Listen: The 'Hawala' System's Role In The Money Trail02:42

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Federal investigators followed the money and arrived in Boston. In high-profile raids Thursday, the authorities arrested two men in the Boston area with "direction connections" — possibly financial — to Faisal Shahzad, the Pakistani American accused of attempting to detonate a car bomb in Times Square two weeks ago.

The case has brought a lot of attention to hawala, an informal system of money transfer that doesn't involve a bank. The authorities say the men in custody might have used the system to transfer money to the bomb suspect.

On Friday, Matthew Levitt spoke with WBUR about the alleged money trail. Levitt is an expert in tracking down terrorists by way of financial relationships. His past work at the FBI focused on fund-raising and logistical support networks for Middle Eastern terrorist groups. Levitt directs the Stein Program on Counterterrorism and Intelligence at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy.

This program aired on May 14, 2010.

Bob Oakes Twitter Senior Correspondent
Bob Oakes has been WBUR's Morning Edition anchor since 1992.