Faisal Shahzad: 'From Suburban Father to a Terrorism Suspect'

Pak-born New York ‘terrorist’ nailed
The News, May 05, 2010
Times Square bomb Faisal Shahzad charged on five counts including global terrorism
Monitoring Report

RAWALPINDI A Connecticut man pulled off a plane bound for Dubai and arrested in a failed bid to set off a car bomb in Times Square has made statements implicating himself, a law enforcement official said on Tuesday morning.

The man, Faisal Shahzad, 30, a naturalized United States citizen from Pakistan, was taken into custody just before midnight Monday at Kennedy Airport aboard an Emirates flight that had just pulled away from the gate, officials said.
According to a Reuters report, US prosecutors on Tuesday charged the man with five counts, including trying to explode a weapon of mass destruction, and they said he admitted receiving bomb-making training in Pakistan.

Mr Shahzad had apparently driven to the airport in a white Isuzu Trooper that was found in a parking lot with a loaded handgun inside, the official said. Mr Shahzad also told authorities that he acted alone, but hours after he was arrested, security officials in Karachi said they arrested a Pakistani man who had spent time with Mr Shahzad during a recent visit there.

Mr Shahzad, who lives in Bridgeport, Conn, spent four months in Pakistan last year, the authorities said. His ties to that country as well as the arrest there of Mr Ferhan, strengthened suspicions that the Times Square plot had at least some tentacles reaching overseas.

Meanwhile, the United States said it is “working closely” with Pakistan in the probe into the botched New York car bombing. “We are working closely with the government of Pakistan regarding the ongoing investigation of the bomb plot in Times spokesman Philip Crowley told reporters.

“We have very close law enforcement and intelligence relationships with Pakistan,” he said when asked for details of the cooperation. He also said US officials “appreciate Pakistan’s pledge of full cooperation.”

For complete article, click here
From Suburban Father to a Terrorism Suspect - New York Times
Failed Times Square attack comes at delicate time for U.S.-Pakistan ties - AfPak Channel, Foreign Policy
How Did the Times Square Suspect Become a US Citizen? - Mother Jones
Faisal Shahzad Charged with Five Counts, Admits Training in Pakistan - WSJ
Clumsy but keen: would-be bombers stir concern - Reuters
Faisal Shahzad Facebook mixup highlights hazards of Web journalism - Christian Science Monitor
Faisal Shahzad: Another Well-Heeled Terror Suspect - Sepia Mutiny


Times Square Plot Underscores Urgency of Support for Pakistan’s Democracy Movement

The attempted bombing of New York’s Times Square over the past weekend underscores the urgency of our support for the democracy movement in Pakistan. Years of double-dealing by dictatorships that sympathized with jihadi ideology and used militant groups as proxy fighters resulted in an expansive network of terrorists inside the country. The democratic government, elected in 2008, has been working closely with the US to eliminate these groups.

Since turning its sights on the terrorist networks that had been let to grow under military dictatorships, Pakistan has suffered regular and devastating attacks. Over the past two years, thousands of Pakistanis have been killed by militants. The Taliban has vowed to increase attacks on both the democratic government in Pakistan as well as targets in the United States.

As police analyze evidence in the New York bombing attempt, a picture has begun to emerge of Taliban militants attempting to expand their reach to threaten Americans as well as Pakistanis.

Pakistan’s democratic government, long a key-ally in the war on terrorism, has vowed its full cooperation with the US in tracking down and bringing to justice those responsible for the attempted attack.

We will cooperate with the United States in identifying this individual and bringing him to justice,” Interior Minister Rehman Malik told Reuters.

Pakistani foreign ministry spokesman Abdul Basit said they were awaiting details from the US authorities about Faisal.

Meanwhile, a senior Pakistani government official said US ambassador to Islamabad Anne Patterson held talks with Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi.

“There has been initial discussion when the US ambassador met our foreign minister,” said the official.

“Pakistan and the US have ongoing, robust cooperation on counter-terrorism. If required, we will extend fullest cooperation to US,” the official added.

Pakistan is a key ally of the United States and has arrested hundreds of al-Qaeda operatives and handed over many of them to the United States after it signed up to the US-led war on terrorism after the September 11 attacks on the United States in 2001.

News agencies are reporting that law enforcement in Pakistan has arrested several people who may be connected to or have information about the attempted bombing.

The Taliban, al Qaeda, and other militant groups have demonstrated that they are working to expand their reach across the globe by working in coordination with one another. In doing so, they have managed to amplify the impact of what are actually small groups of dedicated terrorists. To defeat this menace, we must support and coordinate with other pro-democracy movements and governments – especially those on the front lines of the war on terror.

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