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Federal Agents Link Watertown Arrest to Times Square Bomb02:44

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The lawyer for a man arrested last week in Watertown during raids related to the failed bombing of Times Square says his client has no connection to the primary suspect in that case.

An attorney for Immigration and Customs Enforcement told an immigration judge that when federal agents arrested the man who told the judge his name is Aftab Ali, they recovered an envelope with the name Faisal on it, and a telephone number with a 203 area code.

That’s in Connecticut. The agents also found a cell phone, and in its directory, they found, under the name Faisal, the same phone number. Federal agents later determined that that number belongs to Faisal Shazad, the alleged Times Square bomber.

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers take Aftab Ali Khan into custody outside a home searched by FBI agents in Watertown. (AP)
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers take Aftab Ali Khan into custody outside a home searched by FBI agents in Watertown. (AP)

But Ali’s lawyer, Saher Macarius, says a federal lawyer offered no proof that that the cell phone found by an agent belonged to Ali.

“He did not say he found it on my client,” Macarius said. "He said he found it in the premises. It’s a big difference. There are more than one person living in that premises."

Macarius spoke to reporters outside the JFK building, on City Hall Plaza, after the hearing. He says Ali, whose official documents refer to him as Aftab Ali Khan, told him he doesn’t know Shazad.

"He insisted that he had no connection with that gentleman," Macarius said. "He never seen him before."

Macarius says Ali has never even talked to Shazad.

Ali was able to come to the U.S. with a visa for fiancees. He had been dating a U.S. soldier, whom he met while working as a convoy driver for a private company in Kuwait that provided U.S. soldiers with food and supplies. He and the soldier became engaged.

But later, she sent him an e-mail breaking off the engagement and telling him not to come. Ali flew to Colorado Springs to meet his ex-fiancee, anyway. His lawyer, Saher Macarius, was asked why, after his fiancee broke up with him, Ali was still so determined.

"Obviously, you’ve never broken up with somebody, have you?” Macarius asked. "You try and try — nothing wrong with that."

But, no dice. She didn’t want to marry him. Federal agents say Ali offered to pay the ex-fiancee $5,000 to marry him, but she still said no.

According to the agents, she told Ali she had a boyfriend. He said she could marry him and stay with the boyfriend. The agents say Ali got angry with his ex-fiancee, and then asked her to marry another Pakistani man. Again, she refused.

After three days, Ali left Colorado Springs and went to Massachusetts. He then married another U.S. citizen, a teacher. Ali’s lawyer says on the day he was arrested, his client was headed for Pakistan to wait for his green card.

This program aired on May 21, 2010.

Fred Thys Twitter Reporter
Fred Thys reported on politics and higher education for WBUR.


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