Pakistan authorities have detained seven men from different parts of the country for their alleged links with Pakistani—American Faisal Shahzad, arrested following a botched car bombing in New York City.
A top police official in Punjab province told PTI that at least seven suspects had been taken into custody in Lahore, Rawalpindi, Faisalabad and Karachi and shifted to an undisclosed location for interrogation.
He did not confirm whether the detained suspects had links to the Taliban or al—Qaeda.
“I can only confirm the detentions at the moment. The intelligence agencies are in contact with US authorities about this matter,” the officer said.
Shahzad, a resident of Connecticut man and a naturalised US citizen, is the son of a retired Air Vice Marshal of the Pakistan Air Force. His parents live in Peshawar while his ancestral home is in the Pubbi area of Khyber—Pakhtoonkhwa province.
The 30—year—old had recently returned from a five—month stay in Pakistan, sparking speculation that he might have been in contact with militant groups.
The complaint filed against Shahzad by U.S. authorities states that he received bomb—making training in the volatile Waziristan tribal region.
Shahzad — who is believed to have a home in the US in foreclosure — is reportedly talking to investigators and has implicated himself in the plot, telling police that he “acted alone“.
“He was not known to the US intelligence community before the failed bombing attempt (on) Saturday night and there was no derogatory information about him in terrorism—related government databases,” a US official said.
Shahzad was arrested at John F Kennedy International Airport on Tuesday as he was about to travel to Dubai.