Friday, May 14, 2010

Pakistan holds man linked to New York bomb suspect

A New York Police Department bomb squad member investigates a gasoline can that was in a suspicious vehicle (L, door open) early Friday, May 14, 2010 near Union Square in New York. Police gave the 'all clear' and were leaving the scene after the car's owner, who owns a landscaping business that provides lawn mowing and other services, explained why he had the gas canisters in the vehicle. Nerves have been on edge in New York -- hit by the September 11, 2001 attacks -- ever since police found a large, but malfunctioning car bomb on May 1 in Times Square, a tourist destination that is one of the country's biggest intersections.

Nerves all round!

WASHINGTON: Pakistan has arrested a suspect linked to the Pakistani Taliban who said he helped the man accused of trying to set off a car bomb in New York's Times Square, The Washington Post reported on Thursday.

The suspect provided an “independent stream” of evidence that the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) was behind the failed attack on May 1, the newspaper said, citing US officials.

The suspect also admitted helping Faisal Shahzad, the Pakistani-American man being held over the Times Square plot, to travel to Pakistan's tribal areas for bomb-making training, the report said.

Officials familiar with the investigation cautioned that there have been inconsistencies in the two suspects' accounts, the Post said.

The suspect in Pakistani custody “is believed to have a connection to the TTP,” a US intelligence official was quoted as saying.

The official said certain clues have added to authorities’ understanding of the Times Square plot but “what is definitely true is that a lot of this comes from the statements of people directly involved.”

The arrest of a suspect in Pakistan had not been previously disclosed, the Post said.

Authorities have been examining phone records, e-mails and other communications for firmer evidence of links between Shahzad and the Pakistani Taliban, the report said.

US investigators on Thursday arrested three people linked to Shahzad during raids in suburbs of New York, Boston and Philadelphia.

Shahzad was arrested as he tried to leave the United States on a Dubai-bound flight two days after a sport utility vehicle containing a crude bomb was found parked in Times Square.

He has been charged with attempting to use a weapon of mass destruction and trying to kill and maim people. —Reuters

DAWN.COM | Pakistan | Pakistan holds man linked to New York bomb suspect

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