Three Taliban men arrested for links to Times Square plot

September 9th, 2010 - 1:05 am ICT by IANS  

Taliban By Awais Saleem
Islamabad, Sep 8 (IANS) Police in Pakistan Wednesday said they had arrested three men allegedly having links with Faisal Shahzad, held in New York in May on charges of plotting a failed bombing in New York’s Times Square.

Faisal Shahzad, a US national of Pakistani origin, allegedly parked a vehicle laden with explosives in the Times Square area May 1. But the vehicle was found by police before an explosion could take place after locals reported that it was emitting smoke.

Faisal was identified with the help of CCTV footage and was arrested at New York’s J.F.K. international airport May 3 while boarding a flight to Dubai.

Police sources said the three arrested men - Shoaib Mughal, Shahid and Hambal Akhtar - had connections with banned militant outfit Tehreek-i-Taliban. They were taken into custody a few days ago and were being questioned for their role in facilitating Faisal Shahzad and other terrorist activities in Pakistan.

Deputy Inspector General (DIG) of police in Islamabad, Binyamin said some maps and sensitive material were recovered from the arrested men and investigations were underway.

“We can only tell you more details after thorough interrogation,” he said.

Several people have earlier been questioned by police for having links with Faisal Shahzad.

Faisal, son of a retired Pakistani air-force officer, has already admitted before US investigators that he received training from Taliban militants in North Waziristan, the restive tribal area of Pakistan along the Afghan border.

He also appeared with Hakimullah Mehsud, chief of the Tehrik-e-Taliban, in a video released in July, in which he vowed that he committed the Times Square bombing because “he had a duty to wage war against the West for alleged atrocities against the Muslims”.

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