2010 Times Square car bombing attempt

2010 Times Square car bombing attempt

Discussion
Ask a question about '2010 Times Square car bombing attempt'
Start a new discussion about '2010 Times Square car bombing attempt'
Answer questions from other users
Full Discussion Forum
 
Encyclopedia
The attempted car bombing of Times Square
Times Square
Times Square is a major commercial intersection in the borough of Manhattan in New York City, at the junction of Broadway and Seventh Avenue and stretching from West 42nd to West 47th Streets...

on May 1, 2010, was a planned terrorist attack that was foiled when two street vendors discovered the car bomb and alerted a NYPD Patrolman to the car bomb
Car bomb
A car bomb, or truck bomb also known as a Vehicle Borne Improvised Explosive Device , is an improvised explosive device placed in a car or other vehicle and then detonated. It is commonly used as a weapon of assassination, terrorism, or guerrilla warfare, to kill the occupants of the vehicle,...

 threat after they spotted smoke coming from a vehicle. The bomb had been ignited, but failed to explode, and was disarmed before it caused any casualties.

Two days later federal agents arrested Faisal Shahzad
Faisal Shahzad
Faisal Shahzad is a Pakistani American who attempted the May 1, 2010, Times Square car bombing. On , 2010, in Federal District Court in Manhattan he confessed to 10 counts arising from the bombing attempt...

, a 30-year-old Pakistan
Pakistan
Pakistan , officially the Islamic Republic of Pakistan is a sovereign state in South Asia. It has a coastline along the Arabian Sea and the Gulf of Oman in the south and is bordered by Afghanistan and Iran in the west, India in the east and China in the far northeast. In the north, Tajikistan...

-born resident of Bridgeport, Connecticut
Bridgeport, Connecticut
Bridgeport is the most populous city in the U.S. state of Connecticut. Located in Fairfield County, the city had an estimated population of 144,229 at the 2010 United States Census and is the core of the Greater Bridgeport area...

, who had become a U.S. citizen in April 2009. He was arrested after he had boarded Emirates Flight 202 to Dubai
Dubai
Dubai is a city and emirate in the United Arab Emirates . The emirate is located south of the Persian Gulf on the Arabian Peninsula and has the largest population with the second-largest land territory by area of all the emirates, after Abu Dhabi...

 at John F. Kennedy International Airport
John F. Kennedy International Airport
John F. Kennedy International Airport is an international airport located in the borough of Queens in New York City, about southeast of Lower Manhattan. It is the busiest international air passenger gateway to the United States, handling more international traffic than any other airport in North...

. The plane was called back again but later cleared. He admitted attempting the car bombing and said that he had trained at a Pakistan
Pakistan
Pakistan , officially the Islamic Republic of Pakistan is a sovereign state in South Asia. It has a coastline along the Arabian Sea and the Gulf of Oman in the south and is bordered by Afghanistan and Iran in the west, India in the east and China in the far northeast. In the north, Tajikistan...

i terrorist training camp, according to U.S. officials.

United States Attorney General
United States Attorney General
The United States Attorney General is the head of the United States Department of Justice concerned with legal affairs and is the chief law enforcement officer of the United States government. The attorney general is considered to be the chief lawyer of the U.S. government...

 Eric Holder
Eric Holder
Eric Himpton Holder, Jr. is the 82nd and current Attorney General of the United States and the first African American to hold the position, serving under President Barack Obama....

 said that Shahzad's intent had been "to kill Americans". Shahzad was charged in federal court in Manhattan on May 4 with attempted use of a weapon of mass destruction and other federal crimes related to explosives. More than a dozen people were arrested by Pakistani officials in connection with the plot. Shahzad told interrogators that he was "inspired by" Anwar al-Awlaki
Anwar al-Awlaki
Anwar al-Awlaki was an American and Yemeni imam who was an engineer and educator by training. According to U.S. government officials, he was a senior talent recruiter and motivator who was involved with planning operations for the Islamist militant group al-Qaeda...

, with whom he was reportedly in internet contact. An initial claim of responsibility by the Pakistani Taliban was publicly dismissed by U.S. authorities at first; however, Holder later said the Pakistani Taliban directed the attack and may have financed it. John Brennan, President Obama’s chief counterterrorism adviser, said: "It's a group that is closely allied with al-Qaeda. They train together, they plan together, they plot together. They are almost indistinguishable." President Barack Obama said that Americans "will not cower in fear" as a result of the attempt, Mayor
Mayor of New York City
The Mayor of the City of New York is head of the executive branch of New York City's government. The mayor's office administers all city services, public property, police and fire protection, most public agencies, and enforces all city and state laws within New York City.The budget overseen by the...

