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Pakistani caterer held for ties to Times Square bomb plot

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan — Pakistani authorities have detained the co-owner of an upscale catering company in the capital and at least four other men in connection with the Times Square bomb plot, a Pakistani intelligence official said Friday.

The U.S. Embassy issued a warning to Americans in Pakistan about Hanif Rajput Catering Service, saying that "terrorist groups may have established links" to it. The unusual alert said the company was owned by a father and son, but it did not elaborate on its alleged ties to militants.

The Washington Post said it learned from a Pakistani intelligence source that the son, Salman Ashraf Khan, 35, was arrested about 10 days ago on suspicion of links to Faisal Shahzad, the Pakistani-American accused of the attempted bombing in New York.

The Associated Press said it was told by a Pakistani intelligence officer that Khan was recruited because two other suspects wanted him to help bomb a gathering of foreigners whose event his company was catering.

Reached by telephone early today, Rana Ashraf Khan, Khan's father, told the Associated Press, "I am shocked at what I am hearing."

He said that his son disappeared on May 10 after leaving his home for work and that authorities had given him no information.

Pakistani caterer held for ties to Times Square bomb plot 05/21/10 [Last modified: Friday, May 21, 2010 10:52pm]
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