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

    So can you drawn a picture of Prophet Mohamed?

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

      can you?? help me as I have no faint idea how he looks like !!!
      Again to your thick skull or rather... empty vessel.. I am a CATHOLIC ! but not a white!

      May 21, 2010 at 4:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • Matt

      Derek...hahaha a white. I am a WHITE. lol

      May 21, 2010 at 5:00 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Earl

    Pakistan should be nuked – Remove them from the map of the world.

    May 21, 2010 at 4:53 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Islam_religion_of_terror

    @ D to America you promise to give me your address,who is coward ? give me your address and I will promiss you I will bring you a present. Salman Rushdie's Book >All about prophet Mohamed..

    May 21, 2010 at 4:56 pm | Report abuse |
    • derek

      spoken like a true American Jew!!! PROMISE !! LOL... Madoff Junior !!

      May 21, 2010 at 4:59 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Islam_religion_of_terror

    @derek just draw anything ?

    May 21, 2010 at 4:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • derek

      I am not stupid as you... I am educated and tolerant to all!!

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

    @noor here we go! is sick to draw Mohamed picture, I want to see you angry like this when they kill Americans,,, that will never happens,, because you are Muslim first and then American..

    May 21, 2010 at 5:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • noor

      I DO GET ANGRY! THOUSANDS OF INNOCENT PEPOLE DIED IN THE WORLD TRADE CENTER THAT DAY ON 9/11!! THERE WERE WOMEN, OLD MEN, KIDS, PARENTS WHO WERE GOING TO SEE THEIR LOVED ONES BUT THEY NEVER DID..DO YOU THINK THATS RIGHT?? I DONT THINK SO! MAYBE YOU DO!! IT WAS BIZZAR.. BUT I REALLY DONT WANT TO SEE MUHAMMAD GETTING INSULTED.. THATS IT! DO YOU GET THE POINT!.. I WOULDNT SAY THAT I'M FIRST MUSLIM FIRST OR AMERICAN FIRST... I WOULD SIMPLY SAY THAT I'M A MUSLIM-AMERICAN... AND I JUST WANT PEACE AND NO HATRED!!

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

    @derek tolerant or Ignorant.!

    May 21, 2010 at 5:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • derek

      As said earlier.. Educated but not IGNORAMOUS like you...Still not going through your ears. must be nothing in the middle!!! all FRIED UP!

      May 21, 2010 at 5:03 pm | Report abuse |
  7. MoHamMad

    Quran in Comic...Muhammad at his stupid best..

    faithfreedom(dot)org(slash/)comics(slash)/01(dot)htm

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

    May 21, 2010 at 5:02 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Islam_religion_of_terror

    @derek you are late to the Mosque.. Go Go

    May 21, 2010 at 5:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • derek

      Want to join me in Church !! did you go for your confession yet! !!
      Maybe you need excorcism!!
      Maybe pull you by your ears and maybe that way expand your brain cells a bit!!
      It's people like you who disgust me..... get a JOB!!

      May 21, 2010 at 5:09 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Islam_religion_of_terror

    I never met a Pakistani Pro America? our educated.. they work in WalMart, Cab Driver, 99c ,However,people from India love American and they are educated.

    May 21, 2010 at 5:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • derek

      YOU HIT THE NAIL ON THE HEAD ! !

      IF YOU READ EARLIER....I AM A CATHOLIC INDIAN

      May 21, 2010 at 5:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • noor

      SIR, CORRECT ME IF I'M WRONG.. I HAVE SEEN MORE INDIAN CAB DRIVERS AND WORKING AT WALMART, MORE THAN PAKISTANIS.. LOOKS LIKE YOU HAVE GO TAKE YOUR SURVEY AGAIN!

      May 21, 2010 at 5:18 pm | Report abuse |
  10. American

    Pakistanis are terrorist.. i don’t blame all Muslim but fact is all terrorist are Muslim.. Stop hate and terror..

    May 21, 2010 at 5:11 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Islam_religion_of_terror

    your Imann is not my type of tea. sorry

    May 21, 2010 at 5:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • derek

      Is Imann your name ???? strange name....

      May 21, 2010 at 5:13 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Islam_religion_of_terror

    @derek you are not smart enough to be born in India.

    May 21, 2010 at 5:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • derek

      YOU HIT THE NAIL ON THE HEAD AGAIN ! !
      I was born in India !!

      May 21, 2010 at 5:15 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Islam_religion_of_terror

    American I agree with you 100%. but very few Muslims are willing to fight with us this disease.

    May 21, 2010 at 5:16 pm | Report abuse |
  14. American

    Infect complete Pakistan including their politician and military sponsor terror.. this was official statement from Ms. Clinton that many of Pakistani officers knows about bin laden and other terrorist hiding place

    May 21, 2010 at 5:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • derek

      I am in full agreeemnt with you. When the Pakis were about to be defeated in 1970's war.. it was America who sent the 7th fleet to protect them FROM defeat by Nixon.. Now the outlook has changed. I wonder why!!

      May 21, 2010 at 5:20 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Islam_religion_of_terror

    @derek so you are the first person from India who doesn't know what is talking about,, I am sure you want to give Kashmir to Pakistan.

    May 21, 2010 at 5:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • derek

      If you want Arizona & Texas to be given to Mexico ??? or maybe you move there instead!!

      May 21, 2010 at 5:22 pm | Report abuse |
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