Pakistan detains several with possible links to suspect in Times Square bomb attempt

KARACHI, Pakistan (AP) — Pakistani authorities have detained several people in connection with the bombing attempt in New York's Times Square, intelligence officials said Tuesday.

Authorities here also said the suspect detained in the U.S. in the failed bombing, Faisal Shahzad, came from a wealthy family in northwest Pakistan.

Law enforcement officials in Washington, D.C., said Tuesday that the Pakistani-born U.S. citizen had attended a terror training camp in Pakistan. He was charged with terrorism.

Shahzad was arrested late Monday aboard a flight that was headed to the Middle East for trying to blow up the sport utility vehicle in Times Square on Saturday evening.

Shahzad is the son of retired Air Vice Marshall Baharul Haq, a former top Pakistani air force officer and deputy director general of the civil aviation authority, according to Kifyat Ali, a cousin of Shahzad's father.

Ali spoke with reporters outside a two-story home in an upscale part of Peshawar, the main city in the northwest, owned by the family.

Ali said the family had yet to be officially informed of Shahzad's arrest in the United States.

Ali called Shahzad's detention "a conspiracy so the (Americans) can bomb more Pashtuns." It was a reference to a major ethnic group in Peshawar and the nearby tribal areas of Pakistan and southwest Afghanistan.

He insisted that Shahzad "was never linked to any political or religious party here."

He said Shahzad often stayed in Peshawar when he came back from the United States.

On her social networking page, Shahzad's wife, Huma Mian, lists her languages as English, Pashto, Urdu and French, her religion as Muslim and her political view as "nonpolitical." Her favorite television shows were Everybody Loves Raymond and Friends.

The arrests took place in Karachi, a teeming city on the Arabian sea at the other end of Pakistan

One of those detained, identified as Tauseef, was a friend of Shahzad, one official said. Like all Pakistani intelligence officials, he refused to be named in the media.

Another official said several people had been taken into custody in Karachi since the failed attack Saturday. Some media reports described them as relatives of Shahzad.

Neither said when the detentions had taken place. They said no charges had been filed.

Pakistani Interior Minister Rehman Malik said initial information showed Shahzad and his family came from the Pabbi region of northwest Pakistan, but that Shahzad also had a Karachi identity card.

"We have to see whether it was an individual act or if it was a collective kind of act," he said.


Associated Press writer Zarar Khan in Islamabad contributed to this report.