Federal officers keep watch in front of Manhattan federal court where Faisal Shahzad, 30, is expected to be charged May 4, 2010 in the Times Square car bomb plot in New York City. Shahzad was taken into custody last night while trying to fly out of the country from New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport.
A gas station attendant rounded up last month in Massachusetts during the investigation of the failed Times Square bombing now is in custody in New York, authorities said Wednesday.
It was unclear when or why Aftab Khan — who was to appear in federal court in Manhattan later Wednesday — was brought to New York.
Khan and two other men were detained last month on immigration charges as authorities followed the money trail in their inquiry about terrorism suspect Faisal Shahzad.
Prosecutors said there were still no criminal charges against Khan, but declined further comment. There was no immediate response Wednesday to a phone message left with a lawyer who represented Khan in the immigration case.
Authorities say that during days of voluntary questioning, Shahzad admitted rigging an SUV with a crude, homemade bomb and planting it on a bustling section of Times Square on May 1. Though the bomb failed to detonate, it caused widespread panic and triggered a massive investigation that led to Shahzad's arrest two days later as he was about to leave the country on a Dubai-bound airliner.
The Pakistani-American also claimed he received explosives training during a trip to Pakistan and that he got financial help from the Pakistani Taliban, authorities said.
Federal investigators believe money was channeled through an underground money transfer network known as "hawala," but they have said they doubt anyone in the U.S. who provided money knew what it was for.
Khan, a gas station attendant who lived in Watertown, Mass., has said he had never heard of Shahzad before his arrest. But federal officials allege Khan had Shahzad's first name and number in his cell phone and written on an envelope found in his apartment.
Last month, an immigration judge in Boston ordered Khan deported to his native Pakistan. He was given 30 days to appeal.