NYPD sergeant arrested on computer-snooping charge

BROOKLYN - (AP) - A city police sergeant was arrested Thursday oncharges of illegally accessing the FBI terrorist watch list to helpa Canadian acquaintance win a child-custody dispute.

Sgt. Haytham Khalil, 34, of Brooklyn was released on $20,000bail after a brief appearance before a federal magistrate judge inU.S. District Court in Manhattan.

His lawyer, Andrew Quinn, did not immediately return a telephonecall.

Khalil was charged with accessing a computer withoutauthorization in December 2007 to obtain information from the FBI'sNational Crime Information Center.

The charge stemmed from a probe that began in April, when aRoyal Canadian Mounted Police officer told the FBI legal attache inOttawa that the Canadian force had discovered that a Canadiancitizen had a document identifying an individual as being on aterrorist watch list.

The Canadian was identified in court papers only as "Individual1."

Investigators traced the document to a computer search thatKhalil had made while borrowing the sign-on identification of anofficer who was authorized to use the computer database in whichthe watch list could be found, authorities said.

Last month, the acquaintance of Khalil who received theterrorist watch list document told the FBI that Khalil obtained theinformation after learning of the custody dispute, according to acourt complaint filed by the FBI.

The acquaintance then gave it to a lawyer to be used in thecustody proceeding, the complaint said.

The charge of accessing a computer without authorization carriesa potential sentence of a year in prison.

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