updated 6/23/2005 1:11:16 AM ET 2005-06-23T05:11:16

Mexico on Wednesday cleared a Lebanese-born British citizen of wrongdoing, after authorities had arrested him because of suspected links to Sept. 11 terror groups.

Amer Haykel was detained in the western state of Baja California Sur on Monday, because U.S. authorities provided information that he was linked to extremist groups believed to be involved with terrorist attacks.

But in a statement released late Wednesday night, Mexico’s National Immigration Institute said it had confirmed that Haykel “doesn’t represent any threat to national security, nor is wanted by authorities in any country.”

Whether he had actually been freed was not immediately clear, and authorities could not provide more details.

Before his arrest, Haykel spent several days sleeping in a fire station, according to those who met him. He told acquaintances he was a pilot who was wandering the world on a tight budget. Haykel was arrested at the fire station of Todos Santos, a small town on the Pacific coast about 35 miles northwest of Cabo San Lucas that is known as a haven for U.S. expatriates.

Since the Sept. 11 attacks, there have been a series of arrests and reports — from Panama to the Mexico-U.S. border — indicating that terrorists might be in the region.

Central American officials have reported several alleged terrorist sightings or concerns — including the theory that terrorists were recruiting from the region’s violent gangs. But the U.S. government has backed only one report: An alleged top al-Qaida operative, Adnan El Shukrijumah of Saudi Arabia, spent 10 days in Panama in April 2001.

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