Criminal Complaint Filed Against Times Square Bombing Suspect
Posted May 4, 2010 2:22 PM CST
By Debra Cassens Weiss
Updated: Authorities arrested a suspect in the failed Times Square bombing after he had boarded a plane bound for Dubai at Kennedy Airport on Monday evening; this afternoon, a criminal complaint was filed against him.
Officials believe that Faisal Shahzad, a 30-year-old naturalized U.S. citizen from Pakistan, bought the Nissan Pathfinder found packed with fireworks and other bomb materials, according to the New York Times and the Washington Post. He paid about $1,300 for the car, a law enforcement official told the Post. An ad that appeared to be for the vehicle touted its cleanliness, while disclosing some rust.
According to the criminal complaint, Shahzad admitted to investigators that he tried to detonate the bomb in Times Square and that he had been trained in bomb-building in the Waziristan region of Pakistan, the Times reported. In remarks at a press conference today, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder said that the Justice Department anticipated charging Shahzad with an act of terrorism transcending national borders, attempted use of a weapon of mass destruction and use of a destructive device during the commission of another crime.
Shahzad had formerly lived in Connecticut, where he and his wife kept mostly to themselves, a neighbor told the Times. Shahzad got up early every morning and was nicely dressed as he left for work.
He had overseas links, but that doesn’t necessarily mean a link to al-Qaida, a law enforcement official told the Post. “Think smaller,” the official said.
The Times said Shahzad told authorities that he had acted alone. But within hours of Shahzad's arrest, Pakistan officials said they had arrested seven or eight people in connection with the bombing attempt.
Holder announced the arrest in a late-night news conference, according to the Post. Shahzad was scheduled to appear today in Manhattan federal court.
Last updated at 3:22 p.m. to include information from the criminal complaint and Times updates.