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11 Suspected Militants in Custody in Pakistan, Times Square Bomber Ties Sought

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan -- Eleven people belonging to the Pakistani extremist group Jaish-i-Muhammad are in custody in Pakistan and are being interrogated at the American consulate, sources told Fox News.

One man in custody has expertise in explosives and had been under police surveillance. He was arrested because of the failed Times Square bomber's initial claims of having trained in Pakistan.

Another suspected Jaish-i-Muhammad member in custody is believed to have firearms and explosives expertise. No links have so far been established between him and Faisal Shahzad, who U.S. officials say admitted to the botched bombing attempt in New York on Saturday. According to law enforcement sources, the suspects were moved from intelligence agency safe houses in Karachi to the American consulate, where American officials are interrogating them.

Jaish-i-Muhammad is a militant group believed to have been established by Pakistani intelligence agencies, and has been linked to the Al Qaeda terror network and the 2002 killing of Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl.

Friends and in-laws of Shahzad taken into custody in Pakistan have not yielded any evidence linking them to militants. His parents are believed to be under investigation by Pakistan's Federal Investigation Agency.

Meanwhile, in New York, investigators of the failed car bombing in Times Square are looking for a money courier they say helped funnel cash from overseas to finance a Pakistani-American's preparations to blow up the crude gasoline-and-propane bomb in the heart of New York, a law enforcement official told The Associated Press.

Investigators have the name of the courier who they believe helped Shahzad pay for the used SUV and other materials to rig up a car bomb that would have caused a huge fireball in Times Square if it had gone off, the official told the AP. The official didn't know how much money may have changed hands.

The official spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the investigation.

U.S. law enforcement officials traveled to Pakistan -- where Shahzad spent five months before returning to the U.S. in February -- to question four alleged members of an Al Qaeda-linked militant group. Investigators are trying to trace his movements in his homeland and looking into the possible financing of the operation between the Pakistan-born budget analyst and foreign terror groups.

Shahzad, 30, who remains in custody on terrorism and weapons charges, lived alone in a Bridgeport, Conn., and rented an apartment with no apparent job since February. He is seen on videotape buying boxes of fireworks from a Pennsylvania store and authorities say he bought a rifle in Connecticut over the past three months with no apparent source of income.

He paid for the used SUV with 13 $100 bills, authorities say, then tried to blow up the vehicle in Times Square on Saturday. A T-shirt vendor saw smoke coming from the SUV and alerted police.

Officials have been investigating if Shahzad got money from militant groups, including the Pakistani Taliban, which originally claimed responsibility for the bombing attempt then backed off that claim.

A group spokesman said Thursday the Pakistani Taliban had nothing to do with the attempted bombing, but added: "Such attacks are welcome."

"We have no relation with Faisal. However, he is our Muslim brother," Taliban spokesman Azam Tariq told the AP in Pakistan by telephone from an undisclosed location. "We feel proud of Faisal. He did a brave job."

The group has never launched a successful terrorist attack against the United States.

Since his arrest Monday, Shahzad admitted to the failed bombing and has cooperated in the investigation, authorities say. He has not yet appeared in court.

Still, police Commissioner Raymond Kelly said investigators want to find out if "what he's saying is in fact the truth."

"We are directly looking at who did he have contact with while in Pakistan, what did he do, who is supporting him and why," State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley said.

Fox News' Sib Kaifee and The Associated Press contributed to this report.