Authorities question man inside FBI-raided gas station

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May 13, 2010, 11:35 am
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(NECN: Alison King, Brookline, Mass.) - Federal agents roped off a Mobil station in Brookline Thursday morning, raiding the building along with a gray Honda Accord in the parking lot. 

FBI officials were inside the Mobil station throughout the morning, pulling material out of the building's bays -- it is unclear exactly what they were doing.  The focus of the investigation was on a gray Honda Accord registered to Mohammad Bakht Zameen of 39 Waverley Avenue in Watertown, Mass.  That residence was also raided by FBI officials Thursday morning, and involved the arrest of one man accused of alleged immigration violations.

A man being questioned inside the gas station was an employee who opens the gas station in the morning. He was released at about 11:30 a.m., driven away by the gas station owner's brother. Elias Audy owns the gas station, but his relation to the employee targeted by the FBI is unclear -- other than his obvious role as employer.  There is no reason to believe he is connected with the investigation into the Times Square bomb attempt.

A neighbor described the residents of 39 Waverley Avenue as "quiet" people who kept to themselves.  She said there are new people living there often, so it may be a rental home.  The Watertown police chief described some of those residents as "good people."

The FBI has confirmed that search warrants were being executed across the Northeast -- Massachusetts, Long Island and New Jersey -- in connection with the failed Times Square bombing. The raids were not a part of an investigation into any "active plot" or "immediate threat" to the United States, multiple authorities have publicly stated.

Three people were arrested as part of the raids for alleged immigration violations.  Two of those arrested were said by a Massachusetts law enforcement official to have "direct connections" to Faisal Shahzad, the man accused in the failed Times Square bombing.

Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick said he was briefed days in advance of the raids.

Tags: fbi, Alison King, Times Square, Brookline gas station, Elis Audy, Bill Audy, Mohammad Bakht Zameen
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