 Michael Bloomberg
Michael Bloomberg
Michael Rubens Bloomberg is the current Mayor of New York City. With a net worth of $19.5 billion in 2011, he is also the 12th-richest person in the United States...

 said: "We will not tolerate any bias or any backlash against Muslim New Yorkers", and NYPD Commissioner
New York City Police Commissioner
The New York City Police Commissioner is the head of the New York City Police Department, appointed by the Mayor of New York City. Governor Theodore Roosevelt, in one of his final acts before becoming Vice President of the United States in March 1901, signed legislation replacing the Police Board...

 Raymond Kelly said that to terrorists, "New York is America, and they want to come back to kill us."

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton warned of "severe consequences" if an attack like this were to be successful and traced back to Pakistan. The alleged ties to elements of the Pakistani Taliban sharpened the Obama administration's need for retaliatory options including unilateral military strike in Pakistan if a future successful attack was to be traced to Pakistan based militants.

On October 5, 2010, Shahzad was sentenced to life in prison after pleading guilty to a 10-count indictment in June, including charges of conspiracy to use a weapon of mass destruction and attempting an act of terrorism.

Car bombing attempt



The suspect's vehicle, a dark blue 1993 Nissan Pathfinder
Nissan Pathfinder
The Nissan Pathfinder is a SUV manufactured by Nissan Motors since 1986, derived from Nissan's compact pickup truck platform. The Pathfinder is slotted in size between the Murano and Armada or Patrol, but in price between the Xterra and Murano...

 sport utility vehicle
Sport utility vehicle
A sport utility vehicle is a generic marketing term for a vehicle similar to a station wagon, but built on a light-truck chassis. It is usually equipped with four-wheel drive for on- or off-road ability, and with some pretension or ability to be used as an off-road vehicle. Not all four-wheel...

 with dark tinted windows
Window film
There are many types of window tint available in the market for a wide variety of uses from solar heat reduction to UV protection, privacy to safety and security, decorative applications to heat retention.- Primary properties :...

, entered Times Square at approximately 6:28 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time
Eastern Time Zone
The Eastern Time Zone of the United States and Canada is a time zone that falls mostly along the east coast of North America. Its UTC time offset is −5 hrs during standard time and −4 hrs during daylight saving time...

 on Saturday evening, May 1, 2010, as seen on surveillance video. Two minutes later, two street vendors, T-shirt seller Lance Orton (56) and handbag seller Duane Jackson (58), noticed smoke drifting from vents near the back seat of the unoccupied vehicle, which was parked with its engine running and its hazard lights on. They also heard firecrackers going off inside.

The street vendors, including Aliou Niasse, who works as a photograph vendor on Times Square, were the first to see the abandoned smoking vehicle and subsequently, the smoking car was brought to the attention of a mounted policeman. The vehicle had been parked on a tourist-crowded block at the eastern corner of 1 Astor Plaza (intersection of West 45th Street and Broadway
Broadway (New York City)
Broadway is a prominent avenue in New York City, United States, which runs through the full length of the borough of Manhattan and continues northward through the Bronx borough before terminating in Westchester County, New York. It is the oldest north–south main thoroughfare in the city, dating to...

), near the entrance to the Minskoff Theatre
Minskoff Theatre
The Minskoff Theatre is a legitimate Broadway theatre, located at 1515 Broadway in midtown-Manhattan. It is now showing the musical The Lion King, based on the Disney animated film of the same name....

 which was showing the musical The Lion King
The Lion King (musical)
The Lion King is a musical based on the 1994 Disney animated film of the same name with music by Elton John and lyrics by Tim Rice along with the musical score created by Hans Zimmer with choral arrangements by Lebo M. Directed by Julie Taymor, the musical features actors in animal costumes as well...

