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. Mooooohammud Cow

    Explosive Cakes, 'Powdered' Doughnuts, cupcakes with little TNT sticks for candles. Feels like we're fighting the Acme Corporation instead of Muslims.

    May 21, 2010 at 12:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • Nameless Outlaw

      rofl!

      May 21, 2010 at 1:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dan

      LOL

      May 21, 2010 at 1:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • eric

      we are fighting extremists who claim to be Muslims, but by their actions have stepped out of the fold of Islam, not just Muslims. thanks.

      May 21, 2010 at 1:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • BigChedda

      @ eric,
      thanks Buzz Killington

      May 21, 2010 at 1:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • Matt

      Big Chedda...right on, Eric feels the need to be P.C. Original post was hilarious

      May 21, 2010 at 1:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • lochlan

      "instead of muslims". Interesting the perspective many Americans have about the fringe groups we are suppose to be fighting and how easily they throw all the normal muslims in with the few extremists. What's the fringe 1in 10,000 a 100,000? I guess we were suppose to be fighting Americans when Timothy McVeigh attacked the Oklahoma building?

      Makes you wonder if Main Stream Media and government did this on purpose or by mistake.

      May 21, 2010 at 2:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • Roadrunner

      Did they replace Meshud with Wile E. Coyote?

      May 21, 2010 at 3:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • vc

      LoL...its a good thing its not wabbit season...

      May 21, 2010 at 5:49 pm | Report abuse |
  2. michael

    the son of an owner of a catering company and now that companies gonna loose business? Some times I dont understand muslims, terrorism is bad if your running a business

    May 21, 2010 at 12:56 pm | Report abuse |
    • Scott

      Are you kidding me, in Pakistan this guys business will take off because of this!!

      May 21, 2010 at 1:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mooooohammud Cow

      @Scott: Guess you could say, business will be 'booming'! 🙂

      May 21, 2010 at 1:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • silvertop

      You guys stray so far away from logical thinking. The message is from US embassy to US citizens living there.They are a catering business. They can come right inside your office, home, party. They are suspected to have ties with terrorists groups. Patronizing them is inviting danger, as well as providing financial support to whatever they are plotting. Living without caution is folly.
      Stay tuned for more news.

      May 21, 2010 at 2:37 pm | Report abuse |
    • PatriotToo

      Scott. Are you really serious? One wonders if we are still an educated society before parking our ignorance so openly. No economic connection to a "booming" business. Not to mention that most of the people dying there are locals. More Pakistanis have died at the hands of these morons than our soldiers in Afghanistan. Did you know that? I bet no clue cause no one said mentioned it in the local tabloid. No one likes the extremism there than the extremists. There are only a few. How many do we really need to create havoc? The rest are innocent people. So easy for us to sit here and comment behind lap tops vs. digging deeper out of the main stream media.

      May 21, 2010 at 6:35 pm | Report abuse |
  3. ED

    Senator Bond, “Can you see it now?”

    May 21, 2010 at 1:05 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Chupacabra

    I don't know about you, but from now on I'm calling it "Freedom Falafal."

    May 21, 2010 at 1:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mehr

      would have been funny if pakistan were an arab country. falafel isnt really available here.

      May 21, 2010 at 1:29 pm | Report abuse |
  5. AntiWar

    I think no one can live without food!!! Supplying food to Taliban/Al Qaeda. Hmm stop all catering restaurants in Pakistan and guys will come out of caves. Here you go Bin Laden !!!!!!!

    May 21, 2010 at 1:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • noor

      lol.. thats a nice thought! stop all catering and they will come out of their caves. haha!

      May 21, 2010 at 4:34 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Tsk Tsk

    @ BigChedda: And you Sir are too Stoooooooopid to understand the difference.

    May 21, 2010 at 1:29 pm | Report abuse |
  7. AsWpePakIz

    Man they have been doing this to India for decades now ... Iraq and Afganistan should be repeated in PakiLand and these muslims should be wiped outta the map.

    May 21, 2010 at 1:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tsk Tsk

      YOu must be an indian whose cow (GOW MATTA) got eaten up by Hanif Rajput Catering Service. Simmer down buddy.

      May 21, 2010 at 1:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • jido

      Yeah please get rid off all muslims from the face off the earth, including Shahrukh khan, A R Rahman, and nasseruddin shah.

      May 21, 2010 at 1:38 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bix Nood

      I would DEFINATELY get rid of those Jido

      May 21, 2010 at 1:42 pm | Report abuse |
    • JEZ

      Oh – yes – we did so well with those first two wars . . . invading a third, bigger country would be just what we need about now . . .

      May 21, 2010 at 3:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • noor

      u ugly A$$!! un-educated people like you shouldn't even be here in this world.. you ignorant biatch!! lol you think that muslims should be wiped out! well let me tell you something, you ignorant freak.. one day Islam will be the most wide spread religion in the world.

