The Times Square bombing suspect hails from a respected family in a conservative part of Pakistan and there was never any indication he had been drawn to extremism, relatives and friends said Wednesday.
Details about Faisal Shahzad's background emerged as the Pakistani army cast doubt on claims by the Pakistan Taliban that they were behind the failed attack in New York.
Relatives said the family belongs to Pakistan's elite. Shahzad's father was a retired air vice marshal in the Pakistani air force, said Kifyat Ali, a cousin of Shahzad's father. Shahzad has a brother who is a mechanical engineer in Canada, a sister who works at a hospital, and another sister who previously worked as an educator, Ali said.
"His family is very peaceful and they don't have any link with any political or religious party," said Syed Ahmad, a relative in the family's ancestral home in Pabbi district in the northwest.