Terror Charges Brought Against 3 Shahzad Associates

Rezaul H Laskar/Islamabad
Terror Charges Brought Against 3 Shahzad Associates
Authorities will bring terror charges against three alleged close associates of Faisal Shahzad, the failed Times Square bomber of Pakistani origin, who were arrested in the capital, officials said today.

Quoting police sources, TV news channels identified the three arrested men as Muhammad Sohaib Mughal, Muhammad Shahid and Humbal Akhtar. The sources said they were arrested from Sihala area of Islamabad.

Police officials told the media that the three men would soon be presented in court and terror charges brought against them.

Maps of sensitive installations and important buildings, including the Prime Minister's House, the presidency, parliament and a hotel located at a viewpoint overlooking Islamabad, were allegedly found in the possession of the three men.

The trio was allegedly using a car with fake number plates, TV news channels quoted their sources as saying.

One of the arrested men supplied USD 13,500 for the botched car bomb attack by Shahzad in New York's Times Square on May 1, the sources claimed.

The sources further claimed that the trio had links with three suicide bombers and several suicide attacks carried out in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir capital Muzaffarabad earlier this year.

Reports in the Pakistani and international media over the past few months had named Mughal, Shahid and Akhtar among a dozen people who were detained by intelligence agencies in Islamabad, Rawalpindi and Karachi for alleged links to the 29-year-old Pakistani American Shahzad, who is reported to have trained in LeT camps in restive North-West Pakistan.

The families of the three men had filed cases in different police stations, saying they were missing since May.

These media reports said Mughal ran a large computer dealership. Akhtar, who operated a graphic design business, was taken away from his home in Islamabad by intelligence agents on May 17.

The media reports had also said that Shahid had allegedly helped arrange funds for Shahzad. All three men came from urban, well-off and educated families.

Shahzad came from a well off family and his father is a retired Air Vice Marshal of the Pakistan Air Force.
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