      May 21, 2010 at 4:38 pm | Report abuse |
    • foil

      at noor: I'd rather die than convert to your false prophet and stone age ways. I'm sure you'd be thrilled to accommodate my wish, right? Bloodthirsty beasts, you mooslims.

      May 21, 2010 at 5:48 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Q

    Whenever the US government steps up pressure on Pakistan, they miraculously arrest a "terrorist" and our silly government believes them and backs off. The reason we are in this stupid "war on terror" is because of Pakistan

    May 21, 2010 at 1:29 pm | Report abuse |
  9. AntiWar

    Looks like Pakistan has started to capture CIVILIANS!!!!

    May 21, 2010 at 1:37 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Muslim

    No govt. should act blindly to cut the business that run and owned by father if son is doing something wrong. A father is not responsible if his adult son commits a crime.

    May 21, 2010 at 1:38 pm | Report abuse |
    • Matt

      Who knows...maybe he is. Should have taught his son right from wrong.

      May 21, 2010 at 1:56 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Nellore S. Venkatarfman

    From any angle Islam is a terrorist religion. Most Islalmic countries are terrorist countries or support terrorism. Islam the newest religion is the most barbaric and the least progressive. Just compare Moses, Buddha, Christ, Mohamed and Gandhi. Anbody can poke fun or draw a carrricature of all of them with the big exception of MOHAMED. Why? Because of the mudrderous killings and the fatwas by the the bigoted Islamic mullas. The world will be a safer place without Islam.

    May 21, 2010 at 1:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • M_K

      People like you are a great threat to India's secular image

      May 21, 2010 at 1:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tsk Tsk

      I think you should first control the rebels by Siam in india before you start pointing fingers at others. They are Not muslims. Infact they are of your own faith (hindu). If India is sooooo peace full then why are they suppressing their own folks???

      May 21, 2010 at 1:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • Hillarious

      You are so freakin ignorant. Since when did Gandhi become a diety. Also, there's no difference between you (per your ignorant comment) and the illitrate so called Mullahs who utter non-sense fatwas. Pakistan is reaping goods of its own misdoings. Unlike India they didn't focus on education and self sufficiency.

      May 21, 2010 at 2:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tsk Tsk

      Umm,, India is not all that you make it out to be, the corruption level there is as high as it is in Pakistan. India wants to keep pakistan destabilized because it would suck to have another power next to it ( like china). If you want to deny this then tell me, why does india have 3 embassies right by the afghan pakistan border in afghanistan (in the news 6 or 7 months ago on CNN and Fox). And why is it that those are the troubled regions?

      May 21, 2010 at 2:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • Nellore S. Venkataraman

      Answer to Q–rQuran:
      TYou introduced the world 'prophet' .There was no word "Prophet: in my e-mail–becasue I do not believe in any prophets. Of course Gandhi was not a prophet, but just a human being walking on earth and did not preach " kill the infidels".
      as some self proclaimed prophets have done!!!!!
      I challenge you to show that for every call for brutal murder in Koran there are ten such in the Bible. Just don't throw reckless figures out of the hat and Islamic rage. if I ever have prefer one over the other I will pick any day the Bible.

      May 21, 2010 at 2:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tsk Tsk

      haha, did you even read the quran? do you even know what you are talking about. Read that passage from start to finish. don't quote out of context. they are talking about the peace treaty that was broken and they were attacking muslims, That was the first time that muslims were told to go ahead and defend themselves and even then the clause was, that IF the opponents want peace and surrender then DONT harm them. Stop the mis information.

      May 21, 2010 at 2:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • shepherd

      i am not in the business is judging people and calling them out as ignorant. But here is a thing: Read, have a complete reading of Islam. the verse that says kill the infedels says only if you are prosecuted and the verse right after that says , and if they talk peace then be the first to extend your hand. But convinently no bady talks of this next verse . ( note all instructions in islam comes in a 1& 2 format, first the deed and then the paramter within which it is to be observed and i can go on all contentious issues that 'west' has with this religion)

      the problem with the Islam is that people think it is the religion as practiced by the Saudi's salafi / wahabi version . And that couldn't be further than the true Islam. ex. there is no where mention in the Quran that women should where hizab , yet the saudis uses the religious pretex to subjugate their women.

      I encourage you to lay out other issues that you think is 'barbaric' about this religion, and i will be happy to provide you with complete explanation .... In other words don't read partial texts but the full text. Once again READ!

      May 21, 2010 at 4:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • Faiz the Paki

      Go back to drinking your cow urine....in the meantime...I'll be drinking some more Pakola.

      May 21, 2010 at 4:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • MoHamMad

      Faiz the Paki- As quoted from the life of Muhammad (Poo be upon him)

      Some people from the tribe of 'Ukl came to the Prophet and embraced Islam. The climate of Medina did not suit them, so the Prophet ordered them to go to the (herd of milch) camels of charity and to drink their milk and urine (as a medicine)" Hadith, Vol. 8, Book 82, # 794.

