Taliban funded Times Square plot: Shahzad

Investigators believe funding for Shahzad in US was channelled through hawala.

New York: The Times Square bomb suspect claimed during his lengthy interrogation that he received financial support from the Pakistani Taliban for his failed one-man operation, two US law enforcement officials close to the probe said.

Investigators believe funding for Faisal Shahzad in the United States was channelled through an underground money transfer network known as "hawala", the officials said. But, one official said, "There`s a belief that no one in the US who got him the funds was aware of what they were for."

The investigation`s main asset has been Shahzad. After he waived his right to an initial court appearance and agreed to cooperate after his May 03 arrest, a special interrogation team of FBI, CIA and Defence Department investigators was brought in to grill him in a Brooklyn hotel room, an official said.

The team of investigators was there to "build his trust", the official said. "But he was never really worried about talking. It was clear from the start, he wanted to."

Shahzad told the investigators he was "supported" by the Pakistani Taliban, which initially claimed responsibility for the bombing in three separate videos, then later denied any role.

For Shahzad, the underground series of cash transfers in the United States "was like his Western Union”, an official said.

Bureau Report

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