. The police officer approached the Pathfinder to investigate, and observed the smoke, canisters inside, and the smell of gunpowder. He immediately called for backup, a bomb disposal
Bomb disposal
Bomb disposal is the process by which hazardous explosive devices are rendered safe. Bomb disposal is an all encompassing term to describe the separate, but interrelated functions in the following fields:*Military:...

 team, and the FDNY
New York City Fire Department
The New York City Fire Department or the Fire Department of the City of New York has the responsibility for protecting the citizens and property of New York City's five boroughs from fires and fire hazards, providing emergency medical services, technical rescue as well as providing first response...

.

An area stretching from 43rd Street to 49th Street on Seventh Avenue
Seventh Avenue (Manhattan)
Seventh Avenue, known as Adam Clayton Powell Jr. Boulevard north of Central Park, is a thoroughfare on the West Side of the borough of Manhattan in New York City. It is southbound below Central Park and a two-way street north of the park....

, and 45th Street from Seventh Avenue to Eighth Avenue
Eighth Avenue (Manhattan)
Eighth Avenue is a north-south avenue on the West Side of Manhattan in New York City, carrying northbound traffic. Eighth Avenue begins in the West Village neighborhood at Abingdon Square and runs north for 44 blocks through Chelsea, the Garment District, Hell's Kitchen's east end, Midtown and the...

, was quickly evacuated of all vehicle and foot traffic, including Broadway-performance attendees, and was barricaded. Several buildings near the vehicle, including the New York Marriott Marquis
New York Marriott Marquis
New York Marriott Marquis is a Marriott International hotel at 1535 Broadway opened in 1985 and was designed by architect John Portman. It is located in the heart of Times Square at Broadway and 45th Street. The hotel is famous for its high-tech elevators and atrium lobby rising 45 stories to The...

 hotel, across the street from which the Pathfinder was parked, were also evacuated. While many Broadway theaters had their opening curtains delayed, all shows gave their performances that night.

The vehicle was set ablaze, but did not detonate. Upon arrival, the bomb disposal team used a remote-controlled robotic device
Remote control vehicle
A remote control vehicle is defined as any mobile device that is controlled by a means that does not restrict its motion with an origin external to the device. This is often a radio control device, cable between control and vehicle, or an infrared controller...

 to break out a window of the vehicle, and explore its contents.
The team found in the rear of the vehicle:
  • two travel alarm clocks with batteries that apparently were fashioned as triggering device
    Triggering device
    A Triggering device is an electronic circuit, such as a Schmitt trigger, which is used to control another electronic circuit.-Uses:In many industrial operations, the delivery of a variable and controlled amount of electrical power is necessary. The most common of these operations include electric...

    s, connected by electrical wires to
  • two red full 5-gallon cans of gasoline
    Gasoline
    Gasoline , or petrol , is a toxic, translucent, petroleum-derived liquid that is primarily used as a fuel in internal combustion engines. It consists mostly of organic compounds obtained by the fractional distillation of petroleum, enhanced with a variety of additives. Some gasolines also contain...

    , sandwiching
  • 40+ consumer-grade M-88 firecracker
    Firecracker
    A firecracker is a small explosive device primarily designed to produce a large amount of noise, especially in the form of a loud bang; any visual effect is incidental to this goal. They have fuses, and are wrapped in a heavy paper casing to contain the explosive compound...

    s inside a 20-ounce metal container (wrapped in duct tape, with its end removed),
  • gunpowder
    Gunpowder
    Gunpowder, also known since in the late 19th century as black powder, was the first chemical explosive and the only one known until the mid 1800s. It is a mixture of sulfur, charcoal, and potassium nitrate - with the sulfur and charcoal acting as fuels, while the saltpeter works as an oxidizer...

    ,
  • three full 20-gallon propane tanks, and
  • a 55 inches (1,397 mm) x 32 inches (812.8 mm) green metal gun locker that contained:
  • a metal pressure cooker pot containing a thicket of wires, that also connected to the alarm clocks; of urea
    Urea
    Urea or carbamide is an organic compound with the chemical formula CO2. The molecule has two —NH2 groups joined by a carbonyl functional group....

    -based fertilizer
    Fertilizer
    Fertilizer is any organic or inorganic material of natural or synthetic origin that is added to a soil to supply one or more plant nutrients essential to the growth of plants. A recent assessment found that about 40 to 60% of crop yields are attributable to commercial fertilizer use...

     in 8 plastic bags; and
  • 120 M-88s.


