Federal agents Thursday carried out six raids across the Northeast — including one in Watertown and one in Brookline — detaining three men who may have given money to Faisal Shahzad, the failed Times Square car-bomber who authorities say was backed by the Pakistini Taliban.
“These are people who are connected to Mr. Shahzad, we’re still trying to determine exactly what the nature of that connection was,” U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder said.
The men, who are Pakistani nationals, were held on non-criminal immigration violations. They were not linked to any imminent threat or known plot, Holder said.
Two men were arrested in the Bay State raids and one in Maine.
Vincent Lacerra, who lives across from a searched home in Watertown, told The Boston Globe he heard a commotion at 6 a.m. and someone shouting, “FBI! Don’t move, put your hands up!”
He saw about 20 agents pointing guns at the house and a man being taken out in handcuffs.
Agents removed computers from the home where friends of Shahzad reportedly lived shortly before a raid on a Brookline gas station.
Agents also raided businesses and homes in Long Island and New Jersey.
In Centereach, N.Y., a women shouted at reporters, saying: “We’ve done nothing wrong! Go find the real terrorists!”
Shahzad, 30, is charged with attempting to use a weapon of mass destruction. Authorities say Shahzad is cooperating with investigators.