Arrested man said he knew bomb suspect

BOSTON — Three Pakistani men arrested in the widening investigation of the Times Square bomb include a Boston-area cab driver and a computer programmer in Maine who told his boss that he knew the primary suspect, Faisal Shahzad, but hadn't spoken to him in years.

Law enforcement officials said the two men arrested in the Boston area Thursday are Pir Khan and Aftab Khan. A third man, Mohammed Rahman, was arrested in Maine.

Authorities said the men supplied funds to Shahzad but may not have known how the money would be used. The three were arrested Thursday in raids across the Northeast as the FBI followed the money trail in the failed attack.

They were arrested on immigration violations, not criminal charges. All three are in the custody of the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, said agency spokeswoman Kelly Nantel.

Rahman is a computer programmer who worked for Artist and Craftsman Supply, a company with 15 stores from Portland, Maine, to Los Angeles.

Larry Adlerstein, owner of the Portland-based chain, said he asked Rahman a few days ago about what it felt like to be from Pakistan after the Times Square attempted bombing arrest.

"He said, 'I know the fellow who they claim is responsible for the attempted bomb in Times Square. I haven't seen him for eight or nine years. He was a simple, uncomplicated person with no strong ideas. Maybe that's what these terrorist organizations want, someone who's a blank slate,' " Adlerstein said.

Pir Khan, 43, is listed as a resident of the apartment in the Boston suburb of Watertown that was raided Thursday. Officials said both Pir Khan and Aftab Khan lived at the Watertown apartment. No one answered the door Friday.

Parking attendants on security front

A new government program aims to train thousands of parking industry employees nationwide to watch for and report anything suspicious — abandoned cars, for example, or people hanging around garages, taking photographs or asking unusual questions. "We can no longer afford as a nation to say, 'It doesn't impact me or my family, so therefore I'm not getting involved,' " Bill Arrington of the Transportation Security Administration told parking industry professionals at a convention this week in Las Vegas. The program has been in the works for about a year and got its first presentation at the convention, attended by hundreds of people who run parking operations for cities, universities, stadiums and other places.

Parking attendants on security front

A new government program aims to train thousands of parking industry employees nationwide to watch for and report anything suspicious — abandoned cars, for example, or people hanging around garages, taking photographs or asking unusual questions. "We can no longer afford as a nation to say, 'It doesn't impact me or my family, so therefore I'm not getting involved,' " Bill Arrington of the Transportation Security Administration told parking industry professionals at a convention this week in Las Vegas. The program has been in the works for about a year and got its first presentation at the convention, attended by hundreds of people who run parking operations for cities, universities, stadiums and other places.

Arrested man said he knew bomb suspect 05/14/10 [Last modified: Friday, May 14, 2010 11:36pm]

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