May 21st, 2010
12:39 PM ET

Man arrested in Pakistan in connection with Times Square case

[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."

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Filed under: Pakistan • Terrorism
soundoff (226 Responses)
  1. Islam_religion_of_terror

    @American Many Muslim dignitaries knows were BLD is !,, and where his children are?

    May 21, 2010 at 5:20 pm | Report abuse |
  2. trying2save

    How come every time there is an attack or attempt on American targets or when Paki PM visits US, they always catch one or two terrorists. They are able to successfully hoodwink Americans by on one side creating and executing terror attacks and on other side taking billions from Americans. What incentive do Pakis have to end terror as long as money tap is flowing from US, none whatsover. Pakistan was recently an otherwise impoverished economy at the point of bankruptcy if US would not have assisted with free money and arms.

    May 21, 2010 at 5:46 pm | Report abuse |
  3. chiragp86

    Timing is convenient. Couple days ago I read an article about The White House issuing a waring to Pakistanis to stay alert of there relatives possible connection to terrorism. Then today we read this, not that i'm saying its a bad thing... but control the media much!

    May 21, 2010 at 6:19 pm | Report abuse |
  4. bama

    Why so much hate in this world?

    May 21, 2010 at 6:23 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Mohammad A Dar

    Islam_religion_of_terror

    @derek you are not smart enough to be born in India.----–You can not do ,what the Indian's can do, Indian Hind, Hindered or left behind, slaves believe, the they evolved from a Languor (Baboon). You can not act like the son of a baboon and can not get low as these Hindus, the slaves. The difference is to be a son of a human or a son of a Baboon, Indian Hindus(slaves) are the children of the baboons according to their teachings. so let them expose their kind.

    May 21, 2010 at 6:24 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Mohammad A Dar

    slam_religion_of_terror

    @American Many Muslim dignitaries knows were BLD is !,, and where his children are?--– ISLAM, THE TERROR IN THE HART OF CRIMINALS. CRIMINAL ALWAYS FEAR THE LA. THE TRUTH. NO EXCUSES ACCEPTED. CRIMINALS WILL BE PUNISHED, NO MATTER HOW MUCH THEY LIE.

    May 21, 2010 at 7:04 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Mohammad A Dar

    derek

    YOU HIT THE NAIL ON THE HEAD ! !

    IF YOU READ EARLIER....I AM A CATHOLIC INDIAN-----So you are a catha, or catho.. A compounded Hindu. Hindered, A compounded hind, Hindered, left behind , a slave. Catha, A compound, imperfect,

    May 21, 2010 at 7:27 pm | Report abuse |
  8. 80sGuy

    And that moron Bush kept on sending our hard-earned tax money (in the Billions) to Pakistan to do what? To supposedly fight terror? Thank God he is finished and OUT of office. If there were a choice between Bush and 'leggy' Palin; I'd go with Palin because anything's better than that dumb Bush.

    May 21, 2010 at 7:46 pm | Report abuse |
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