Police: NJ Man With Arsenal Flees to India

By Jonathan Dienst
|  Thursday, May 20, 2010  |  Updated 5:30 PM EDT
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Police: NJ Man With Arsenal Flees to India

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He allegedly had an illegal assault rifle, 1000 rounds of ammo and smoke grenades.

But when neighbors called Woodbridge, New Jersey police about Mahender Pondichery-Tulasi last Friday, investigators said he made a run for it before police arrived at the home. 

Two days later, after local police sent out alerts that he was wanted for questioning, Pondichery-Tulasi was able to board a British Airways flight in Philadelphia and escape to Mumbai, India officials said.  

Security experts said local criminal suspects are not often put on 'No-Fly' lists.  The 'No Fly' list is mainly used to try to track and stop the most dangerous criminals and terrorists -- not the huge number of local suspects who police want to question or have  local warrants.  

Some airport officials said huge delays and mistakes could result if attempts were made to try to match the names of low and mid-level offenders from each state with the names of travelers on thousands of flights.

Several local officials speaking on condition of anonymity questioned whether the federal government could better use databases to help stop wanted criminal suspects before they get on planes.

The government even released a report today noting that 16 terrorist suspects were allowed to pass through U.S. airports without being noticed.

As for Pondichery-Tulasi, he allegedly had in his possession a stolen .223-caliber rifle. But officials said there was no hard evidence Pondichery-Tulasi was planning any sort of specific attack or plot.  His ex-wife did have a restraining order against him. 

Authorities said security officials in India were later notified about his arrival there and he was later questioned.  

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