Pak caterer, others held for ties to Times Square bomb plot

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Islamabad, May 22 (ANI): Pakistani authorities have detained the co-owner of an upscale catering company in the capital and at least four other men in connection with the Times Square bomb plot, a Pakistani intelligence official said Friday.

According to the Washington Post, the U.S. Embassy had issued a warning to Americans in Pakistan about Hanif Rajput Catering Service, saying that "terrorist groups may have established links" to it.

The unusual alert said a father and son owned the company, but it did not elaborate on its alleged ties to militants.

A Pakistani intelligence source, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said the son, Salman Ashraf Khan, 35, was arrested about 10 days ago on suspicion of links to Faisal Shahzad, the Pakistani American accused of the attempted bombing in New York. Four or five other people were also arrested in Islamabad, including at least one who was a close friend of Khan's, the official said.

Hanif Rajput has catered elite events in the capital, including U.S. Embassy functions.

Reached briefly by telephone early Saturday, Rana Ashraf Khan, Khan's father, said his son went missing on the morning of May 10 after leaving his home for work. He said that he had heard nothing from his son since then and that authorities had given him no information.

"My son loves his religion, but he has nothing to do with terrorism. Salman is not an extremist but a normal person," the paper quoted him, as saying. (ANI)

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