Two Pakistani natives, one a Boston taxi driver and the other a Brookline gas station worker, were arrested on Thursday. Federal agents are trying to determine whether they knew that Times Square bombing suspect Faisal Shahzad was going to use the money they gave him to help fund his now failed bomb plot. A third person was detained in Boston but was not arrested.
The two suspects, who are roommates, are being held on immigration violations and currently are not facing any criminal charges related to the botched bombing criminal investigation. They believe that the three suspects were involved in hawala. Law enforcement officials have said that Shahzad may have used the money moving service, comprised of an informal network of brokers who move money easily and quickly over long distances.
Shahzad, who was arrested while trying to leave the country, has confessed to the May 1 plan to detonate a makeshift bomb in Times Square. The 30-year-old, who is a naturalized US citizen, admits that he underwent explosives training in Pakistan for five months. He was charged with attempting to kill and maim persons within the US, attempting to use a weapon of mass destruction, and explosives charges.
Shahzad had parked a Pathfinder SUV that contained enough explosives, fuel, and fertilizer to start a fireball on New York’s W. 4th Street. It turns out that he purchased the wrong kind of fertilizer and the firecrackers he chose weren’t strong enough to detonate the propane and gasoline tanks. A street vendor noticed white smoke coming out of the SUV and contacted the authorities. The bomb squad arrived shortly. Fortunately, the bomb did not go off and no one was injured.
Attorney General Eric Holder says that the Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan may be connected to the failed terrorist attack.
Terror hits home as Times Square probe nets arrests, Boston Herald, May 14, 2010
Why FBI is following the money in Times Square bomb case, Christian Science Monitor, May 14, 2010
Related Web Resources:
53 Hours in the Life of a Near Disaster, Newsweek, May 7, 2010
The Hawala System, GDRC.org
Even if you have yet to be charged with a crime, if you are under investigation or were arrested, it is important that you speak with a Boston criminal defense law firm immediately.