NY plot probe: Pak frees ex-Army Major

A retired Army major said on Saturday he had been cleared of any wrongdoing after Pak intelligence released him from custody.

Islamabad: A retired army major said on Saturday he
had been cleared of any wrongdoing after Pakistani
intelligence released him from custody in connection with the
attempted car bombing in New York`s Times Square.

Adnan Ahmad and his brother were among at least 11 people
that Pakistan has rounded up since the failed attack May 1.
Two other suspects face allegations of involvement in the
plot, but no one in Pakistan has been charged.

Ahmad`s detention was especially sensitive because of
ongoing US suspicion that elements in Pakistan`s military and
intelligence world who are sympathetic to Islamist causes have
assisted would-be jihadists.

Pakistan`s army spokesman Maj Gen Athar Abbas confirmed
for the first time today that Ahmad was dismissed from the
military because he had ties to banned organizations, but he
would not elaborate.

The main suspect in the car bomb case, Pakistani-American
Faisal Shahzad, is being held by US authorities. Shahzad is
the son of a former Pakistani Air Force officer.

Ahmad was let go on Friday upon orders from higher-ups,
an intelligence official confirmed on condition of anonymity
because he was not authorized to speak on the record.

He would not give any details about the man`s detention
or what information it yielded.

Ahmad went missing May 10, and his brother, computer
engineer Qamar Ahmad, disappeared a couple of days later.
Reached at a Rawalpindi residence via phone Saturday,
Ahmad told that he was fine and that he
expected his brother to be released shortly.

"It was confusion. I am now back with my family," the
former major said. "It is a proof that it was just a
misunderstanding. They have cleared me."

He declined to discuss anything about his detention or
his ties to Shahzad. Intelligence officials have said he was
linked to people who knew Shahzad.

Ahmad also would not discuss the circumstances
surrounding his departure from the army or exactly when it

Intelligence officials have said he bought his way out in
the last two months because of a "disagreement" with the
army`s policies. But the army`s chief spokesman said Ahmad was
forced out.

"He was dismissed from service for his links with
proscribed organizations," Abbas said.

US officials have accused Shahzad of working with the
Pakistani Taliban to organize the car bomb, a rudimentary
device that failed to detonate. Shahzad was arrested two days
after the failed attack as he tried to fly out of the US on a
Dubai-bound plane.


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