Investigators believed the car bomb was actually made up of four separate, individual explosive components — in effect, four bombs comprising one large bomb. The firecrackers would have started the process by setting off triggering devices, attached to the gasoline. That would have created an explosion that would then have in turn set off the propane and the fertilizer. A cell phone and wristwatch recovered from the vehicle may have been intended as separate timing/triggering devices. The maker of the "bomb" incorrectly surmised that the urea/sugar mixture fertilizer would work like the ammonium nitrate-based fertilizer which was used in the Oklahoma City bombing
Oklahoma City bombing
The Oklahoma City bombing was a terrorist bomb attack on the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in downtown Oklahoma City on April 19, 1995. It was the most destructive act of terrorism on American soil until the September 11, 2001 attacks. The Oklahoma blast claimed 168 lives, including 19...

.

The improvised explosive device
Improvised explosive device
An improvised explosive device , also known as a roadside bomb, is a homemade bomb constructed and deployed in ways other than in conventional military action...

's ignition source malfunctioned, however, and failed to set it off as intended. Had it detonated, NYPD Commissioner
New York City Police Commissioner
The New York City Police Commissioner is the head of the New York City Police Department, appointed by the Mayor of New York City. Governor Theodore Roosevelt, in one of his final acts before becoming Vice President of the United States in March 1901, signed legislation replacing the Police Board...

 Raymond Kelly said the bomb would have cut the car in half, and "would have caused casualties, a significant fireball." Police said the bomb would likely also have sprayed shrapnel, and killed or wounded many people.

Investigation



Shortly after the bomb was discovered, the police looked for a male who was seen on surveillance footage, changing his shirt in Shubert Alley
Shubert Alley
Shubert Alley is a narrow long pedestrian alley at the heart of the Broadway theater district of New York City. It splits a block, as it runs parallel to and between Eighth Avenue and Broadway, linking West 44th Street to West 45th Street. It contains approximately of public space.The alley has...

 (which runs between 44th and 45th Streets, just west of Broadway) and looking over his shoulder near where the vehicle was parked. By May 4, however, he was no longer of interest to the police. Investigators also looked for another person captured on video running north on Broadway, away from the area.

Officials considered several possibilities in the early stages of the investigation. Police Chief Kelly noted the possibility of lone-wolf terrorism
Lone-wolf terrorism
A lone wolf or lone-wolf fighter is someone who commits violent acts in support of some group, movement, or ideology, but does so alone, outside of any command structure.-Origins of the term:...

, saying: "A terrorist act doesn't necessarily have to be conducted by an organization, an individual can do it on their own." The police also investigated whether the bomb was planted in response to a depiction of the prophet Muhammad
Muhammad
Muhammad |ligature]] at U+FDF4 ;Arabic pronunciation varies regionally; the first vowel ranges from ~~; the second and the last vowel: ~~~. There are dialects which have no stress. In Egypt, it is pronounced not in religious contexts...

 in the episode "200
200 (South Park)
"200" is the fifth episode of the fourteenth season of South Park, and the 200th overall episode of the series. It originally aired on Comedy Central in the United States on April 14, 2010...

" of the animated sitcom South Park
South Park
South Park is an American animated television series created by Trey Parker and Matt Stone for the Comedy Central television network. Intended for mature audiences, the show has become famous for its crude language, surreal, satirical, and dark humor that lampoons a wide range of topics...

, because the headquarters of Viacom
Viacom
Viacom Inc. , short for "Video & Audio Communications", is an American media conglomerate with interests primarily in, but not limited to, cinema and cable television...

, whose Comedy Central
Comedy Central
Comedy Central is an American cable television and satellite television channel that carries comedy programming, both original and syndicated....

 network airs South Park, is near where the car bomb was parked. Investigators looked at similarities between the Times Square device and the two devices discovered outside London
London
London is the capital city of :England and the :United Kingdom, the largest metropolitan area in the United Kingdom, and the largest urban zone in the European Union by most measures. Located on the River Thames, London has been a major settlement for two millennia, its history going back to its...

