomat and therefore had no immunity, adding that he was in Pakistan on a short term visit visa and that his visa was valid.

She confirmed that US authorities were in contact with the foreign office both in Washington and in Islamabad and that consular access had been requested, and it was subsequently granted.

She added that Cox was not in the country under any agreement, rather he was on temporary duty at the US Embassy.

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Reader Comments (38)

  • Jimmyjhanga
    May 8, 2014 - 11:03AM

    Try the rubber hose decryption methods, a bit eccentric but does the job well.


  • Jat
    May 8, 2014 - 11:43AM

    The Americans first claimed he was in Pakistan to train the police. He is carrying a passport which was issued just 5 months back. Therefore, fake id.


  • MA
    May 8, 2014 - 11:58AM

    He is from FBI not from Karachi police that you would decode his device so easily


  • MA
    May 8, 2014 - 12:00PM

    let him go and stop this drama. You have to release him eventually


  • Parvez
    May 8, 2014 - 12:05PM

    Our police are famed for making an elephant confess that he’s a mouse…….so they should try asking him.


  • San
    May 8, 2014 - 12:08PM

    take help from america


  • Zubair Khan
    May 8, 2014 - 12:40PM

    Hope not an other topi drama


  • Ambassador
    May 8, 2014 - 12:42PM

    Who issued the visa ?


  • Saad
    May 8, 2014 - 12:44PM

    Most Americans carry a separate passport to travel to Middle Eastern countries and Pakistan/Afghanistan/Iraq etc so that it doesn’t create a problem for them while travelling to other countries. So having a passport issued 5 months back should be of no concern. On the other hand, lets just get confirmation from Pakistan Police departments who Cox was supposed to train if there was a training session going on officially. Matter should be resolved soon.


  • Salar
    May 8, 2014 - 12:48PM

    He himself handed himself over to the Authorities to achieve the hidden objective. What is that objective……..we dont know. A fool would have himself caught with bullets in bag!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


  • Hf
    May 8, 2014 - 12:48PM

    @Ambassador: The government of Germany!


  • Jandar
    May 8, 2014 - 12:50PM

    Rubber hose is perfect solution. He will then decode everything himself for police. Don’t let him just go. He might be carrying sensitive info that can be used in future planning.


  • Dajjal
    May 8, 2014 - 12:53PM

    “Also, Cox has been insisting that his embassy should be contacted for all the queries.”

    Here is a fun thing to do…. and since its practiced routinely by America it has to be legitimate… first charge him as an enemy combatant.. then water-board him and use other “enhanced interrogation techniques” until he confesses that he is an alien from the Andromeda galaxy checking out the milky way before the 2 galaxies ultimately collide… he should then locked up indefinitely without access to counsel or any other recourse to the law.Recommend

  • reader
    May 8, 2014 - 2:15PM

    Maybe police should try find out if similar bullet were used in targeted killings.


  • Halo dude
    May 8, 2014 - 2:50PM

    Please let him go ..The IMF tranche is about to arrive and this arrest is not going to help anyone …


  • Shahriyar
    May 8, 2014 - 2:57PM

    Just like Raymond Davis the patriotic people will soon have this American walking free with head high and shared derision for this country’s law


  • shah
    May 8, 2014 - 5:09PM

    Why are Pakistanis making such a big fuss over this ? Serial killers like Malik Ishaq are roaming this country and are proud of their crimes.


  • Jat
    May 8, 2014 - 5:24PM

    Amazingly quick ! Investigation, bail and release…


  • Shafaq
    May 8, 2014 - 5:24PM

    RELEASED………..Another Raymond Davis drama. Our Government has again put Pakistan’s head down. Must say this is very shameful for all of us (Pakistanis)


  • Mohammed
    May 8, 2014 - 5:33PM

    What a load of rubbish and waste of government time/money.

    In the end this whole charade will be a waste, this guy will just walk free. I really don’t see why Pakistan has to humiliate itself tehn let the person go, save all the nonsense speeches. We all know that when the phone calls from high up ranks that are on American payrolls that you will all follow like the Piep Piper.


  • Abid P. Khan
    May 8, 2014 - 5:55PM

    “Most Americans carry a separate passport to travel to Middle Eastern countries and Pakistan/Afghanistan/Iraq etc so that it doesn’t create a problem for them while travelling to other countries………………….”
    That reminds me of the event when in the early phases of upheaval in Libya, a British Foreign Office “representative” was nabbed by a coastal guard one dark night, on a supposedly deserted beach, near Ben Gazi, right after he landed a helicopter.
    This person had the company of a group of SAS (Britains best trained commandos) besides he carried seven different passports with seven different identities.


