[Updated at 1:39 p.m.] Pakistani authorities have arrested the son of a prominent catering company owner in connection with the attempted Times Square bombing case, U.S. and Pakistani officials told CNN Friday.
Salman Ashraf was taken into custody a few days ago, the officials said.
His father, Rana Ashraf Khan, who owns Hanif Rajput Catering, said that he was shocked by the news of the arrest and that his son had been missing for the past 12 days.
Salman Ashraf had been talking to the Taliban about fingering Pakistani military and other VIPs at diplomatic and other government events, according to a U.S. official with knowledge of the case.
The U.S. Embassy warned American citizens that terrorist groups might have set up ties with the Islamabad caterer, one of Pakistan's largest, and advised them to avoid using the company.
Faisal Shahzad, a 30-year-old Pakistani American, faces five counts in connection with the botched bomb attempt in New York's Times Square on May 1. He could be sentenced to life in prison if convicted.
He also pondered attacks on Rockefeller Center, Grand Central Terminal, and the World Financial Center in New York City, and Connecticut helicopter manufacturer Sikorsky, going so far as to case some of the targets, according to a senior counterterrorism official with oversight of the investigation.
Shahzad's arrest heightened concerns about the Pakistani Taliban, which authorities believe directed the Times Square plot. U.S. intelligence officials fear that the Taliban is actively plotting to strike within the United States and target American interests overseas.
The concerns about the group are coming from multiple streams of information, including from Shahzad, the officials said.
[Updated at 12:38 p.m.] Authorities have arrested Salman Ashraf, the son of a prominent catering company owner, in connection with the attempted Times Square bombing case, a senior Pakistani official told CNN.
[Posted at 11:59 a.m.] The U.S. Embassy has warned American citizens that terrorist groups might have set up ties with an Islamabad catering service.
The company, Hanif Rajput Catering Service, is owned by Rana Ashraf Khan and his son, Salman Ashraf.
The embassy posted a notice on its website Friday saying government personnel "have been instructed to avoid using this company."