FBI executes searches related to Times Square plot

FBI searches multiple homes in Northeast and holds two people in custody on alleged immigration violations

By Mark Pratt

Published May 13, 2010 2:31PM (EDT)

Federal agents were searching locations in Massachusetts and New York in connection with the failed Times Square car bomb, and two people were arrested, federal authorities and a witness said Thursday.

The searches were the product of evidence gathered in the investigation into Faisal Shahzad's alleged bombing attempt, but there was "no known immediate threat to the public or any active plot against the United States," FBI spokeswoman Gail Marcinkiewicz said.

Marcinkiewicz would not confirm any addresses, but police have cordoned off a small house in Watertown, a suburb about 10 miles west of Boston where a neighbor reported seeing an FBI raid. FBI spokesman Richard Kolko said locations in Long Island also had been searched.

Justice Department spokesman Dean Boyd said the two people taken into custody were being held on alleged immigration violations, but he would not provide more details.

Shahzad, 30, is accused of trying to detonate a bomb-laden SUV in Times Square on May 1. The vehicle smoldered but didn't explode. Federal agents, tracing Shahzad through the SUV's previous owner, caught him two days later on a plane bound for the United Arab Emirates as it was departing New York's Kennedy Airport.

Shahzad has not yet appeared in court. Federal investigators say he has been cooperating and has told them he received weapons training in Pakistan.

Vinny Lacerra, 50, who lives across the street from the house raided in Watertown, said he was in his living room about 6 a.m. when he heard somebody say, "FBI! Put your hands up!"

Lacerra said he looked out his windows and saw 15 to 20 FBI agents with their guns drawn surrounding the house.

He said about 15 minutes later, the agents went inside and came out with one man handcuffed and took him down the street. He also said he saw an agent from Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

"I was surprised to see this because this is what you see on TV," Lacerra said.


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Times Square Bomb Attempt