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  1. #1
    Senior Member ICEstorm's Avatar
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    Oct 2009


    ICE: Detained man had Times Square bomb suspect's name, number
    By the CNN Wire Staff
    May 20, 2010 6:32 p.m. EDT

    Boston, Massachusetts (CNN) -- One of two men arrested in Massachusetts last week had an envelope with attempted Times Square bombing suspect Faisal Shahzad's name on it and a cell phone with Shahzad's name and phone number in its memory, a spokesman for Immigration and Customs Enforcement told CNN.

    ICE spokesman Brian Hale said the information was revealed during an immigration court hearing in Boston for Aftab Ali Khan. The envelope had a phone number on it that investigators concluded was Shahzad's.

    Aftab Ali Khan and his uncle, Pir Khan -- along with a third man, Mohammad Rahman -- are believed to have been involved in an informal money transfer network that provided cash to Shahzad, U.S. officials said. But the Khans' lawyer, Saher Macarius, has said they had no connection with Shahzad.

    Macarius did not immediately return calls seeking comment on Thursday. However, on Wednesday he told CNN his clients do not know Shahzad, who is accused of leaving a faulty car bomb in Times Square on May 1, and did not give him money.

    Pir Khan and Aftab Ali Khan were arrested during law enforcement raids last Thursday in Massachusetts. According to the Pakistani consul general in Boston, Pir Khan is the uncle of Aftab Khan.

    Rahman was taken into custody in Maine, and all three are being held on immigration charges.

    Macarius, whose practice is based in Framingham, Massachusetts, said the three men had booked flights for June 6 to fly from New York to Pakistan using the same route Shahzad had booked before he was arrested trying to leave the United States.

    The lawyer said Pir Khan had booked his flight April 27 and had even informed immigration officials of his travel plans.

    "If he was involved in anything shady, why would he wait until this explodes?" said Macarius. "He would have left earlier."

    U.S. officials have said the men detained last week were involved in an informal money transfer network that provided cash to Shahzad, although they may not have been aware of any terrorist plotting.

    Pakistan's consul general in Boston, Barry Hoffman, also told CNN this week the Khans do not know Shahzad, and it appears it was their flight plans that triggered law enforcement attention. Hoffman said that he has met with both men to check on their welfare.

    But the Khans' lawyer, Saher Macarius, said they do not know Shahzad and did not give him any money ... tml?hpt=T2

  2. #2
    Administrator Jean's Avatar
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    May 2006
    Watertown man arrested in terror probe transferred to New York

    June 9, 2010 01:47 PM

    By Shelley Murphy, Globe Staff

    A Pakistani man who was arrested in Watertown on immigration charges several weeks ago as part of the investigation into the attempted bombing in Times Square has been taken to a New York City jail by deputy US marshals, which likely signals that he's about to face criminal charges, according to his lawyer.

    Aftab Ali Khan, 27, who was working at a Brookline gas station attendant, was taken from the Suffolk County jail in Boston to another jail in Central Falls, R.I. last Friday, then transported to the Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn, NY. late Tuesday afternoon.

    "He would not be remanded to the custody of the US Marshals unless there is a criminal charge," Khan's lawyer, Saher J. Macarius of Framingham said today. He said he had not spoken to Khan since Friday, but that his client has insisted he had no connection to the botched attack in Times Square on May 1.

    "I don't believe that he had any involvement,'' Macarius said.

    Barry Hoffman, Pakistan's consul general in Boston, said he was notified by government officials Tuesday afternoon that Khan had been taken into custody by deputy marshals, who were transporting him to New York.

    "It's all mysterious,'' Hoffman said. "For marshals to take him there must be some sort of criminal charge. We haven't been told what it is."

    A spokeswoman for the US Attorney's office in New York did not immediately return telephone calls today. Criminal charges are often not made public until a defendant appears in court.

    Khan was among three Pakistani men arrested May 13 during a series of raids in the Northeast that were conducted as part of the investigation into the attempted car bombing in Times Square. Also arrested were Khan's cousin, Pir Khan, a 43-year-old taxi driver who shared a Watertown apartment with him; and Mohammad Shafiq Rahman, a 33-year-old computer programmer from South Portland, Maine. All three were charged with administrative immigration violations, not criminal charges.

    Government officials have said that the three men might have handled informal money transfers for Faisal Shahzad, the Bridgeport, Conn., Pakistani-American accused of the failed bombing, but that it was unclear whether they knew the funds would be used for a terrorist attack.

    A lawyer for US Customs and Immigration Enforcement alleged during an immigration hearing last month that Aftab Khan had Shahzad's cellphone number stored in his cellphone and written on an envelope found in the Watertown apartment he shared with the other men.

    The Globe reported Saturday that Khan's cousin, Pir, and several other men who shared the apartment with him on Waverley Ave. in Watertown had been subpoenaed to testify before a federal grand jury in Boston last Thursday, according to Macarius, who also represents Pir Khan.

    On May 28, an immigration judge rejected Aftab Khan's request to be released so he could voluntarily return home to Pakistan, ruling instead that he should be deported. Khan's lawyer said it could take a long time for that order to be carried out.

