Federal agents are searching two locations in the Boston area and have made two arrests there in connection with the Times Square plot, according to new reports.
“Two search warrants are being executed in the Boston area in relation to the Times Square bomb. They are looking for evidence related to the investigation,” spokesman Richard Kolko said in New York, downplaying the significance of the immigration arrests.
There has yet been no elaboration on the suspected connection with the plot, or its would-be executor Faisal Shahzad. It remains unclear whether the arrests occurred as a result of information Shahzad gave authorities. He had previously told police that he acted alone:
Two locations being searched are a home in the suburb of Watertown and a gasoline station in the affluent suburb of Brookline.
[. . .]
Vincent Lacerra, who lives across the street from the searched home in Watertown, told the Boston Globe he was watching television at about 6 a.m. (1000 GMT) when he heard a commotion outside and the words, “FBI, don’t move, put your hands up!”
He looked outside to see about 20 agents with guns drawn, the Globe reported on its website. “They all had their guns drawn, pointed at the house,” he said.
Soon afterward, a man whose age he estimated at 25 to 40 was taken from the house and put into an Immigration and Customs Enforcement van.
Full story here.
UPDATE: Lots of new information on the federal raids/searches today, which may or may not be in connection with the Times Square plot. The raids extended to Massachusetts, New York, and New Jersey, and focused on “cash couriers” who bring money into the United States to finance terror.
Three people were taken into custody for alleged immigration violations during the searches, according to a U.S. official. Earlier, FBI spokeswoman Gail Marcinkiewicz in Boston said two people had been detained. A second federal law enforcement source said those two have no direct connection to the Times Square bombing investigation, and their arrests were considered “collateral.
Some of the money allegedly ferried by the cash couriers is thought to have been made available to finance operations like the abortive Times Square attack. The source close to the investigation said two individuals have been under surveillance at least since Wednesday, but could not confirm that they were two of the three individuals arrested in the raids.
The source said there is no direct evidence connecting those under surveillance to the Times Square attempted bombing, but they are being investigated for possible links.
“These searches are the product of evidence that has been gathered in the investigation since the attempted Times Square bombing and do not relate to any known immediate threat to the public or active plot against the United States,” Attorney General Eric Holder told the House Judiciary Committee on Thursday. “I share that information just to indicate that this is an ongoing investigation and that we are actively pursuing all those who were involved in it.”