Man Linked to Times Square Bomber Charged with Lying to Feds

By Jonathan Dienst
|  Tuesday, Nov 16, 2010  |  Updated 2:46 PM EDT
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Man Linked to Times Square Bomber Charged with Lying to Feds

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A Massachusetts man who authorities said gave nearly $5,000 to the Times Square bomber was charged Tuesday with making false statements about his immigration status.

Aftab Ali, 28, allegedly lied to Homeland Security officials about his immigration status and employment history when investigators questioned him about the money he allegedly gave convicted bomber Faisal Shahzad.

Ali -- also known as Aftab Ali Khan -- is a Pakistani national who was taken in for questioning as investigators followed the money trail in the Times Square bombing investigation this past spring.

Investigators said Shahzad got some money for the plot via numerous illegal wire transfers from Pakistan to the U.S.

Shahzad allegedly collected funds from a money remitter on Long Island as well as Massachusetts.

But officials said Ali did not know the cash he passed on was going to be used for a terror plot.

Shahzad had left his green Nissan smoldering in Times Square after his attempt to set off the car bomb failed. Shahzad was later arrested on a plane at Kennedy airport as he tried to flee the country.

As for Ali, he allegedly entered to U.S. with the intent to get married "just so he could get his 'papers,'" the criminal complaint said. Homeland security officials said he married a woman in November 2009 in exchange for paying the woman financial support, prosecutors said.

Ali also allegedly lied to federal agents about his employment history after agents came to question him about the Times Square terror plot.

Officials said he had been working at a Mobil gas station in Brookline, Massachusetts.

Ali's defense attorney Saher Macarius did not immediately return a call to his office for comment. At the time his client was brought to New York to answer questions about the funds he allegedly gave Shahzad, Macarius said his client was cooperating. “He is a good person, and he will try to help the government.’’

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