3 Pak men held in Times Square plot

Early morning raids apprehend suspects who may have funded Shahzads terror plan

3 Pak men held in Times Square plot

US Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers take a man into custody outside a home searched by FBI agents in Watertown on Thursday. AP

Holder said it was unclear if the men knew that the funds they provided were going to be used for an act of terrorism — one that Obama administration officials have said was aided and directed by the Pakistani Taliban. As of late Thursday, they were being detained on civil immigration violations and had not been charged with a crime.

Several people briefed on the case said that Faisal Shahzad, the naturalised Pakistani immigrant who the authorities say drove the crude car bomb into Times Square, travelled to the suburban Long Island community of Ronkonkoma in the days before the failed May 1 attack to collect several thousand dollars in cash, some of which he used to finance his plan.
But the people could not say whether the person who provided that money was one of the men taken into custody, and it was unclear whether the person was aware of what Shahzad intended to do with the money.

Two of the men were taken into custody in early morning raids in Boston area. A third man was taken into custody in Maine. Holder called the development “a significant step”. He said the men were connected to Shahzad, 30, but investigators were “trying to determine exactly what the nature of the connection was.”

Preet Bharara, the US attorney whose office is prosecuting Shahzad, said at a news conference that Shahzad, who has been providing information to prosecutors since his arrest on May 3, had continued to do so.

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