's Tiger Tiger
Tiger Tiger (nightclub)
Tiger Tiger is a chain of British nightclubs owned by Novus Leisure. The chain has nine branches, located in Aberdeen, Cardiff, Croydon, Glasgow, Leeds, London, Manchester, Newcastle and Portsmouth...

 nightclub in the al-Qaeda
Al-Qaeda
Al-Qaeda is a global broad-based militant Islamist terrorist organization founded by Osama bin Laden sometime between August 1988 and late 1989. It operates as a network comprising both a multinational, stateless army and a radical Sunni Muslim movement calling for global Jihad...

 failed bombing attempt
2007 London car bombs
On 29 June 2007, in London, two car bombs were discovered and disabled before they could be detonated. The first device was left near the Tiger Tiger nightclub in Haymarket at around 01:30, and the second was in Cockspur Street, in the same area of the city....

 of 2007. NYPD spokesman Paul Brown said, "You can find similarities among different attacks, but there is nothing that we have at this point that has established that link."

Tracking the vehicle


Investigators examined the vehicle, initially at a forensics center in Jamaica, Queens
Jamaica, Queens
Jamaica is a neighborhood in the borough of Queens in New York City, New York, United States. It was settled under Dutch rule in 1656 in New Netherland as Rustdorp. Under British rule, the Village of Jamaica became the center of the "Town of Jamaica"...

, for fibers, fingerprints, hair, and DNA evidence, and began tracking down where the bomb materials were purchased. Commissioner Kelly said the bomb components were all "locally available materials." At least three people other than Shahzad were involved in buying the bomb materials, sources said. The Pathfinder and bomb components were then taken to the FBI Laboratory
FBI Laboratory
The FBI Laboratory is a division within the United States Federal Bureau of Investigation that provides forensic analysis support services to the FBI, as well as to state and local law enforcement agencies free of charge. The lab is currently located at Marine Corps Base Quantico in Quantico,...

 in Quantico, Virginia
Quantico, Virginia
- Demographics :As of the census of 2000, there are 561 people, 295 households, and 107 families living in the town. The population density is . There are 359 housing units at an average density of .-Racial composition:...

, for analysis.

The vehicle identification number
Vehicle identification number
A Vehicle Identification Number, commonly abbreviated to VIN, is a unique serial number used by the automotive industry to identify individual motor vehicles. VINs were first used in 1954...

 (VIN) plate, which reflects a unique serial number that is used to identify individual motor vehicles, had been removed from the car's dashboard and the door VIN sticker, but police retrieved the VIN from the bottom of its engine block. That led investigators to the SUV's last registered owner, and to the female college student who sold Shahzad the Pathfinder. Law enforcement officials then recovered Shahzad's pre-paid disposable cell phone's number from the cell phone of the seller, and ran it through a number of databases. They determined that the disposable phone had been used for calls to and from a Pakistani telephone number that they knew was associated with Shahzad. The phone had also been used to call a fireworks store in rural Pennsylvania. They also collected his e-mail address from an email that he had sent to the seller’s computer.

Sets of keys left in the Pathfinder included a key to Shahzad's house in Connecticut, and one of his other cars, a black 1998 Isuzu Rodeo
Isuzu Wizard
The Isuzu Wizard is a mid-size SUV that was produced by the Japan-based manufacturer Isuzu. The five-door Wizard was introduced in 1990 after the three-door Isuzu MU from 1989, both of which ceased production in 2004...

. Intending to use his Isuzu as a getaway car, he had dropped it off eight blocks from the bomb site before the attack, but he then left the keys to his getaway car in the car bomb, and had to take the train home. He returned for his Isuzu the following day, with a second set of keys.
The Pathfinder's license plates did not match its registration, and had apparently been taken from a Ford F-150
Ford F-Series
The F-Series is a series of full-size pickup trucks from Ford Motor Company which has been sold continuously for over six decades. The most popular variant of the F-Series is the F-150...

 pickup truck
Pickup truck
A pickup truck is a light motor vehicle with an open-top rear cargo area .-Definition:...

 awaiting repair at a Stratford, Connecticut
Stratford, Connecticut
Stratford is a town in Fairfield County, Connecticut, United States, located on Long Island Sound at the mouth of the Housatonic River. It was founded by Puritans in 1639....

, garage. The registered owner of the plates was contacted, and did not appear to be involved in the incident.

