Current Events and the Psychology of Politics

Featured Posts        





May 3rd, 2010

Updated May 4, 2010

Times Square Bomb Suspect Nabbed at Airport

Pakistani-born U.S. citizen attempted to fly from JFK to Dubai


Suspect arrested in NYC bomb plot (NBC News, May 4, 2010) — Authorities arrest Connecticut man in connection with attempted bombing in New York City. NBC’s Pete Williams reports. (10:04)

NBC News, Reuters, and The Associated Press via
May 4, 2010

NEW YORK — Authorities arrested a U.S. citizen in connection with the failed bombing attempt in New York’s Times Square as he tried to leave the country, Attorney General Eric Holder said Tuesday.

Faisal Shahzad, 30, was arrested at 11:45 p.m. ET Monday night by Customs and Border Protection agents as he attempted to board an Emirates airlines flight to Dubai at New York’s JFK airport, officials said. …

Shahzad, a naturalized U.S. citizen who was born in Pakistan, was accused of driving a car bomb into Times Square, authorities said. He will appear in Manhattan Federal Court later Tuesday. …

Trip to Pakistan

Earlier, officials told The Associated Press that the suspect recently returned from a trip to Pakistan, where he has a wife. …

Pakistani police told NBC News that Shahzad was a resident of Karachi and that he had flown from the U.S. to the city on July 3, 2009, before returning to the U.S. on August 8 last year. …

Shahzad was being held in New York and couldn’t be contacted. He has a Shelton, Conn., address and a phone number listed there wasn’t in service. Investigators were searching his home.

Worked on Wall Street?

Image: Suspect Faisal Shahzad
Brenda Thurman, a former neighbor of Faisal Shahzad, said this Facebook photo shows Shahzad with an unidentified woman and child.

At Shahzad’s former home in Shelton, Conn., just outside Bridgeport, a neighbor told The New York Times that Shahzad and his wife, Huma Mian, spoke limited English, and kept mostly to themselves. The couple had two young children, a girl and a boy, said the neighbor, Brenda Thurman.

Thurman told the newspaper that the couple had lived at the house at 119 Long Hill Avenue for about three years before moving out last year. Shahzad left around May, she said, and his wife followed about a month later. …

Shahzad got up early every morning and left to work nicely dressed, and had told her that he worked on Wall Street, Thurman told the Times. “I think he caught the train to New York,” she said.

Law enforcement officials said Shahzad bought the SUV, a 1993 Nissan Pathfinder, that was parked in Times Square on Saturday from a person in Connecticut three weeks ago. NBC News reported he paid $1,300 in cash for the vehicle, which had been advertised on the website Craigslist. …

A man in his 40s who was seen in a security camera video apparently walking away from the SUV was initially a focus of the investigation.

But the New York police commissioner, Raymond W. Kelly, told the Times that while investigators still wanted to speak to that man, he might not be connected to the failed bombing. Paul J. Browne, a spokesman for the department, told the paper: “It may turn out that he was just somebody in the area, but not connected with the car bomb.” …

‘More desire than ability’

James M. Cavanaugh, a former bomb expert with the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives who investigated car bombs and tracked the Unabomber, told The New York Times that the device and the way it was designed speak to a “grandiose purpose.” …

Slide presentation
Image: Times Square is void of pedestrians

Times Square targeted
Police defused a crudely made car bomb found in a SUV parked in New York’s Times Square.

He said that whoever made the bomb had “more desire than ability.” …

Chris Falkenberg, president of Insite Security, which works with Fortune 500 companies, said the device, as described by authorities, “doesn’t differ much at all from ‘The Anarchist Cookbook'” — the underground 1971 manual for homemade explosives.

He said revelations that the fertilizer used could not have exploded suggested “this is amateur hour. My kids could build a better bomb than this.” …

The Washington Post reported Monday that an FBI-led terrorism task force had taken over the investigation because of indications it was connected to international terrorism, a senior law enforcement source said. …

The Taliban in Pakistan said Sunday it planted the bomb to avenge the death of its leader Baitullah Mehsud, the recent killings of the top two leaders of al-Qaida in Iraq and U.S. interference in Muslim countries [links added].

Some officials voiced skepticism about the claim. But former CIA analyst Bruce Riedel, who last year oversaw an Obama administration strategy review on Afghanistan and Pakistan, cautioned against dismissing a possible role by the Taliban.

“They have said they want to attack inside the United States,” he said before the arrest was announced, adding there was “a very serious possibility” the incident involved “some Pakistani-American who has never built a car bomb before in his life but who is being coached either by phone or internet.” …

The location of the bomb suggests a number of possible targets. The SUV was parked near offices of Viacom Inc., which owns Comedy Central. The network recently aired an episode of the animated show “South Park” that the group Revolution Muslim had complained insulted the Prophet Muhammad by depicting him in a bear costume. …


6/18/10 Update

Times Square Bomb Suspect Indicted

Image: Faisal Shahzad
Faisal Shahzad, the man accused of plotting a car bombing in New York’s Times Square, was indicted Thursday, June 17, 2010 by a grand jury on terrorism-related charges. (Photo credit: U.S. Marshals Service / AP file)

June 17, 2010

Times Square bomb suspect Faisal Shahzad was charged Thursday with 10 terrorism and weapons counts in an indictment that accuses him of receiving explosives training and financial help from the Pakistani Taliban.

