- Associated Press - Thursday, September 30, 2010

ISLAMABAD (AP) — An employee at Pakistan’s state-run Islamic advisory body has been detained for purportedly playing an important role in assisting the failed New York Times Square car bomber, an intelligence officer said Thursday.

The suspect accompanied Faisal Shahzad, the Pakistan-American bomber, to Pakistan’s northwest to meet militant leaders, said the officer, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the intelligence agency does not permit its operatives to be named in the media.

The suspect, identified as Faisal Abbasi, was with Shahzad throughout his time in Pakistan, the officer said.

He said Mr. Abbasi worked for the government’s Council of Islamic Ideology, which advises on Islamic affairs.

The secretary general of the council confirmed Mr. Abbasi had worked there but had been on “vacation” for the last three months.

Pakistan has already charged three men with assisting Shahzad while in Pakistan and sending him money in America.

Shahzad is due to be sentenced in the United States on Oct. 5. He has pleaded guilty to the May 1 failed bombing.