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N.Y. bomb suspect trained in Pakistan
Faisal Shahzad, a naturalized U.S. citizen who received militant training near a Taliban stronghold in Pakistan, has been arrested in the failed car bombing of New York City’s Times Square — an attack Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. called “a terrorist plot aimed at murdering Americans in one of the busiest places in this country.”
A five-count criminal complaint filed Tuesday in U.S. District Court in New York said Mr. Shahzad, 30, did “willfully and knowingly” try to kill and maim people inside the United States and created a “substantial risk of serious bodily injury to others.”
The complaint said that after receiving bomb-making training in Pakistan, Mr. Shahzad traveled to the United States, drove a Nissan Pathfinder to Times Square and attempted to detonate explosive and incendiary devices inside the vehicle. It said the sport utility vehicle contained three full propane gas tanks, two 5-gallon gasoline canisters and several plastic bags containing fertilizer, as well as 152 M-88 fireworks and two alarm clocks.
Mr. Shahzad was arrested at John F. Kennedy International Airport at 11:45 p.m. Monday by FBI agents and New York Police Department detectives after boarding an overseas flight to Dubai. Identified by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agents, Mr. Shahzad was removed from Dubai-based Emirates airline Flight 202 after it had been ordered back to the tarmac.
Mr. Holder on Tuesday said Mr. Shahzad “has been and continues to be questioned by federal agents” and that Mr. Shahzad had provided “useful information to authorities.”
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Mr. Shahzad, married and the father of two small children, is expected to be charged with an act of terrorism transcending national borders, attempted use of a weapon of mass destruction, use of a destructive device during the commission of another crime, and explosives charges.
“Make no mistake — although this car bomb failed to properly detonate — this plot was a serious attempt,” Mr. Holder said. “If successful, it could have resulted in a lethal terrorist attack causing death and destruction in the heart of New York City.”
Born in Karachi, Mr. Shahzad recently returned to the United States after a two-month visit in Pakistan, said U.S. authorities and Pakistani police. They said he traveled to the northeastern city of Peshawar, where the Pakistani army has battled the Taliban.
FBI Deputy Director John S. Pistole said Mr. Shahzad was questioned initially by FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force agents and New York Police Department detectives under the public safety exception to the Miranda rule, but later was also read his Miranda rights. He said he was “cooperative” and provided “valuable intelligence and evidence.”
The public safety exception to the Miranda warning allows police to question a criminal suspect immediately for situations in which there is a threat to public safety.
The White House said President Obama was notified of the arrest shortly after midnight.
On Tuesday, Mr. Obama said the American people “can be assured that the FBI and their partners in this process have all the tools and experience they need to learn everything we can. That includes what, if any, connection this individual has to terrorist groups. And it includes collecting critical intelligence as we work to disrupt any future attacks.”
Meanwhile, Pakistani authorities said they had detained several people in Karachi, many of whom were identified as relatives of Mr. Shahzad, in connection with the attempted bombing.
About the Author
Jerry Seper is the investigative editor for The Washington Times.
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