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Warrants executed in Times Square plot

May 13, 2010 at 3:14 PM   |   Comments

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WATERTOWN, Mass., May 13 (UPI) -- Three people were in custody Thursday after raids in Maine, Massachusetts, New York and New Jersey in the failed Times Square bombing, federal authorities said.

The searches included a gas station in Brookline, Mass., and a home in Watertown, Mass., FBI spokeswoman Gail Marcinkiewicz told the New York Daily News. CNN reported a federal law enforcement source said two locations on Long Island, N.Y., and as well as addresses in Cherry Hill and Camden, N.J., also were raided.

"There's no known immediate threat to the public or active plot against the United States," Marcinkiewicz said, adding the searches were triggered by evidence gathered in the Times Square investigation.

A federal official said three people, including one in Maine and two in Massachusetts, were taken into custody for alleged immigration violations, CNN reported. The network said a second federal law enforcement source said the initial two WCVB-TV reported were detained in Watertown, Mass., have no direct link to the Times Square bombing investigation.

CBS reported the warrants were related to the money trail used to finance the attempted car bombing. CNN reported an unnamed source it described as close to the investigation said the raids targeted a system of "cash couriers" who move money into the United States from overseas.

Faisal Shahzad, 30, of Connecticut was arrested days after leaving an explosives-filled car in Times Square May 1. Shahzad allegedly was trained by the Pakistani Taliban, authorities said.

"These searches are the product of evidence that has been gathered in the investigation since the attempted Times Square bombing and do not relate to any known immediate threat to the public or active plot against the United States," Attorney General Eric Holder told the House Judiciary Committee Thursday. "I share that information just to indicate that this is an ongoing investigation and that we are actively pursuing all those who were involved in it."

The New York Times reported an unidentified law enforcement official it described as having been briefed on the case said the searches didn't represent a "big break" in the investigation.

The Times said the official said prosecutors and members of the Joint Terrorist Task Force didn't expect to charge anyone else with terrorism.

"We're gathering information and following leads in terms of people who may have provided money to Shahzad, or knowingly or unknowingly helped him," said the official, who would speak about the investigation only on condition of anonymity.

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