      Is this where the fascination of you Muslims come with Urine..I see lot of these muzzies talk about Cow Urine...It comes from Prophet Muhammad (Poo be upon hm).

      May 21, 2010 at 5:00 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Mehr

    Hanif Rajput is one of the oldest catering services in Pakistan, and possibly does more business than any other catering service in the country, has the best local cuisine, they cater for almost all weddings in the privileged circles, elite weddings etc. Wouldn't expect this... very surprising.

    May 21, 2010 at 1:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • MoHamMad

      "Some people from the tribe of 'Ukl came to the Prophet and embraced Islam. The climate of Medina did not suit them, so the Prophet ordered them to go to the (herd of milch) camels of charity and to drink their milk and urine (as a medicine)" Hadith, Vol. 8, Book 82, # 794.

      Is this where the fascination of you Muslims come with Urine..I see lot of these muzzies talk about Cow Urine...It comes from Prophet Muhammad (Poo be upon hm).

      May 21, 2010 at 4:56 pm | Report abuse |
  13. M_K

    Who is going to provide the lavish lunch and dinners for these government folks. Even journalists there do not attend government briefings, if there is no good food to follow. This could be good for the account deficit in Pakistan.

    May 21, 2010 at 1:44 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Desi

    For too long, Paki goverment has brainwashed their generations into believing that the US, India and Jews are against Islam. This generation has been brought up with the mindset that they have to fight against these forces. For too long these directionless Pakis have commited acts across the world and gotten a safe haven inside Pakistan; and their government as usual denies their existence inside Pakistan. With this arrest, it will atleast send a message to the common Paki that they are not safe even inside Pakistan if they commit an act of terror.
    We need to find more of these devils and bring them to book. There are plenty of them Hafiz Sayeed, Mehsood Azhar, Dawood Ibrahim, ... the list goes on and on (several millions of them).

    May 21, 2010 at 1:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tsk Tsk

      For too long, Indian goverment has brainwashed their generations into believing that Pakistan and China are against them. This generation has been brought up with the mindset that they have to fight against these forces. For too long these directionless Indians have commited acts across the world and gotten a safe haven inside India; and their government as usual denies their existence inside India.

      That being said,
      No one denies their existence in pakistan. Infact Pak Army is fighting these lunatics. But the funny part is, India is supporting these lunatics with money so they can fight Pak Army back. So the question becomes, hmmm is India really a peacefull nation??

      May 21, 2010 at 1:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tsk Tsk

      Oh by the way, I am waiting for the day your Rupee goes back up against the dollar, then we the USA will pull our outsourced call centers back to USA and resolve this job situation. Then Mr. "we think we are super power india" we will see whose economy survives.

      May 21, 2010 at 1:56 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mangoose

      @Tsk Tsk –

      You seems to be having the same issue what Faisal Shahzad have. You sound like very secular, but won't hesistate to strike US as soon as an opportunity comes in.

      Hmmm...... Prettty dangerous people you are. And your comment for Indians as being "Directionless Indian" is even more laudable. Have you ever asked anybody outside of Pakistan to have that opinion? I guess you have not, and no time for it , given the fact that you have to earn your bread , making daily trips to the Madrassas, weapon training, bomb training, ... (can't write all of them).

      YOU ARE NOTHING BUT AN IDIOT.

      May 21, 2010 at 2:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tsk Tsk

      @Mangoose no sir, You are an idiot for the comparison you did. That is what you indians want, to vilify your neighbors so you can keep doing your thing in the background.

      May 21, 2010 at 2:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • ejaz

      You are right, just add Modis of the world too.

      May 21, 2010 at 2:37 pm | Report abuse |
    • sunnyalways

      very well said Desi.

      May 21, 2010 at 3:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • derek

      to tsk..tskk..as you said ...you will pull out of India ??? the majority of the network companies are owned by Indians who consider themselves Americans !! ... never heard of a Paki like you owning one !! let alone working in one.

      I am sure your noodles might have cross fired somewhere?? tsk..tsk..tsk..

      May 21, 2010 at 3:25 pm | Report abuse |
  15. imran kadha

    if only this world would rid itself of these slimy, ugly, skinny looking hindoos.

    they dont realize how unhealthy and diseased they look

    May 21, 2010 at 1:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • AntiWar

      Expected reply!! What else can you do.

      May 21, 2010 at 1:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • Desi

      Should be more like Imran Gadha. Expected stuff from your mouth (barrel of gun). This is what was taught to you and that is what is coming out. Good Luck!

      May 21, 2010 at 2:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tsk Tsk

      Naaa, he is just replying to your hate with hate.

      May 21, 2010 at 2:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • Nellore S. Venkataraman

      If only the world woul get rid of Pakistan the terrorist epicenter with its basketcase economy, black bedsheetclad women
      the world would be a safer place.

      May 21, 2010 at 2:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • Faiz the Paki

      ^
      I
      I
      I
      Stick to your hairy, black-faced HIV-infected women.

      May 21, 2010 at 4:25 pm | Report abuse |
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