    Aftab Khan worked at a US Army base in Kuwait as a civilian assisting with truck convoys before he came to the United States last August with a fiance visa to marry an American soldier who met him on the base and was then living in Colorado. An ICE agent testified during an immigration hearing in Boston a couple of weeks ago that the woman told Aftab Khan not to come to the United States because she had changed her mind, but he came anyway. He said Aftab Khan offered the woman $5,000 to go through with the wedding, but she refused.

    On Nov. 17, the day Aftab Khan's visa expired, he married another American woman at Cambridge City Hall in what authorities have described as a fraudulent marriage.

    Macarius said Aftab Khan denies offering money to the Colorado woman and insists she urged him to come to the United States, then jilted him.
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  3. #3
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    May 2006
    Court to free a 2d suspect from N.E. in N.Y. bomb case
    Watertown man is still being held
    By Brian R. Ballou, Globe Staff | August 25, 2010

    The second of three New England suspects arrested on immigration charges in connection with the failed Times Square bombing is expected to be released today. That would leave Aftab Ali Khan of Watertown as the only regional suspect still in custody for immigration violations in the case.

    Yesterday, a federal immigration judge in Boston cleared the way for Mohammad Shafiq Rahman to post bail and return to his family in South Portland, Maine. Rahman’s release, expected today, follows the release of Pir D. Khan of Watertown earlier this month. Pir Khan is the cousin of Aftab.

    Rahman’s wife, Sara Rahman, attended the hearing yesterday and later met her husband in the hallway, giving him a tight hug that brought a smile to his face.

    “Maybe now we can get on with our lives,’’ she said. “It’s been a long, difficult ordeal.’’

    Federal authorities arrested the men as part of their investigation into the failed Times Square bombing last May. That case gripped the country and sent a wave of fear through New Yorkers wary of another large-scale terrorist attack. While none of the three men has been charged in the case, they have been held on immigration violations.

    All three are Pakistani citizens in this country illegally, according to government officials. Investigators have not suggested there is any connection between Rahman and the Khans.

    For the past three months, Rahman, a 33-year-old computer programmer, has been held in a Portland jail. Authorities initially connected him and the other men to Faisal Shahzad, 30, a former financial analyst from Bridgeport, Conn., who pleaded guilty in US District Court in Manhattan in June to attempting to blow up a car loaded with explosives in Times Square on May 1. Shahzad is a naturalized citizen of the United States.

    Government officials said early in their investigation that the three men might have handled informal money transfers to Shahzad. Authorities also said Aftab Ali Khan, 27, who worked as an attendant at a Brookline gas station, had Shahzad’s cellphone number stored in his cellphone and had his name written on an envelope found in the Watertown apartment that the two Khans shared.

    But Barry D. Hoffman, the consul general of Pakistan for New England, which is based in Boston, said, “I think these three guys were ensnarled. To be sure, this was a horrendous potential terrorist act in which hundreds of people could have been killed, but the authorities tried to connect these guys to an act they simply had no part of. Mr. Rahman is incredulous about this.’’

    Yesterday, Rahman, dressed in a faded-orange prison jumpsuit and wearing handcuffs and leg shackles, shuffled out of US Immigration Court in Boston, escorted by two burly law enforcement agents. He appeared sullen and weary, even after Judge Brenda O’Malley moments earlier cleared the way for his freedom by reinstating his $10,000 bail.

    Another federal immigration judge, Francis L. Cramer, granted bail in June, but officials with the US Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement quickly blocked Rahman’s release, saying that new evidence against him had surfaced. Yesterday, O’Malley reinstated the bail, saying the Department of Homeland Security had not shown any sufficient change in Rahman’s case to warrant his imprisonment.

    Cynthia Arn, Rahman’s Portland-based lawyer, said that upon his release, “this becomes a run-of-the-mill adjustment of status case.’’

    Rahman came to the United States in 1999 on a specialty occupation visa that allowed him to work as a computer programmer, but that visa expired five years later and he has been staying in this country illegally since. He married Sara Boutet in March, after dating for two years. Rahman filed an I-130 petition last June with US Citizenship and Immigration Services, seeking to stay in the country based on his marriage to an American.

    Pir D. Khan, 43, was released from the Plymouth County jail on July 29 because he was no longer considered a flight risk, and has returned to his Watertown apartment. But federal immigration officials said they will continue their efforts to deport Khan, who has been married to an American woman for three years, because he entered the United States illegally through Mexico in the summer of 1991. He worked as a taxi driver, but Boston police — after learning of his immigration status — revoked his hackney license.

    Khan shared his Watertown apartment with his cousin, Aftab, who was transferred from New England in June to a detention center in Brooklyn, N.Y. He was called as a witness before a federal grand jury investigating the botched May 1 attack.

    Saher J. Macarius, the lawyer for the Khans, said in a telephone interview yesterday that Aftab Ali Khan was taken to New York by US Marshals to testify to a grand jury investigating the bombing attempt, but that he has not been used yet as a witness. “They’re not telling us anything, not giving us any reason why he continues to be held there.’’

    The arrests in New England were part of a series of raids in half a dozen locations in the Northeast, including on Long Island and in New Jersey, but no other individuals were taken into custody, according to federal immigration spokesman Ross Feinstein, based in Washington, D.C.
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