The Pakistan government has detained a co-owner of an upscale catering company in Islamabad and at least four others in connection with the botched Times Square bombing plot for which Pakistani-American terror suspect Faisal Shahzad has been arrested in the United States, a media report said in Washington on Saturday.
The suspects, including Salman Ashraf of 'Hanif Rajput Catering Service', were taken into custody following the May 1 Times Square terror plot, The Washington Post reported on Saturday. The report came a day after Pakistan's Geo News channel said that six persons had been detained in different parts of the country on suspicion of harbouring links with Shahzad.
Citing a US embassy alert in Islamabad, the Post said Americans have been warned about the 'Hanif Rajput Catering Service' as "terrorist groups may have established links" to it.
The unusual embassy alert on Friday said the company was owned by Salman Ashraf -- who was taken into custody a few days ago -- and his father Rana Ashraf Khan, but it did not elaborate on its alleged ties to militants.
However, Rana Ashraf Khan said that he was shocked by the news of the detention of his son, who had been missing for the last 12 days. The US warning said American government personnel had been instructed to avoid patronising the caterer.
US officials had relayed information about the caterer's suspected terror links to Pakistani authorities, the alert said.
Shahzad, 30, was arrested by the US federal authorities in New York on charges of plotting a car bombing at the Times Square on May 1.
He has told investigating authorities that he was trained in Pakistan's Waziristan tribal belt. Investigations have held the Tehrek-e-Taliban Pakistan responsible for the attempted bombing.