May 4, 2010 1:27 PM by Letitia Walker

Arrest Made in New York Bomb Scare


 NEW YORK (AP) - A Pakistani-born U.S. citizen was hauled off a

plane about to fly to the Middle East and arrested in the failed

attempt to explode a bomb-laden SUV in Times Square, authorities

said Tuesday. One official said he claimed to have acted alone.

      Faisal Shahzad was on board a Dubai-bound flight that was

taxiing away from the gate at Kennedy Airport when the plane was

stopped and FBI agents and New York Police Department detectives

took him into custody late Monday, law enforcement officials said.

      U.S. authorities "will not rest until we have brought everyone

responsible to justice," Attorney Eric Holder said early Tuesday,

suggesting additional suspects are being sought.

      In Pakistan, intelligence officials said at least one man has

been detained in the southern city of Karachi in connection with

the Times Square case: a man named Tauseef who was a friend of

Shahzad. He did not say when the man was picked up.

      Another Pakistani official said several people had been taken

into custody since the failed attack. Both officials spoke on

condition of anonymity because of the sensitive nature of their


      President Barack Obama said "hundreds of lives" may have been

saved Saturday night by the quick action of ordinary citizens and

law enforcement authorities who saw the smoking SUV parked in Times


      "As Americans and as a nation, we will not be terrorized. We

will not cower in fear. We will not be intimidated," Obama said.

      Shahzad, 30, had recently returned from a five-month trip to

Pakistan, where he had a wife, according to law enforcement

officials who spoke to The Associated Press on condition of

anonymity because of the sensitivity of the investigation into the

failed car bombing.

      Shahzad became a naturalized U.S. citizen last year shortly

before traveling to Pakistan, a federal law enforcement official in

Washington said, speaking on condition of anonymity amid the

ongoing investigation.

      Investigators hadn't established an immediate connection to the

Pakistani Taliban - which had claimed responsibility for the

botched bombing in three videos - or any foreign terrorist groups,

a law enforcement official told the AP.

      "He's claimed to have acted alone, but these are things that

have to be investigated," the official said.

      Shahzad has been answering questions for investigators, the

official said, declining to say what information was provided. It's

unclear if those conversations will continue.

      A Pakistani TV station reported that Shahzad spent time in

Karachi and visited the northwestern city of Peshawar during his

stay in Pakistan. Peshawar is a gateway for foreigners seeking to

travel into nearby tribal regions, where militant groups have long

had sanctuary.

      In Washington, Pakistani Embassy spokesman Nadeem Haider Kiani

said it's too soon to tell what motivated the bomber. Asked whether

there were ties to foreign terrorist groups, Kiani said early

indications suggest the bomber was "a disturbed individual."

      Another law enforcement official said Shahzad was not known to

the U.S. intelligence community before the failed bombing attempt,

in which authorities found a crude bomb of gasoline, propane and

fireworks in a 1993 Nissan Pathfinder parked on a bustling street

in Times Square.

      The U.S. attorney's office in Manhattan was handling the case

and said Shahzad would appear in court later Tuesday, but the

charges were not made public. FBI agents searched the home at a

known address for Shahzad in Bridgeport, Conn., early Tuesday, said

agent Kimberly Mertz, who wouldn't answer questions about the


      Authorities removed filled plastic bags from the house in a

mixed-race, working-class neighborhood of multifamily homes in

Connecticut's largest city. A bomb squad came and went without

entering as local police and FBI agents gathered in the

cordoned-off street. FBI agents appeared to have found fireworks in

the driveway that they were marking off as evidence.

      Shahzad was being held in New York and couldn't be contacted. A

phone number at a listed address for Shahzad in Shelton, Conn.,

wasn't in service.

      He used to live in a two-story grayish-brown colonial with a

sloping yard in a working-class neighborhood in Shelton. The home

looked as if it had been unoccupied for a while, with grass growing

in the driveway and bags of garbage lying about.

      A neighbor in Bridgeport described him as quiet.

      "Nobody ever had a problem with him," said Dawn Sampson, 34,

who lives across the street from Shahzad's third-floor apartment.

She said he had remodeled it and had put on the market to rent for

$1,200, a fee she thought was much too high.

      Law enforcement officials say Shahzad paid $1,300 cash three

weeks ago for the Pathfinder, going first for a test-drive in a

mall and offering less than the $1,800 advertised price. Peggy

Colas, 19, of Bridgeport, sold the car to Shahzad after he answered

an Internet ad, law enforcement officials said. The officials spoke

to the AP on condition of anonymity because of the sensitive nature

of the case.

      The vehicle identification number had been removed from the

Pathfinder's dashboard, but it was stamped on the engine, and

investigators used it to find the owner of record, who told them a

stranger bought it. As the SUV buyer came into focus, investigators

backed off other leads.

      The SUV was parked near a theater where the musical "The Lion

King" was being performed. The bomb inside it had cheap-looking

alarm clocks connected to a 16-ounce can filled with fireworks,

which were apparently intended to detonate gas cans and set off

propane tanks in a chain reaction "to cause mayhem, to create

casualties," police Commissioner Raymond Kelly said.

      A metal rifle cabinet in the SUV's cargo area was packed with

fertilizer, but NYPD bomb experts believe it was not a type

volatile enough to explode like the ammonium nitrate grade

fertilizer used in previous terrorist bombings.

      Police said the SUV bomb could have produced "a significant

fireball" and sprayed shrapnel with enough force to kill

pedestrians and knock out windows.

      A vendor alerted a police officer to the parked SUV, which was

smoking. Times Square, clogged with tourists on a warm evening, was

shut down for 10 hours. A bomb squad dismantled the bomb and no one

was hurt.

      Holder urged Americans should remain vigilant.

      "It's clear that the intent behind this terrorist act was to

kill Americans," he said.

      Mayor Michael Bloomberg said the arrest should not be as used as

an excuse for anti-Muslim actions. "We will not tolerate any bias

or backlash against Pakistani or Muslim New Yorkers," he said.

      Authorities did not address Shahzad's plans in Dubai. The

airport there is the Middle East's busiest and is a major transit

point for passengers traveling between the West and much of Asia,

particularly India and Pakistan.

      Dubai-based Emirates airline said three passengers were pulled

from Flight EK202, which was delayed for about seven hours. The

airline did not identify Shahzad by name or name the other two


      The aircraft and passengers were then screened again before

taking off Tuesday morning, and the airline is "cooperating with

the local authorities," Emirates said in a statement e-mailed to

the AP. The other two passengers who had been removed were allowed

to get back aboard the flight, the airline said.

      Pakistan Interior Minister Rehman Malik told the AP that

authorities had not been formally asked for help in the

investigation but would cooperate if asked.

      More than a dozen people with U.S. citizenship or residency,

like Shahzad, have been accused in the past two years of

supporting, attempting or carrying out attacks on U.S. soil,

illustrating the threat of violent extremism from within the U.S.

      Among them are Army Maj. Nidal Hasan, a U.S.-born Army

psychiatrist of Palestinian descent, charged with fatally shooting

13 people last year at Fort Hood, Texas; Najibullah Zazi, a

Denver-area airport shuttle driver who pleaded guilty in February

in a plot to bomb New York subways; and a Pennsylvania woman who

authorities say became radicalized online as "Jihad Jane" and

plotted to kill a Swedish artist whose work offended Muslims.



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