E-ZPass
E-ZPass
E-ZPass is an electronic toll-collection system used on most tolled roads, bridges, and tunnels in the northeastern US, south to Virginia and West Virginia, and west to Illinois. Currently, there are 25 agencies spread across 14 states that make up the . All member agencies use the same technology,...

 and other camera records at toll plazas were reviewed to identify where the vehicle entered Manhattan. Law enforcement officials reviewed security camera footage from 82 city cameras mounted from 34th Street to 51st Street, between Avenue of the Americas and Eighth Avenue, and from business and tourist cameras for additional information. After Shahzad's arrest, a surveillance video revealed images of him wearing a white baseball cap, walking in Shubert Alley moments after witnesses noticed the smoking SUV.

Domestic and international ties


An FBI-led Joint Terrorism Task Force
Joint Terrorism Task Force
A Joint Terrorism Task Force is a partnership between various U.S. law enforcement agencies that is charged with taking action against terrorism, which includes the investigation of crimes such as wire fraud and identity theft...

 took over the investigation on May 3, as indications of a possible international connection increased. Shahzad has been on a U.S. government travel lookout list since 1999, because he had brought large amounts of cash (approximately $82,500) in increments of about $20,000 into the U.S. between January 1999 and April 2008.

Senior Obama administration officials said a flood of international and domestic clues suggested a plot involving more than one person. Investigators uncovered a piece of paper, fingerprints, or possibly both that also indicated international ties, according to a federal official. A review of Shahzad's phone call records revealed that he had received a series of calls from Pakistan directly before and after he purchased the Pathfinder, which raised investigators' concerns that he was acting in concert with people overseas. Investigators also examined international phone records showing calls "between some of the people who might be associated with this and folks overseas," according to a U.S. official.

According to The Wall Street Journal
The Wall Street Journal
The Wall Street Journal is an American English-language international daily newspaper. It is published in New York City by Dow Jones & Company, a division of News Corporation, along with the Asian and European editions of the Journal....

, Shahzad received bomb-making training from the Pakistani Taliban. On May 6, The New York Times
The New York Times
The New York Times is an American daily newspaper founded and continuously published in New York City since 1851. The New York Times has won 106 Pulitzer Prizes, the most of any news organization...

, quoting various American officials, said that evidence was mounting that Shahzad's alleged attempt was tied to the Taliban.
U.S. authorities reportedly identified and were seeking a money courier who helped funnel cash to him from abroad to finance the car bombing. There is no record of him having had a job since returning to the U.S., but he had an $1,150-per-month apartment on which he did not miss a payment, purchased materials estimated to cost $2,000 to build the bomb, paid for the $1,300 car-bomb vehicle in cash, bought an $800 plane ticket in cash, and bought a $400 gun.

On May 13, investigators searched several locations in the northeastern U.S. They detained three Pakistani men. Two, cousins who were living at a house in Watertown, Massachusetts
Watertown, Massachusetts
The Town of Watertown is a city in Middlesex County, Massachusetts, United States. The population was 31,915 at the 2010 census.- History :Archeological evidence suggests that Watertown was inhabited for thousands of years before the arrival of settlers from England...

, were Brookline, Massachusetts
Brookline, Massachusetts
Brookline is a town in Norfolk County, Massachusetts, United States, which borders on the cities of Boston and Newton. As of the 2010 census, the population of the town was 58,732.-Etymology:...

, gas station attendant Aftab Ali Khan (27 years old at the time, who was set to fly from the U.S. to Pakistan the day he was arrested, and whose visa had expired six months prior) and Boston-area cabdriver Pir Kahn (43 at the time). The two denied knowing Shahzad, but a search of their home yielded an envelope with Shahzad’s surname and phone number among Aftab Ali Khan's belongings in his bedroom, and Shahzad's name and number was also found logged into a cell phone believed to belong to Aftab Ali Khan. The third man detained was a computer programmer living in South Portland, Maine
South Portland, Maine
South Portland is a city in Cumberland County, Maine, United States, and is the fourth-largest city in the state. Founded in 1895, as of the 2010 census, the city population was 25,002. Known for its working waterfront, South Portland is situated on Portland Harbor and overlooks the skyline of...

 (Mohammad Shafiq Rahman; 33 at the time), who had known Shahzad in the past, lived in Connecticut a few years prior, and came to Maine in approximately 2008. They were detained on immigration, not criminal, charges. The FBI also conducted searches at a gas station in the nearby town of Brookline
Brookline, Massachusetts
Brookline is a town in Norfolk County, Massachusetts, United States, which borders on the cities of Boston and Newton. As of the 2010 census, the population of the town was 58,732.-Etymology:...

