May 15, 2010 in Nation/World

Bomb trail profiles emerge

Maine man said he hadn’t spoken to Shahzad in years
Denise Lavoie And Eric Tucker Associated Press
 

BOSTON – The three Pakistani men arrested in the widening investigation of the Times Square bomb are a Boston-area cab driver, a gas station attendant and a computer programmer in Maine who told his boss that he knew the primary suspect, Faisal Shahzad, but hadn’t spoken to him in years. In Pakistan, authorities took into custody two other men on suspicion of helping to finance the failed plot.

On Thursday, authorities following the money trail in the failed attack conducted raids in several places in the Northeast and arrested three men. The two men arrested in the Boston area were Pir Khan, 43, and Aftab Khan, a man in his 20s, law enforcement officials said. A third man, Mohamad Rahman, was arrested in Maine, according to one of the officials. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss an ongoing investigation.

Authorities said the three supplied funds to Shahzad but may not have known how the money would be used. They were arrested on immigration violations, not criminal charges. All three are in the custody of the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, an agency spokeswoman said.

Pakistan also has at least two men in custody on suspicion of helping to finance the Times Square bombing attempt, a senior U.S. military official said. The official spoke on condition of anonymity to the Associated Press to discuss the sensitive issue of Pakistani cooperation in the probe. It is not clear whether the two are members of the Pakistani Taliban, which U.S. authorities say was behind the plot.

Meanwhile, a federal law enforcement official told the AP on Friday that Shahzad has told investigators he received money at a meeting in a Dunkin’ Donuts off a Long Island Rail Road stop before the May 1 bombing attempt. Authorities retrieved surveillance video from the shop in Ronkonkoma, N.Y., based on Shahzad’s information, the official said, speaking on condition of anonymity because the investigation is ongoing.

Dunkin’ Brands Inc. spokeswoman Michelle King said Friday the franchisee has turned over 30 days worth of video to the FBI.

Rahman, the man detained in Maine, is a computer programmer who has worked since August for Artist and Craftsman Supply, which has 15 stores from Portland to Los Angeles. Rahman was creating computer programs to automate the receipt of inventory from vendors.

Larry Adlerstein, the Portland-based company’s owner, said he asked Rahman a few days ago about what it felt like to be from Pakistan following the Times Square attempted bombing arrest.

“He said, ‘I know the fellow who they claim is responsible for the attempted bomb in Times Square. I haven’t seen him for eight or nine years. He was a simple, uncomplicated person with no strong ideas. Maybe that’s what these terrorist organizations want, someone who’s a blank slate,’ ” Adlerstein recalled.

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