New York: Tracing Times Square bomb plot suspect's financial links, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has arrested three Pakistani men in a series of raids across America's northwest.
The men — two in Boston suburbs and one in Maine — were arrested on Thursday and authorities said they supplied funds to Pakistani-American Faisal Shahzad who attempted to blow up a car packed with explosives in the crowded Times Square.
In coordinated raids, FBI teams centred on New York's Asian dominated suburbs of Long Island, the Boston suburbs and New Jersey. U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder later said that these arrests were part of ongoing investigation and not because of any new threat.
The arrests in New York came as authorities in Pakistani port city of Karachi said a man detained in connection with the Times Square plot told interrogators that he was an accomplice of Shahzad, The Washington Post reported.
The paper cited U.S officials, saying that the man detained in Karachi provided an “independent stream” of evidence linking Pakistan Taliban to the failed May 1 attack and helping Shahzad to travel to Waziristan for training.
The paper quoted U.S. intelligence officials as saying that the man detained in Karachi claiming to be Shahzad's accomplice “is believed to have connection to the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP).”
On the arrests made in New York, the FBI said in a statement, “we can confirm that search warrants have been executed in several locations in the Northeast in connection with the investigation into the attempted Times Square bombing.”
A statement from of the office of U.S. Attorney for New York Preet Bharara said, “it was not yet clear whether the men knew how the money was going to be used.”
The New York Times cited law enforcement official as saying the arrests did not represent a “big break” in the case, but were part of an effort to pursue leads involving the financing of the May 1 attempted bombing.
Shahzad, was arrested on May 3 while trying to escape to Dubai on an Emirates flight. — PTI