updated 9/14/2006 9:54:39 PM ET 2006-09-15T01:54:39

The government said Thursday it had recovered a Veterans Affairs Department subcontractor's lost desktop computer containing personal data for 16,000 veterans.

The FBI and Veterans Affairs Office of Inspector General said Khalil Abdullah-Raheem was charged Wednesday on theft charges after the Unisys Corp. computer went missing in July.

The computer, which was taken from Unisys' offices in Reston, Va., contained personal data for veterans who received care at VA medical centers in Philadelphia and Pittsburgh.

Abdullah-Raheem, 21, of Washington, was employed by a company that provides temporary labor to Unisys. Investigators believe he did not target the data, and forensics experts were determining if the VA data had been compromised.

VA Secretary Jim Nicholson on Thursday praised investigators' work in locating the missing computer.

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