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Latest update : 2010-09-08

Pakistani police have detained three people suspected of involvement in the plot to plant a bomb on May 1 in New York's Times Square. The three were arrested in the Pakistani capital of Islamabad two weeks ago and interrogated for several days.

AFP - Pakistan's police have arrested three suspects linked to a Pakistani-American accused in New York of the attempted car bombing of Times Square, a senior police official said Wednesday.

The three were detained in Pakistan's capital, Islamabad, two weeks ago and had been interrogated for several days, police said.

"It has been proved that they had links with Faisal Shehzad (the car-bombing suspect arrested in New York) and had transferred money to him," Bani Amin, operations police chief in Islamabad, told AFP.

"Today we have lodged a formal case against them," said Amin, who named the three suspects as Shoaib Mughal, Mohammad Shahid and Hanbal Akhtar.

He said the three suspects also had close links with Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) leaders Hakimullah Mehsud and Qari Hussain, whose organisation has claimed responsibility for Shehzad's May 1 plot to bomb Times Square.

Mehsud is the chief of the TTP and Hussain is a militant commander of a TTP faction known as "Ustad-e-Fidaeen," which trains suicide bombers.

The TTP is based in Pakistan's tribal badlands on the Afghan border and has been blamed for some of the deadliest suicide attacks in the nuclear-armed country.

Pakistan acknowledged on July 26 that Shehzad had met the country's Taliban commander and several other people.

In June Shehzad pleaded guilty in a New York court to the Times Square car bombing attempt and warned that the United States faced similar attacks until it left Muslim lands.

Sky News broadcast a video in July, showing Shehzad and Mehsud shaking hands, smiling and hugging some time before the failed May 1 attack.

At the request of the United States Pakistan has opened an investigation into possible links between Shehzad and militant groups.

Pakistani-born Shehzad was pulled off a flight to Dubai two days after parking a car containing a bomb in Times Square.

He told a judge that he had undergone bomb-making training during a 40-day stay with the TTP in Pakistan, between December 9 and January 25.

On returning to the United States, Shehzad said, he had planned the bombing and had acted alone, telling the judge: "Nobody helped me."

Date created : 2010-09-08

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