Monday, October 24, 2016

Shahzad Faisal: Times Square car bomb suspect arrested

January 17, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

An SUV loaded with gas and explosives was found in the heart of Times Square Saturday night.

U.S. law enforcement authorities said they arrested a naturalized American citizen from Pakistan in connection with the attempted car bombing in Times Square this past weekend.

30-year-old Faisal Shahzad — was nabbed at John F. Kennedy airport trying to board a flight to Dubai early this morning.

Authorities said Shahzad, who is of Pakistani origin and lived in Connecticut, had paid cash for a Nissan Pathfinder found with explosives after it was set ablaze but failed to detonate Saturday night on a tourist-crowded block in midtown Manhattan. Officials located him after a sweeping two-day investigation that yielded what senior Obama administration officials described as a flood of international and domestic clues suggesting a plot involving more than one person.

Attorney General Eric Holder said at an early morning news conference in Washington. The announcement came less than three days after a botched bombing attempt that led police to evacuate parts of Times Square.

“This investigation is ongoing, as are our attempts to gather useful intelligence, and we continue to pursue a number of leads,” Holder said. “But it’s clear that the intent behind this terrorist act was to kill Americans.”

Investigators interviewed the former owner of the bomb- carrying sport-utility vehicle, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg said. The person was tracked through the car’s vehicle identification number, which was stripped from the dashboard, Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly said. The number is also typically stamped on parts such as the engine block.

The attempted bombing “was intended to terrorize, and I would say that whomever did that would be categorized as a terrorist,” Robert Gibbs, the White House press secretary said yesterday.
The intended detonator, Kelly said, was a can filled with consumer-grade fireworks. The car also held two containers of gasoline and three propane tanks, wired with two clocks, the commissioner said.

The intended detonator, Kelly said, was a can filled with consumer-grade fireworks. The car also held two containers of gasoline and three propane tanks, wired with two clocks, the commissioner said.

A man described as about 40 years old was seen on a neighborhood surveillance camera as he hurried through Shubert Alley, a pedestrian walkway between West 44th and West 45th Streets, steps from where the explosive-laden car was parked May 1, he said.

Still, within 48 hours, agents from Customs and Border Protection arrested Shahzad and took him into custody. It was not immediately clear what the charges were or where he was being held — or whether other arrests were imminent. The U.S. attorney’s office in New York said Shahzad will appear in Manhattan federal court Tuesday to be formally charged.

Authorities became aware of Shahzad’s identity Monday afternoon, and he was arrested at about 11:45 p.m. Monday. Shahzad’s flight to Dubai had left the gate and was headed toward the runway when authorities discovered that he was on board and wanted. He was removed from the plane and taken into custody, an official said.

Officials were reluctant to discuss Shahzad’s potential ties to foreign extremists — or his travel abroad — except to say that they believed he was fleeing the country at the time of his arrest.
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