The indictment returned by a grand jury in U.S. District Court in Manhattan added five charges to the original case against the 30-year-old Shahzad and also detailed in greater depth his alleged financing, saying Shahzad had received a total of $12,000 from the militant group through cash drop-offs in Massachusetts and Long Island.

Shahzad is accused of plotting to build and detonate a homemade gasoline-and-propane bomb inside a used SUV among thousands of tourists on a busy Saturday night. He was charged with attempted use of a weapon of mass destruction among several terrorism and weapons counts.

“The facts alleged in this indictment show that the Pakistani Taliban facilitated Faisal Shahzad’s attempted attack on American soil,” Attorney General Eric Holder said in a release. “Our nation averted serious loss of life in this attempted bombing, but it is a reminder that we face an evolving threat that we must continue to fight with every tool available to the government.” …

Full story


Topical reports on this site

Baitullah Mehsud, commander of the Pakistani Taliban until he was killed in a U.S. missile strike in August 2009, said in March 2008 his group was planning an attack on the White House that would “amaze the world.” Mehsud’s death served as the apparent source of inspiration for the Jordanian suicide bomber and al-Qaeda double agent whose Dec. 30, 2009 attack at an American base in eastern Afghanistan killed seven CIA officers and contractors. In a chilling videotape released posthumously by the Pakistani Taliban and broadcast on regional TV channels, bomber Humam Khalil Abu-Mulal al-Balawi, 32, called on Muslim holy warriors worldwide to avenge Mehsud’s death by attacking U.S. targets.” … More

White House Attack Will “Amaze” (March 31, 2009)

Pakistani Taliban leader Baitullah Mehsud, shown in a 2008 photo, was killed in a U.S. airstrike in August 2009. (Photo credit: The Washington Post / Associated Press)

Taliban Leader Vows Revenge (Oct. 5, 2009)

Image: New Pakistani Taliban chief Hakimullah Mehsud
The purported new Pakistani Taliban chief Hakimullah Mehsud, left, with his comrade Waliur Rehman, front center, vow to strike back at Pakistan and the U.S. for the increasing number of drone attacks in the tribal areas along the border with Afghanistan. (Photo credit: Ishtiaq Mehsud / AP)

Al-Qaida’s Next High-Value Target (Jan. 18, 2010)

The White House roof in all its glory


FROM THE ARCHIVES: One Year Ago — May 3, 2009

The Emperor’s New Clothes

Bachmann: Minnesota Press Pushes Back

Bachmann-Pawlenty.jpg picture by Rifleman-Al

One-year retrospective: One year ago today, I reported that the sheer weight and volume of U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann’s assault on reason may have reached critical mass, crossing the tipping point beyond which Minnesota media could no longer tune out Bachmann’s insanity or avert their gaze from “The Emperor’s New Clothes” in embarrassed silence.

In a free society, it’s imperative that the press fulfill its proper watchdog function and hold Rep. Bachmann accountable by shining a bright light on her words and deeds.

9 Responses to “New York Bomb Suspect Arrested”
  1. Immelman for Congress » Blog Archive » Taliban First Strike on U.S. Soil Says:

    […] New York Bomb Suspect Arrested (May 3, 2010) […]

  2. Immelman for Congress » Blog Archive » New Post-9/11 Terrorist Strategy Says:

    […] The past 12 months saw Najibullah Zazi’s plot to bomb New York City subway stations, Faisal Shazad’s abortive plan to set off a car bomb in Times Square, and Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab’s attempt to blow up a U.S. jetliner bound for Detroit. […]

  3. Immelman for Congress » Blog Archive » Portland Somali Car Bomb Sting Says:

    […] New York Bomb Suspect Arrested (May 3, 2010) […]

  4. Immelman for Congress » Blog Archive » Fears of ‘Homegrown Terrorism’ Says:

    […] New York Bomb Suspect Arrested (May 3, 2010) […]

  5. Immelman for Congress » Blog Archive » Baltimore Bomb Plot ‘Jihad’ Says:

    […] New York Bomb Suspect Arrested (May 3, 2010) […]

  6. Immelman for Congress » Blog Archive Says:

    […] New York Bomb Suspect Arrested […]

  7. Immelman for Congress » Blog Archive » American-Born Terrorist Anwar al-Awlaki Killed in Yemen Says:

    […] In New York, Faisal Shahzad, the Pakistani-American man who pleaded guilty in the May 2010 Times Square car bombing attempt, said he was “inspired” by al-Awlaki after making contact over the Internet. […]

  8. Immelman for Congress » Blog Archive » Taliban Leader Hakimullah Mehsud Vows Revenge Says:

    […] The Pakistani Taliban is linked to attacks against U.S. targets. They trained the Pakistani-American Faisal Shahzad who tried to detonate a car bomb in New York City’s Times Square in 2010 and is tied to a suicide bombing that killed seven CIA agents at an Afghan base in 2009. […]

  9. The Immelman Turn » Blog Archive » Times Square Taliban Link Says:

    […] New York Bomb Suspect Arrested (May 3, 2010) […]

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.