3 arrested in connection to failed Times Square attack
(AP) - Three Pakistani men suspected of providing money to Times Square car bomb suspect Faisal Shahzadwere arrested by the FBI in a series of Thursday morning raidsacross the Northeast, law enforcement officials said.
The searches in Massachusetts, New York and New Jersey were theproduct of evidence gathered in the investigation into the TimesSquare bomb attempt two weeks ago, but there was "no knownimmediate threat to the public or any active plot against theUnited States," FBI spokeswoman Gail Marcinkiewicz said.
The three men - two in the Boston area and one in Maine - werearrested on suspected immigration violations, U.S. Immigration andCustoms Enforcement spokesman Brian Hale said. They were notimmediately charged with any crime, including any terrorism-relatedoffenses.
Attorney General Eric Holder said federal investigators believethere is evidence that the men were providing Shahzad, aPakistan-born U.S. citizen, with funds, but that "one of thethings we are going to be trying to determine" is whether the menknew the funds might have been for an act of terrorism.
A top Massachusetts law enforcement official, who spoke oncondition of anonymity because the investigation is ongoing, saidof the two Boston-area men: "These people might be completelyinnocent and not know what they were providing money for, but it'sclear there's a connection."
Authorities are now trying to determine the source of the money,the official said.
Two of the men have overstayed their visas and the third isalready in removal proceedings, said another law enforcementofficial, who was not authorized to discuss the ongoinginvestigation and spoke on condition of anonymity.
Police cordoned off a small house in Watertown, a suburb about10 miles west of Boston, and a neighbor reported seeing an FBI raidthere.
A Mobil gas station in Brookline, another Boston suburb, alsowas raided. The entrances and exits to the station were cordonedoff by yellow tape, and FBI agents were going in and out of thebuilding. Agents also searched and removing items from a silverHonda Accord in the parking lot.
The car was registered to Mohammad Zameen, 45, confirmed AnnDufresne, a spokeswoman of the Massachusetts Registry of MotorVehicles. Zameen also is listed as a resident at the apartment inWatertown. No one answered phone calls at his listed number.
Marcinkiewicz said the arrest in Maine was part of theinvestigation into the Times Square bomb plot, but said she had noadditional details about the arrest.
"They're all connected, but the specifics to Maine I don'tspecifically know what they were doing," she said.
The Associated Press Contributed to this report.