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. Neo

    Quoting Tsk Tsk [You do know that Muhammad PBUH had people made fun of him, got stones thrown at him, etc and yet he kept persistence with peaceful preaching, just like Jesus (eisa) and Moses (musa). Follow their path, Thats how religion is spread, Islam was never spread by sword, christianity was not spread by sword, Judiasm was not spread by sword.]
    That quote alone shows your ignorance. Peace be upon you and may you not turn into one more shazad afazal (or whatever his name was). Enough said.

    May 21, 2010 at 4:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tsk Tsk

      ignorance? What ignorance? So I respect some one, is that ignorance, OH you respect your parents, so you must be ignorant. Yea thats a smart convo.....

      May 21, 2010 at 4:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tsk Tsk

      Or maybe you are talking about the sword thingi. Well, think about it, Before Moses, Jesus and Muhammad passed away, how did they convert people? its not till later on when other humans took it upon them selves to show that " I am write and You are wrong" and used swords, bullets e.t.c These three did not convert people by force. You cannot convert any one by force, they will revert back to what they believe in.

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

      Spelling correction "I am RIGHT and you are wrong"

      May 21, 2010 at 4:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • Matt

      Tsk Tsk is smart, and correct. Man messed up the GOOD in religion. Religion is a great idea, but man F'ed it up

      May 21, 2010 at 4:31 pm | Report abuse |
  2. American

    If Mahhamed were here he would be Jailed for raping a nine year old girl.

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

      Once again, proving my point....

      May 21, 2010 at 4:23 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Islam_religion_of_terror

    Guys, Code Green...@Death to America went to hide in a Madrassa. For all I want you guys to go to a mosque and lesson how Imann preach hate,, this is why people can switch from a good neighbor to a terrorist, From great guy to a suicide bomber..the answer to this international terrorism is clean up the mosque.. Imann that preaches hate must be rejected by their member.It will never happens

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

      Be a Catholic like me. Not an ignoramous undecided like you... Maybe mixed and do not know your Path!!

      May 21, 2010 at 4:29 pm | Report abuse |
  4. xHeadSHOtZx


    May 21, 2010 at 4:26 pm | Report abuse |
  5. D to America

    @American... know nothing about Islam.. She was 19 years old not 9 years old.. Secondly, you think this will make me more angry and I will do something stupid to stop you.. I am waiting.. I will wait when I get a chance to teach you a very good lesson... !!!

    May 21, 2010 at 4:31 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bhiariah

      @D to America – why didn't you answer my last post addressed to you? I thought we were on to come good conversation, but it appears that it's gone back to the hate-spewing kind. Well, that's it for me. Matt, Tsk Tsk, thanks for an interesting chat.

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


      this is Priceless..spread the fun of quran to everyone...muslims and non muslims alike....

      May 21, 2010 at 5:03 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Islam_religion_of_terror

    @D to America what is your address? I am coming. I will have a piece of art that I draw for you as a present.
    look at Prophet Mohamed abusing little boy.!!



    May 21, 2010 at 4:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • D to America

      You asking my address??? you tell me yours.. I will come to you.. No need coming to me... I will come to you .. bring all the cowards you can with you and we will see what happens with you.. you will experience it yourself.. Coward, I know you won;t give me your address because you are afraid of muslims.. You are a looser american who lost a job and have nothing in hand these days.. Go and watch T.V because thats all you can do

      May 21, 2010 at 4:42 pm | Report abuse |
  7. noor

    I am an American-born muslim, but my family is from pakistan... its quite sad to see terrorists planning to take innocent lives.. If faisal hated america that much then why did he apply for immigration. I just cant understand these people.. I am a muslim and I am proud to be an American.. cheers 🙂

    May 21, 2010 at 4:33 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Matt

    Seriously...5 years old, that's the maturity level this post has gone into.

    May 21, 2010 at 4:34 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Islam_religion_of_terror

    Oh wait I have another present that I want you to keep in your leaving room Salman Rushdie,,

    May 21, 2010 at 4:35 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Mohammad Ali

    Dont believe anything of Pakistanis. They find a criminal from their jail and tell him that they are going to set him up as NY terrorist. If he agrees he is free and American Poticians spin it saying Pakistan is doing a good job catching terrorst. These are BS.

    May 21, 2010 at 4:38 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Islam_religion_of_terror

    @noor I am proud of you. Can you share with us why Muslim in America are not fighting Muslim in ? Why they use the name of Alah when they kill civilian? are you going to kill me if I draw a picture of Mohamed?

    May 21, 2010 at 4:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • derek

      It's because you are challenging him to draw his sword...why must you challenge something??

      May 21, 2010 at 4:42 pm | Report abuse |
    • Matt


      May 21, 2010 at 4:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • noor

      well of course i wouldn't kill you! but yeah, i surely will get offended. cuz we praise Muhammad and I try my best to follow his teachings.. and you know i just get dis-hearted when i see people doing that stuff... but killing someone is a big sin in Islam.. but these sick-minded terrorists just dont get it.. and as you asked that why people take Allah's name when they kill someone.. right?? well this is only in movies my friend... an even if they do its only cuz they think they are doing the right thing... its only because of the terrorists that Islam looks like a evil religion.. u should go read the quran.. in every word it says to stay in peace.. you are not allowed to fight until someone starts it first just like any other religion . 🙂

      May 21, 2010 at 4:51 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Beeper

    Looks like we got some full time paki PRs around here... you go PAKIS. Prove the world that ya'll are not just some rag heads with wicks. You got computers too... not just madhouses(or madablahblah)... woo woo

    May 21, 2010 at 4:44 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Islam_religion_of_terror

    @derek you don't fool me. You need to change your name to Quaran_manual_of terror.

    May 21, 2010 at 4:47 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Islam_religion_of_terror

    Here we go.. Any Muslim fanatic will not approve the drawing of Prophet Mohamed like Derek..

    May 21, 2010 at 4:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • derek

      I am a CATHOLIC...

      May 21, 2010 at 4:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • derek

      You must cam eby boat from some low fly country who went hungry during the famine!!

      get your facts right and a little education... Derek is aCATHOLIC name. How can it be muslim. Wonder how this country survives with morons like you!!

      May 21, 2010 at 4:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • noor


      May 21, 2010 at 4:56 pm | Report abuse |
  15. D to America

    Islam_religion is simply angry because I said Death to America.. This proves that Americans are hypocrites.. when it comes to their country or their freedom of speech they commit every terrorist act known to man, but when an other nation is angry, they tend to start reminding about human values.. What a smart move.. clapping.. Really Americans are shameless perverts who have no moral values and they don't care about others..

    They are just going along because they are technologically advance than the rest of the world.. otherwise when it comes to fighting face to face they hide like cowards.... If someone can find a way to strike down their aircrafts before it bombs or a way to evade drones..they will be done in no time..

    May 21, 2010 at 4:52 pm | Report abuse |
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