, in Camden
Camden, New Jersey
The city of Camden is the county seat of Camden County, New Jersey. It is located across the Delaware River from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. As of the 2010 United States Census, the city had a total population of 77,344...

 and Cherry Hill, New Jersey
Cherry Hill, New Jersey
Cherry Hill is a township in Camden County, New Jersey, in the United States. As of the 2010 United States Census, the township had a population of 71,045, representing an increase of 1,080 from the 69,965 residents enumerated during the 2000 Census...

, and in Centereach
Centereach, New York
As of the census of 2000, there were 27,285 people, 8,176 households, and 6,998 families residing in the CDP. The population density was 3,429.4 per square mile . There were 8,329 housing units at an average density of 1,046.8/sq mi...

 and Shirley, New York
Shirley, New York
Shirley is a hamlet in Suffolk County, New York, United States. As of the 2000 census, Shirley population was 26,395....

, on Long Island. U.S. Attorney General Holder said there was evidence the men had provided money to Shahzad through an informal money transfer network (known as a hawala
Hawala
Hawala is an informal value transfer system based on the performance and honor of a huge network of money brokers, which are primarily located in the Middle East, North Africa, the Horn of Africa, and South Asia...

), but it was not yet clear if they were aware of the bombing plot.

Suspect: Faisal Shahzad


Early life, family, work, and naturalization


Faisal Shahzad was born in Pakistan in 1979 to a wealthy, well-educated family. His father, a former Pakistan Air Force
Pakistan Air Force
The Pakistan Air Force is the leading air arm of the Pakistan Armed Forces and is primarily tasked with the aerial defence of Pakistan with a secondary role of providing air support to the Pakistan Army and the Pakistan Navy. The PAF also has a tertiary role of providing strategic air transport...

 Vice Marshal, is deputy director general of the Civil Aviation Authority of Pakistan. Shahzad attended primary school in Saudi Arabia, and then studied in Pakistan. Arriving in the U.S. in 1999 on an F-1 student visa, he studied at now-defunct Southeastern University, receiving a 2.78 grade point average. In 1999 the United States Customs Service
United States Customs Service
Until March 2003, the United States Customs Service was an agency of the U.S. federal government that collected import tariffs and performed other selected border security duties.Before it was rolled into form part of the U.S...

 placed him on its travel lookout list. He transferred in 2000 to the University of Bridgeport
University of Bridgeport
The University of Bridgeport is a private, independent, non-sectarian, coeducational university located on the Long Island Sound in the South End neighborhood of Bridgeport, Connecticut. The University is fully Accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges...

, receiving a B.A. in 2002, and an M.B.A. in 2005. He worked in the accounting department of Elizabeth Arden
Elizabeth Arden
Florence Nightingale Graham , who went by the business name Elizabeth Arden, was a Canadian-American businesswoman who built a cosmetics empire in the United States. At the peak of her career, she was one of the wealthiest women in the world.-Biography:Arden was born in 1884 at Woodbridge, Ontario,...

 in Connecticut from 2002 to 2006, leaving for a junior financial analyst
Financial analyst
A financial analyst, securities analyst, research analyst, equity analyst, or investment analyst is a person who performs financial analysis for external or internal clients as a core part of the job.-Job:...

 job (for an estimated $55–80,000 salary) for Affinion Group in Connecticut until he resigned in June 2009. He had been granted a three-year H1-B skilled worker visa in 2002, a green card in 2006, and became a U.S. citizen in April 2009 by his marriage to his wife. He also has a Karachi identification card, reflecting Pakistani residency.

In 2004, in an arranged marriage
Arranged marriage
An arranged marriage is a practice in which someone other than the couple getting married makes the selection of the persons to be wed, meanwhile curtailing or avoiding the process of courtship. Such marriages had deep roots in royal and aristocratic families around the world...

, he married Huma Asif Mian, a Colorado-born U.S. citizen who had just graduated from the University of Colorado at Boulder. She and her Pakistani-born parents had lived in Qatar and Colorado; her parents now live in Saudi Arabia. A neighbor recalled Shahzad visited the family only once before she joined him in Connecticut. Shahzad's family lived in a single-family three-bedroom house in Shelton, Connecticut
Shelton, Connecticut
Shelton is a city in Fairfield County, Connecticut, United States. The population was 39,559 at the 2010 census.-Origins:Shelton was settled by the English as part of the town of Stratford, Connecticut, in 1639...

 for three years. He then defaulted on his $200,000 mortgage, and was sued by the bank in September 2009 as it foreclosed on his home.