  • May 8, 2014 - 6:09PM

    interegate him and confiscate the devices get chinese IT technicians over AND DECODE THE DEVICE also take fingerprints and alot of foriegn masanories are helping desable pakistan how do u know he wasnt helping terrorists


  • Guest
    May 8, 2014 - 6:11PM

    “Most Americans carry a separate passport to travel to Middle Eastern countries and Pakistan/Afghanistan/Iraq etc so that it doesn’t create a problem for them while travelling to other countries.”

    This statement is 1000% false. Most Americans get ONE passport and one passport only. Where do you get your information? It’s laughable.


  • Desi boy
    May 8, 2014 - 7:04PM

    Was the offending bullets found in the checked in baggage or carry on bags?….If it was checked in then there’s a good possibility that ISI having doubts about the American’s motives may have planted the bullets in the bag thereby giving them a valid claim to go through his stuff especially the laptop to snoop around. That’s my two bits……

    p.s. “the police officers at the Artillery Maidan police station are finding it difficult to interrogate the FBI agent as he only speaks English.”…..LOL, absolutely hilarious.


  • Awais
    May 8, 2014 - 7:07PM

    Its OK folks. Lets do the parades, one-wheelys on roads, qaumi-taranas on TV, Schools etc, and raise that green & white flag as high as possible this coming 14th August. Atleast we like to think we are independent.Recommend

  • gp65
    May 8, 2014 - 7:48PM

    Not getting the comparison with Raymond Davis. This man has not been accused of killing 2 people. Further Davis was released after following your own laws of Qisas which favor the rich – so either change the laws if you think they are unfair or stop complainingRecommend

  • Saeed
    May 8, 2014 - 8:11PM

    I pitty your ignorance. They carry one passport where ever they go.Recommend

  • Ali
    May 8, 2014 - 8:41PM

    I will feel more proud if we also stop spending money on lobbyists to beg several billion dollars of aid money from the same US.


  • UF
    May 8, 2014 - 9:15PM

    What a shame releasing Cox on bail.
    Interior minister in his press conference specifically mentioned that the Cox case should not be
    taken as a focussed case by the media.
    It appears for sure that the court was pressured by the government to grant him bail.
    This also proves that the courts in our country are not independent and instead they give their verdict at the behest of the ruling party.
    The same goes in the case of Musharraf who is being constantly kept on ECL being an act of revenge by the PM.


  • May 8, 2014 - 9:25PM

    as if they have what it takes to treat americans the way they treat pakistanis


  • Yawnage
    May 8, 2014 - 9:35PM

    He is probably be using Truecrypt for encryption. Usually keys in memory can be retrieved from memory if the computer isn’t shut off or forensics team took a memory dump.


  • Iran
    May 8, 2014 - 9:47PM

    If this would happen in Iran, this guy has to stay behind the bars for atleast 2 -3 years with no excuse whatsoever. Our poor laws and courts will let go this guy easily for no reason.


  • May 8, 2014 - 9:49PM

    We are ‘ tired and sick of these dramas, first they capture rule of law is there then they release them like raymond davis and make fun of their own laws.We all knows these are the people who are making illegal XE and black waters org working against the motherland to destabilize it to achieve their hidden evil designs those should be help accountable who allowed them on first place and then gave them visas. But nothing going to happen as these are american citizen his is sad atffairs.


  • Baba Ji
    May 8, 2014 - 11:28PM

    Hahahahahahaha … drama finished !!!


  • Sexton Blake
    May 8, 2014 - 11:41PM

    Dare we point out to the Pakistan and US Governments that Dr Aafia Siddiqui was sentenced to 86 years in prison by a Kangaroo court in New York , and she did not have bullets and spy equipment. On another tack, I suppose the US Government routinely coughs up 21 million rupees, for American citizens when they are arrested, doesn’t it? Mr Cox could not possibly have done anything wrong could he?


  • Timorlane
    May 9, 2014 - 11:26AM

    after raymond davis episode the patriotic forces once again proudly defend the country


  • May 10, 2014 - 10:05AM

    @Iran: it will never happen in Iran because Iran and Israel are best friends just that iranians are more shrewd


  • Rex Minor
    May 10, 2014 - 1:15PM

    Did they give him back his pistol which was stolen by the baggage handlers? What a farce?

    Rex Minor


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