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. American

    I visited pakistan few years back.. I show dirty beggers.. dirty people staying in tents...

    Very poor country .. spending all money in terror training and blasting .... i will say pakistanis are ba s t a r ds. in fact all muslims are like that..

    May 21, 2010 at 3:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • Matt

      As another American, learn how to spell before you trash talk others. You are part of the reason for idiots like this other guy spreading hate.

      May 21, 2010 at 3:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bhiariah

      There's really no reason to be so full of hate, what you saw of Pakistan is more of a reflection of how horribly mis-managed their economy and government is. Those poor people don't want to be dirty, living in tents.

      May 21, 2010 at 3:49 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Islam_religion_of_terror

    @Death to America your Prophet Mohamed has multiple relations with minor, he loves little boys, do you agree with me.. I have designed a carton of his face for you..

    &&&&
    <.m>M
    $^^^$^

    May 21, 2010 at 3:44 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Bhiariah

    I'm not a Jew, guess again! 🙂 Yes, I hope the CIA has this Death to America on some kind of list...... hopefully one that's more effective than the No Fly List though!

    May 21, 2010 at 3:47 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Matt

    To America, Death To America, And Islam religion of terror.

    Well now we have gotten to the root of it. You have antagonists and weak minded people. This comment section has now gone to both. Intelligent conversation has been corrupted by the ignorant, and I am referring to the three of you.

    May 21, 2010 at 3:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • American

      You pakistani MUSLIM terrorist just shutup... only thing islam is known is TERROR .. if you want to vote world wide.. DARE for it you will realize...

      May 21, 2010 at 3:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • Matt

      For an American you English skills are poor. Last time I checked my skin was pretty white. Also, Matt is a very popular Muslim name...glad you figured me out.

      May 21, 2010 at 3:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tsk Tsk

      LOLOLOL " matt is a popular muslim name" ... well said 🙂

      May 21, 2010 at 4:08 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Islam_religion_of_terror

    hate or fact? > Quoran is religion of terror.

    May 21, 2010 at 3:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • Matt

      if thats is your take, you are more like terrorists that you thought.

      May 21, 2010 at 3:52 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Death to America

    Wrong...!!!! What I am trying to say is... that People hurted me when they made fun of The Person I love most...! More than my real father and mother... because I am Muslim at heart.. You need to respect that, don't you??? I have a good job and a beautiful wife (unlike American women, ugly) and a beautiful kid.. Then tell me why i feel hate against Americans?? I have everything a man could ask for a life.. I have a good car, my own house... everything.. then why i feel hate...

    BECAUSE

    I feel angry when illiterate Americans, without any knowledge of Islam, test my patience.. All I asked them, humbly, not to test the patience of a muslim.. I never mind anything else except when someone show his/her hate against Islam..

    I am not a person who likes killing me and I won't kill anyone inshallah.. I just used bad words to make my point across.. so did you get the point?

    May 21, 2010 at 3:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • Matt

      The continue to teach them, not kill them. If they are ignorant, take it upon yourself to educate, not destroy. There is a reason Americans have an old saying, "sticks and stones may break my bones, but names will never hurt me." It is because you have to understand words are just words. They don't physical hurt you, you have the ability to use words to educate those who dont understand.

      May 21, 2010 at 3:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • American

      Sort and sweet :

      ISLAM = TERROR

      May 21, 2010 at 3:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • Matt

      And apparently I cant spell now either.

      May 21, 2010 at 3:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bhiariah

      Ok, now we are getting somewhere. If you use "bad words" to get your point across, you end up getting the Wrong point across. If you would have said that illiterate Americans insult you when they speak nonsense about your religion, that is understandable. If that is your point, you should say that – saying that you're going to show American's what your hate is like is asking for a LOT of trouble. Unless you really are in the Taliban, then you probably don't care. I understand your point that many misinformed people hate all of Islam, and they are wrong to do so, and I can understand why that is offensive to you. But what you also need to understand is that if You are asking for toleance of your religion, that you Must do the same for the other religions. Complete intolerance of Islam, Christianity, capitalism, etc – will perpetuate this completely uncessary and deadly relationship between the West and the Middle East. Do you really want the killing to continue? I don't. I'm willing to accept the virtues of Islam in an effort to peaceably co-exist – can you do the same with Americans?

      May 21, 2010 at 4:06 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Death to America

    @American... and Americans are known to be pedophiles. Do a voting and you will realize that

    May 21, 2010 at 3:55 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Bhiariah

    American, if you're going to spew such ignorance please pick a different user name. You're insulting to the rest of us Americans who want to have an intelligent dialog about this issue.

    May 21, 2010 at 3:55 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Islam_religion_of_terror

    I grew up in a Muslim country, everyday I have to learn that US a devil. that Infidel must be destroyed in the name of Alahhh.
    this are the fact. Muslim in America are not fighting with us Islam Terrorism. Or they agree or they are scare. I believe they agree with the Arab cause. That is a danger to our society.. Arabs have took other Europe and France, UK are loosing their country and culture.

    May 21, 2010 at 3:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tsk Tsk

      Its Allah, Not Alaaaah.. Called your bluff, you were not born in a muslim country or you wouldv known the spelling. its every where, even on the walls. :)..

      May 21, 2010 at 4:18 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Islam_religion_of_terror

    @Death to America in 20 years the world will switch to a new energy, then no one need the Arab anymore.

    May 21, 2010 at 3:57 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Matt

    Tsk Tsk, Bhiariah, what the hell happened to our intelligent convo?

    May 21, 2010 at 4:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tsk Tsk

      Extremists hijacked our convo. story of our lives ... LOL

      May 21, 2010 at 4:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bhiariah

      I know, I couldn't help it!

      May 21, 2010 at 4:13 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Islam_religion_of_terror

    @derek you sound like a muslim terrorist. Did you beat your wife recently, so you are not a good Muslim

    May 21, 2010 at 4:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • derek

      Derek is a Catholic name... or maybe you need to check you eyesight or you are dumb American who took a job without any education!!!

      that is why America is suffering. dumb ignoramous like you!!

      May 21, 2010 at 4:27 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Death to America

    @ Islam_religion

    LOL.. I wish I could meet you in person and beat you to pulp..

    May 21, 2010 at 4:06 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Islam_religion_of_terror

    Currently I am in your country, I speak your language[ Arabic] , dress like you,go your mosque [I went this morning -Fridaty] ,,and more.. We are watching you.... Go hide in your cave ,GIs are coming. I have another present for you look I draw Prophet Mohamed next to a little boy.

    ^^^
    ^^ ^
    ^ &

    May 21, 2010 at 4:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • D to America

      If you are so smart.. why fear? Come in front and talk to me face to face.. Then I will tell you what I can do.. We never saw caves.. it was your grandfathers who used to hide in caves when Muslim army marched forward..

      YOu are sick.. and you are afraid.. if you arn't come in front and talk to me.. I will show you what I can do... But i am sure you are a coward... Only cowards can hide behind a computer and draw cartoons.. they can never come in front because then they know they will have broken limbs and an equally broken ego!!!

      May 21, 2010 at 4:26 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Tsk Tsk

    People now a days don't have enough time to think. They just get angry and say the first thing that comes to mind.

    May 21, 2010 at 4:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • Matt

      Or too much time to think

      May 21, 2010 at 4:30 pm | Report abuse |
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