By PIERRE THOMAS and HABIBULLAH KHAN
An FBI agent on assignment in Pakistan was arrested in Karachi Tuesday for carrying ammunition in an airport, U.S. and Pakistani official told ABC News.
A Pakistani police official said that during further investigation into the agent, a U.S. national, local authorities discovered 15 9mm bullets, a magazine, three knives, a laptop and other “very sensitive material,” including jamming and other “high-tech” equipment.
Some of the equipment has been sent to a Pakistani forensic lab to makes sense of it, the Pakistani official said.
U.S. officials confirmed the incident but downplayed it as the result of an “oversight” by the agent in question. The Pakistani police official said he will be held by police for five days and is due in court next week. The U.S. officials said they hope to negotiate the agent’s release soon.
Separately, a Pakistani intelligence source told ABC News they are also investigating the case and are “in touch with the relevant U.S. department.” U.S. Embassy spokesperson Meghan Gregonis told ABC News the embassy is “aware of the situation that has been reported” and is coordinating with Pakistani authorities.
This is not the first time an armed American on the U.S. government payroll has run afoul of authorities in Pakistan.
In an extremely controversial case in 2011, then-CIA contractor Raymond Davis killed two local men in a shooting in Lahore, Pakistan and was held for two months before his release – a move that came a month after President Obama directly appealed to Pakistani authorities on Davis’ behalf.