Employer: Suspect arrested in Maine raid spoke of Shahzad

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May 14, 2010, 5:48 pm
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(NECN: Marnie MacLean) - More is being learned about the suspect in Maine who was arrested in the FBI raids Thursday.

Larry Adlerstein says he hired Mohammad Shafiq Rahman about nine months ago to create a computer inventory system for his art supply business in Portland, Maine.

Larry Adlerstein--Owner, Artist craftsman and supply: "He's what you would call a gentleman in the word of gentleman...so this is very surprising--of course all I know he was arrested for being in the states illegally."

Adlerstein says just a few days ago he had a conversation with Rahman about the attempted bombing in new york city....his employee made a surprising admission.

Adlerstein: "As a matter of fact I know this guy accused of trying to bomb times square
I haven't seen him in 8 or 9 years but I know him."

Adlerstein says Rahman described the suspected bomber, Faisal Shahzad as an undirected person....no political positions, just a drifter.

Larry: "And then Shafiq said to me maybe that's what terrorist organizations want someone moldable."

That was the end of the conversation and Adlerstein didn't think of it again until the FBI came into his store and told him his computer programmer had been arrested on an immigration violation.

Neighbors say he lives here in this residential neighborhood in South Portland...they say they would see him at night walking the dog with his wife"

No one on this street knows them well....everyone we spoke with said the couple moved in just about six months ago.  At his previous address in South Portland one neighbor said she never saw anything out of the ordinary.

Angela Tracey: "I knew him from living here only and saying hello...he seemed to be pleasant and kept a low profile"
Maine Senator Susan Collins, who has been briefed on the arrest, says Rahman has no direct connection to the Times Square bomb suspect.   
Rahman's boss says for now he is standing by his employee...

"With the possible exception he  was convicted beyond being an illegal immigrant I would higher him back like that....I have confidence in him."

Tags: maine, Marnie MacLean, Times Square, Mohammad Shafiq Rahman
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