Pak-American Held For US Metro Bomb Plot

"(TIMESOFINDIA)
A Pakistani-American national has been arrested by US federal authorities in connection with an alleged plot to bomb Washington DC metro stations, weeks after the Obama administration warned Islamabad it would face consequences if another terrorist attack was found originating from Pakistan.

Farooque Ahmed, 34, of Ashburn, a Greater Washington suburb, conspired with people he thought to be al-Qaida operatives to bomb the Arlington Cemetery, Pentagon City, Crystal City and Court House stations during rush hour, a federal indictment said on Wednesday. Ahmed, a naturalized US citizen born in Pakistan, first drew the attention of law enforcement officials by seeking to obtain unspecified materials, officials revealed.

He later became the target of an elaborate undercover sting by federal agents posing as undercover Islamic radicals, but at no time were metro users ever in danger, officials said. The sting operation strung him along till he agreed to conduct video surveillance of the stations and suggested the best time to attack and the best locations to place explosives to maximize casualties.

He is also accused of later turning over video and sketches he made of the stations.

Although the plot does not appear to have developed as much as bomber Shahzad Faizal's Times Square attempt, the incident comes as another huge embarrassment to Pakistan, which only recently concluded a ""strategic dialogue"" with the US and took home $2 billion in military aid with promises to address the terrorism issue.

Officials did not disclose if Ahmed had any ties with Pakistani terrorist groups like Shahzad did, but even otherwise, the incident puts tens of thousands of Pakistani immigrants and Pakistani-Americans already on the radar in an even more difficult situation. On Wednesday, the talk in the community in the Washington DC area was whether Ahmed had initiated the plot or if he had been suckered into genera