May 23, 2010 in Nation/World

Detainees express pride in bomb link

Two claim ties to Times Square plot
Asif Shahzad And Kathy Gannon Associated Press
 

ISLAMABAD – Two men detained in Pakistan admitted with pride that they helped the suspect in the attempted Times Square bombing, and one of the men angrily accused his interrogators of “siding with the infidels,” a senior intelligence official said Saturday.

The pair are among six men officials say have been detained in Pakistan for alleged ties to Faisal Shahzad, a Pakistani-American arrested in the United States two days after the failed May 1 attack in New York. Like Shahzad, the detainees are all from their country’s urban elite, including several who were educated in the United States.

Five were picked up in the capital, Islamabad, and one is co-owner of a posh catering company that the U.S. Embassy said was suspected of ties to terrorist groups.

The intelligence official, part of the team questioning the men, cited the two suspects as saying they did not do anything wrong and “proudly” describing Shahzad as their friend.

The official said one of the suspects had even accused his interrogators of “siding with the infidels.”

One of the suspects, identified as Shoaib Mughal, is alleged to be a go-between for Shahzad and Pakistani Taliban in their hide-outs close the Afghan border. He was running a large computer dealership in Islamabad before his detention, said the intelligence official.

The other suspect, identified only by his first name Shahid, is alleged to have helped arrange money for Shahzad. He has an MBA from the U.S. and apparently knew Shahzad from his time there.

The other four suspects have also expressed their hatred for the West and the U.S. but have not admitted any links with Shahzad, the official said.

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