Times Square Car Bomb Case Broadens with U.S. Suspect Arrest and More Overseas
The New York Times and other sources report that the investigation of the Times Square failed car bombing has spread beyond the U.S. Not only has Faisal Shahzad, a 30-year-old U.S. citizen from Pakistan been arrested and charged, but the Pakistani government has captured additional suspects. However, U.S. officials have not confirmed the arrests reported by Pakistani intelligence.
On Monday night, authorities took Shahzad into custody as he tried to flee America on a plane headed to Dubai. According to U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, Shahzad has admitted he was involved in planting an incidiary device in the Nissan Pathfinder parked in New York's Times Square May 1.
CNN reports that Shahzad was charged with five counts this afternoon: "attempting to use a weapon of mass destruction, attempting to kill and maim people in the United States, using and carrying a destructive device, transporting an explosive device, and attempting to damage building, vehicles and other property."
The Washington Post reported the following earlier:
(Shahzad) allegedly purchased the sport utility vehicle that authorities found packed with explosives in New York on Saturday night.
He was arrested by Customs and Border Patrol agents at JFK International Airport as he tried to board a flight to Dubai. Authorities became aware of his identity Monday afternoon.
An FBI-led Joint Terrorism Task Force had taken over the investigation Monday amid growing indications of a possible international connection, U.S. officials and law enforcement sources said.
The update at the New York Times gives details of the investigation's progress:
Speaking at a news conference in Washington, Mr. Holder said Mr. Shahzad had been talking to investigators and had provided "useful information." Officials had previously said that Mr. Shahzad had implicated himself in statements after he was pulled off the plane. At the same time, President Obama said federal investigators were looking into whether Mr. Shahzad had any ties to terrorist organizations.
Before giving a speech at a meeting of the Business Council this morning, President Barack Obama assured Americans that justice will be done.
He also said that said the vigilance of ordinary citizens and the quick thinking of law enforcement led to the suspect's timely capture.
This suspect has been apprehended because of close and effective coordination at every level, including our Joint Terrorism Task force and U.S. Customs and Border Protection. ... New Yorkers have reminded us once again of just how to live with their heads held high.
We know that the aim of those who try to carry out these attacks is to force us to live in fear, and thereby amplifying the effects of their attacks, even those that fail. But as Americans and as a nation we will not be terrorized. We will not cower in fear. We will not be intimidated. We will be vigilant. We will work together, and we will protect and defend the country we love to ensure a safe and prosperous future for our people. That's what I intend to do as president and that is what we will do as a nation.
Holder told reporters at a press conference early Tuesday morning that it's clear that "the intent behind this terrorist act was to kill Americans." Later in the day, he would not confirm the arrests in Pakistan..
CNN's Jeanne Meserve tells what she's discovered about Shahzad and his arrest.
Late Saturday night, when this story broke, Twitter erupted with tweets that thousands of visitors to Times Square had been asked to leave as authorities investigated what appeared to be a car bomb malfunctioning.
Multiple sources say the plot was poorly executed. It appears to be the work of "amateurs."