Hearing delayed for Mainer linked to NY bomb plot

Posted May 26, 2010, at 1:12 p.m.

BOSTON, Mass. — A Pakistani man who was arrested in Maine on immigration violations during the Times Square attempted bombing investigation will ask to be allowed to stay in the United States based on his marriage to an American woman, his lawyer told an immigration judge Wednesday.

Mohammad Shafiq Rahman, of South Portland, Maine, appeared via video link before an immigration judge in Boston on Wednesday.

Rahman’s lawyer, Cynthia Arn, asked Judge Francis Cramer to postpone the hearing for a week so she could file paperwork documenting Rahman’s marriage in March.

“He’d be applying for adjustment (to his immigration status) based on his marriage,” Arn said.

Cramer postponed the hearing until June 2 to give Rahman’s lawyer time to file the documents.

The government claims Rahman, a computer programmer, overstayed his work visa. He was arrested May 13 and is being held at the Cumberland County jail in Portland, Maine.

Authorities have said Rahman and two men arrested in Massachusetts may have given money to bombing suspect Faisal Shahzad through an informal money transfer network, but may not have known how the money would be used.

Rahman works for Artist & Craftsman Supply. The store’s owner, Larry Adlerstein, has said that Rahman told him that he once knew Shahzad, but hadn’t seen him in eight or nine years and was surprised by Shahzad’s arrest.

Rahman’s friends and colleagues said he and his wife, Sara Rahman, appeared to be in love. Adlerstein said Sara Rahman described her husband as “the best man she’s ever known.”

The two men arrested in Massachusetts, Pir Khan, a cab driver from Watertown, and his roommate, Aftab Ali Khan, a gas station attendant, are also being held without bail.

Last week, a government lawyer said Aftab Khan had Shahzad’s cell phone number stored in his cell phone and written on an envelope seized from his belongings.

Shahzad is accused of leaving an SUV rigged with a homemade bomb in Times Square on May 1. It smoked, but didn’t explode. Federal officials say he has been cooperating with investigators since his arrest.

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