US judge orders release of Pak man arrested in Times bomb case
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Last Updated: Wednesday, August 25, 2010, 13:27
Boston: A Pakistani man arrested for immigration violations during investigation into the failed Times Square bombing plot will soon be released after a judge ruled that there was no reason to keep him behind bars.

Immigration Judge Brenda O'Malley reinstated the USD 10,000 cash bail for Mohammad Shafiq Rahman yesterday.

Rahman's family had posted the bail earlier this year, but Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials had blocked his release, citing new information that they would not publicly disclose.

"He's just looking forward to coming home," Rahman's wife Sara Rahman was quoted as saying by the Boston Globe. She said her husband had relied on his devout Muslim faith to get him through the ordeal.

"Both of us have relied on our love for each other to get through this," she added. "Throughout all of this, he's continued to give me strength and support."

Rahman, a 33-year-old computer programmer from Maine near here, was one of three men arrested from the New England area on May 13 after authorities discovered possible links between them and Faisal Shahzad, who had pleaded guilty to attempting to blow up a car loaded with explosives in Times Square on May 1.

Authorities had also arrested Aftab Ali Khan, 27, and Pir Khan, a 43-year-old taxi driver, during the investigation. Pir Khan was released from jail last month as he was no longer considered a flight risk.

However, officials had said they want to deport Pir Khan, who married an American woman, because he entered the United States illegally through Mexico in 1991.

Rahman's attorney Cynthia Arn said the pending release of her client means that his case is no longer linked to the Time Square bombing attempt.

The issue will be whether Rahman legally qualifies to stay in the United States, given his marriage to an American citizen.

"This will turn into a run-of-the-mill adjustment of status," she said.

Aftab, Pir Khan's cousin, is still in custody in New York for immigration violations. None of the three have been charged with any crime related to the bombing attempt.

According to federal officials, Ali Khan had Shahzad's cell phone number stored in his phone.

Authorities say the men may have given money to Shahzad without knowing how the money would be used.


First Published: Wednesday, August 25, 2010, 13:27

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