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Accomplice of Times Square plotter arrested in Pakistan

Pakistani security forces have arrested a man who allegedly helped in the training of Faisal Shahzad, the accused in the failed Times Square bombing case.
By HT Correspondent | None, Islamabad
UPDATED ON SEP 30, 2010 08:48 PM IST

Pakistani security forces have arrested a man who allegedly helped in the training of Faisal Shahzad, the accused in the failed Times Square bombing case.

Faisal Abbasi, a major link between Shahzad and Pakistani Taliban chief Hakeemullah Mehsud, was nabbed while he was travelling from Waziristan to Islamabad, sources said on Thursday.

Abbasi had sent Shahzad to Waziristan for training. He is reportedly employed in a federal government organisation and also serves in a local seminary, they said.

Shahzad was arrested at New York's JFK Airport in May while trying to board a flight to Dubai in an effort to flee the US after the failed Times Square car bombing plot May 1.

The plan was foiled when the explosives-laden SUV started emitting smoke and the local people informed the police.

Security forces arrested three people earlier in September on charges of having links with Shahzad. Several others have also been picked up by authorities to track down the network facilitating Shahzad in his activities.

Faisal Shahzad, a Pakistani-American and son of a former Pakistan Air Force (PAF) officer, has admitted before the FBI that the Times Square plot was his brainchild.

In a video released recently, Shahzad appeared alongside Hakeemullah and said such activities were part of a "jihad against foreigners to avenge the atrocities against Muslims".

According to a media report on Thursday, at the time of his arrest, Shahzad said that if he had not been arrested, he planned to detonate a second bomb in New York City two weeks later.

US prosecutors said Shahzad believed the car bomb in Times Square would kill about 40 people and that he "was prepared to conduct additional attacks until he was captured or killed".

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