Terrorist Sweep Nets Illegal Immigrant Arrests, No Criminal Charges


A Watertown, Massachusetts man who may have been involved with the failed Times Square bombing attempt was in the country illegally, say authorities. A federal immigration judge has delayed a decision about whether or not to deport the man, however.

Pir Khan, a 43-year-old taxi driver who is originally from Pakistan, has lived in the United States illegally since 1991 and now faces deportation. Khan and his cousin, Aftab Khan, were arrested on May 13 in connection with the investigation into an attempted terrorist attack in New York City.

The May 1 incident, in which Muslim Pakistani-American Faisal Shahzad left an SUV filled with explosives in the crowded Times Square district of New York, prompted an investigation which led authorities to the Khan cousins. According to the deputy chief counsel for United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Richard D. Neville, Aftab Khan, 27, had Shahzad’s telephone number stored in his cell phone, and written on the back of an envelope that was found in the bedroom of the apartment that Khan shared with his cousin and some other men.

Neither man faces criminal charges in the alleged terrorist attack.

During a recent hearing, United States Immigration Judge Matthew J. D’Angelo said that there was evidence to show that Pir Khan had illegally crossed the Mexico-United States border in August 1991.

“I will find removability is established,” D’Angelo said during the hearing. “The evidence is clear and unequivocal.”

Saher Macarius of Framingham represents both men. In Pir Khan’s case, he plans to argue that the taxi driver’s clean criminal record, as well as his marriage to an American citizen, means that Khan should be allowed to remain in the country instead of being deported to Pakistan.

Khan had sought political asylum, beginning in 1994, but that was denied in September 2007. Khan appealed that decision, and also got married to Rebecca May Barry, then 22, a few months later.

Macarius has denied that either of his clients are acquainted with Faisal Shahzad, and that if ties existed between Aftab Khan and Shahzad, the former would already be facing criminal charges. Instead, Aftab Khan was ordered deported last week.

Pir Khan is being held at the Plymouth County Jail for the alleged immigration violations. During an earlier hearing in his case, Neville questioned whether Khan had two wives, saying that during the political asylum application process, the immigrant had mentioned a wife back in Pakistan. According to Macarius, however, Khan was never legally married to the Pakistani woman, who had died in 2001.


Bookmark This Article:
| del.icio.us: Delicious | Digg: Digg | Technorati: Technorati | Newsvine: Seed this article | Reddit: Add to Reddit | Furl: Add to furl | |
| Stumble Upon: Stumble This Article | Yahoo!: YahooMyWeb | Google: Google |