Times Square bomb plot suspect arrested 'at last second'

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Times Square bomb plot suspect arrested 'at last second'

Postby asterix » Tue May 04, 2010 4:50 pm

The latest details on the dramatic investigation in the Times Square bomb plot and the arrest of Faisal Shahzad, starting at 7 p.m. ET Tuesday on CNN.

New York (CNN) -- Authorities hunting for the suspect in the botched Times Square bombing dramatically beat the clock overnight, seizing a Pakistani-American citizen moments before he was set to begin a long trip to his strife-torn homeland.

Faisal Shahzad, 30, was arrested around 11:45 p.m. ET Monday at New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport, said Attorney General Eric Holder.

Investigators found a 9mm handgun with clips and ammunition in a vehicle that the suspect is believed to have driven to the airport, a federal law enforcement source said Tuesday.

In addition, authorities found 15 bags of "standard green fertilizer" and flash powder in the trash outside Shahzad's apartment in Connecticut, the source said.

Shahzad will appear after 2 p.m. ET Tuesday in federal court, the U.S. attorney's office in Manhattan said.

Shahzad was on board Emirates Airlines Flight 202 to Dubai, United Arab Emirates, and the jetway had been pulled back when the plane was called to return to the gate, a law enforcement source said. Shahzad was booked through to Islamabad, Pakistan, via Dubai, a senior airline official confirmed.

"They just caught him at the last second," a law enforcement source said.

The FBI said its agents and New York detectives arrested Shahzad "for allegedly driving a car bomb into Times Square."

President Obama said Tuesday that "justice will be done" in the case and that U.S. officials "will do everything in our power to protect the American people."

The failed bombing is "another sobering reminder of the times in which we live," Obama told an audience of business leaders. But the United States "will be vigilant" and "will not cower in fear," he said.

Also Tuesday, New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg praised the dogged law enforcement efforts but also said the city won't tolerate any backlash against Pakistanis or Muslims.

"This was an act designed to kill innocent civilians and strike fear into the hearts of Americans," Bloomberg said. "And I'm happy to say that it failed on both counts. We will not be intimidated by those who hate the freedoms that make the city and this country so great."

The Justice Department said the attorney general will hold a news conference about the attempted bombing at 1 p.m. ET Tuesday, joined by Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, Deputy FBI Director John Pistole and New York Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly.

Security officials removed three passengers from the flight late Monday, including Shahzad, a senior airline official said.

Authorities searched the plane, luggage and checked all passengers again before the flight took off early Tuesday for Dubai.

The two passengers taken off with Shahzad were cleared and released later Tuesday, a law enforcement source said. The two "had nothing to do with this" but were removed from the plane in an abundance of caution "in the rush of the moment," the source said.

Police have been engaged in a furious manhunt in the New York area for those responsible for an intended terrorist attack Saturday night in the heart of Manhattan's Times Square.

According to a source familiar with the investigation, the individuals didn't have the expertise to detonate a parked Nissan Pathfinder containing propane tanks, fertilizer and gasoline.

Authorities focused on Shahzad when they traced evidence to him from the sale of the Nissan Pathfinder used in the failed attack -- information considered the linchpin of the case.

The Nissan Pathfinder had its vehicle identification number removed from the dashboard. Police climbed under the SUV and retrieved the VIN from the bottom of its engine block.

This breakthrough led investigators to the vehicle's registered owner and then on to Shahzad, who purchased the SUV, an official said.

The Nissan Pathfinder was sold three weeks ago in a cash deal with no paperwork exchanged, a law enforcement source with knowledge of the investigation said Monday. The $1,800 deal was closed at a Connecticut shopping mall, where the buyer handed over the money and drove off, the source said.

Cell phone calls conducted for the purchase of the vehicle helped lead police to the suspect, law enforcement sources said.

Sources said investigators got cell phone information from the daughter of the Nissan Pathfinder owner. She sold the vehicle to Shahzad on behalf of her father.

She talked on the phone to Shahzad in organizing the purchase of the sport utility vehicle, which was advertised for sale on Craigslist.

Another law enforcement source said Shahzad claimed to have acted alone in the attempted bombing, but the Joint Terrorism Task Force has said it's considering the possibility that the attempt involved more than just a "lone wolf."

Hours after the arrest, police were seen at a house in a Bridgeport, Connecticut, working-class neighborhood as part of the investigation. Agents with the FBI and local police, including members of a bomb squad, conducted a search, and investigators removed filled plastic bags.

A woman who said she lived next door to Shahzad in Shelton, Connecticut, said there was some kind of police activity at his former residence Monday.

Brenda Thurman said Tuesday that the man she knew was quiet and claimed to work on Wall Street.

"He would wear all black and jog at night. He said he didn't like the sunlight," Thurman said.

She said that Shahzad, his wife, two children and his wife's two sisters lived next to her for about three years, moving out in July 2009.

Shahzad's wife told Thurman then that the family was moving to Missouri. A few weeks after they left, the bank foreclosed on the property and changed the locks, the neighbor said.

Court documents reveal Shahzad purchased a house that entered foreclosure proceedings last year.

Documents from Connecticut's Milford Superior Court show that Shahzad and Huma Mian purchased a home at 119 Long Hill Ave. in Shelton in July 2004. They took out a mortgage for $218,400 from Chase Manhattan Mortgage Corp.

Last September, the mortgage company began foreclosure proceedings. As of December 14, Shahzad and Mian owed $207,837.

While police continued to piece together information about Shahzad, they learned he traveled to Dubai before, most recently in June 2009 and returned to the United States in early February, a law enforcement official said.

Pakistani Interior Minister Rehman Malik said Shahzad has a Karachi identification card, a sign of Pakistani residency, and that his family is from volatile northwestern Pakistan, where government forces have been fighting Taliban militants, who have strongholds in the area.

Shahzad became a U.S. citizen on April 17, 2009, which aided investigators in the case, the federal law enforcement source said. Because of his recent change in residency status, authorities had his picture and were able to show it to the seller of the vehicle, who identified Shahzad as the purchaser.

http://edition.cnn.com/2010/CRIME/05/04 ... tml?hpt=T1

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Re: Times Square bomb plot suspect arrested 'at last second'

Postby afghankhan » Tue May 04, 2010 5:08 pm

I don't know what America and Nato is doing in Afghanistan? Has there ever been an Afghan terrorist outside Afghanistan? I mean yes I agree that nobody wants Talibans back but thats our domestic problem... Amerca should be in a certain country very close to Afghanistan,,,

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Re: Times Square bomb plot suspect arrested 'at last second'

Postby Ankur » Tue May 04, 2010 5:47 pm

asterix wrote:Shahzad became a U.S. citizen on April 17, 2009, which aided investigators in the case, the federal law enforcement source said. Because of his recent change in residency status, authorities had his picture and were able to show it to the seller of the vehicle, who identified Shahzad as the purchaser.


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Re: Times Square bomb plot suspect arrested 'at last second'

Postby shourey » Tue May 04, 2010 6:27 pm

afghankhan wrote:I don't know what America and Nato is doing in Afghanistan? Has there ever been an Afghan terrorist outside Afghanistan? I mean yes I agree that nobody wants Talibans back but thats our domestic problem... Amerca should be in a certain country very close to Afghanistan,,,


Its what lies between India and Afganistan , that has been the source and cause of almost all problems. I would just want USA and others to stay out and stop financing the problem state.

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Re: Times Square bomb plot suspect arrested 'at last second'

Postby asterix » Tue May 04, 2010 6:30 pm

Yes, the doles and financing should stop.