The South Portland man who is under federal investigation for possible financial ties to an attempted bombing in New York City is scheduled to make his first court appearance today, on claims that he overstayed his work visa.

Mohammad Shafiq Rahman, 34, will appear in Boston Immigration Court via teleconference from the South Portland offices of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, court administrators said Tuesday.

Immigration Judge Francis L. Cramer will preside over the hearing at 1 p.m.

Rahman is a Pakistani citizen and a computer programmer who lives with his American wife in South Portland. He was arrested May 13 by immigration agents as part of a sweeping investigation into a failed car bombing May 1 in Times Square.

Authorities have said that Rahman and two other Pakistani men helped transfer money that was used by the bomb suspect, Faisal Shahzad. But no criminal charges have been filed against Rahman, Aftab Khan, 27, and Pir Khan, 43, both of Watertown, Mass., and authorities have said it is not clear whether the men knew anything about the plot.

Rahman has told people that he knew Shahzad several years ago, when both men lived in Connecticut, but they were not friends and he has not spoken with him recently.

Rahman has lived in the United States since 1999, and moved to Maine a few years ago. He is employed by Artist and Craftsman Supply in Portland, and worked previously with several technology firms, including a Saco-based company.

Rahman’s wife, Sara Rahman, has retained an immigration lawyer, Cynthia Arn, and a criminal defense lawyer, Martin Ridge. Arn has not returned calls seeking comment.

Ridge said he is prepared to defend Rahman against any criminal charges, but he is hopeful that none will be filed.

“He doesn’t know how he has been connected to this. He did nothing that he had any reason to believe had anything to do with that fellow in New York,” Ridge said.

“This is a regular hardworking person; he has been employed,” Ridge said. “I think he is a very reasonable guy who doesn’t know how he got caught up in this.”

Pir Khan and his distant cousin, Aftab Khan, have made their first court appearances. The judge ordered Pir Khan to be held without bail as his immigration case plays out; a ruling on Aftab Khan is expected this week.

Staff Writer Trevor Maxwell can be contacted at 791-6451 or at: [email protected]


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