Prior to the attack


In addition to traveling to Pakistan regularly, "Shahzad has been visiting Middle Eastern countries," according to Minister Malik. Shahzad had traveled to Dubai before, most recently on June 2, 2009, on an Emirates flight. The New York Times reported that in 2009 he asked his father for permission to fight in Afghanistan against American and NATO forces, but his father refused, saying that he disapproved and reminding Shahzad that Islam
Islam
Islam . The most common are and .   : Arabic pronunciation varies regionally. The first vowel ranges from ~~. The second vowel ranges from ~~~...

 does not permit a man to abandon his wife or children.

On July 3, 2009, he reportedly traveled to Pakistan and is believed to have visited Peshawar
Peshawar
Peshawar is the capital of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa and the administrative center and central economic hub for the Federally Administered Tribal Areas of Pakistan....

, often a gateway for foreign visitors to join up with jihadist groups in the militant-occupied Federally Administered Tribal Areas
Federally Administered Tribal Areas
The Federally Administered Tribal Areas are a semi-autonomous tribal region in the northwest of Pakistan, lying between the province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Balochistan, and the neighboring country of Afghanistan. The FATA comprise seven Agencies and six FRs...

 (FATA), and stayed there from July 7 to July 22. The Center for Strategic and International Studies
Center for Strategic and International Studies
The Center for Strategic and International Studies is a bipartisan Washington, D.C., foreign policy think tank. The center was founded in 1962 by Admiral Arleigh Burke and Ambassador David Manker Abshire, originally as part of Georgetown University...

 describes the FATA as: "ground zero
Ground zero
The term ground zero describes the point on the Earth's surface closest to a detonation...

 in the U.S. Jihad
Jihad
Jihad , an Islamic term, is a religious duty of Muslims. In Arabic, the word jihād translates as a noun meaning "struggle". Jihad appears 41 times in the Quran and frequently in the idiomatic expression "striving in the way of God ". A person engaged in jihad is called a mujahid; the plural is...

ist war, and home to many al-Qaeda operatives, especially the numerous foreigners from the Arab world, Central Asia Muslim areas of the Far East, and even Europe who flock to this war zone for training [and] indoctrination." A senior Administration official said it appears he had an attack in mind when he went there, and he went there seeking help for the attack.

While in Pakistan
Pakistan
Pakistan , officially the Islamic Republic of Pakistan is a sovereign state in South Asia. It has a coastline along the Arabian Sea and the Gulf of Oman in the south and is bordered by Afghanistan and Iran in the west, India in the east and China in the far northeast. In the north, Tajikistan...

, he said he trained, including explosives bomb-making training, at a terrorist training camp in Waziristan
Waziristan
Waziristan is a mountainous region near the Northwest of Pakistan, bordering Afghanistan and covering some 11,585 km² . The area is entirely populated by ethnic Pashtuns . The language spoken in the valley is Pashto/Pakhto...

, according to American
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 officials and the complaint against him. Waziristan is home to a number of terrorist and militant organizations, and is the main base for al-Qaeda and the Pakistani Taliban. He spent five months in Pakistan, where his wife is now living. CBS News reported that he may have spent at least four months at the camp. He committed to the car bombing while undergoing training, according to U.S. officials.

Shahzad told interrogators that he met with Pakistani Taliban operatives in North Waziristan in December and January 2009, and later received explosives training from the same operatives, said a senior military official.

After dropping his wife and children off in Saudi Arabia, he returned to the U.S. on February 3, 2010, on an Emirates flight from Dubai.
He reportedly bought the ingredients for his bomb slowly over an extended period of time as he had been instructed to in his bomb-making training camp in Pakistan to avoid suspicion.

On March 8, he bought Silver Salute M88 fireworks from a Matamoras, Pennsylvania
Matamoras, Pennsylvania
Matamoras is a borough in Pike County, Pennsylvania, United States. The population was 2,469 at the 2010 census. It is the easternmost town in Pennsylvania.-History:...

, fireworks company, according to the company's records and surveillance images. He telephoned the company again on April 25.


In March, he also purchased a new Kel-Tec
Kel-Tec
Kel-Tec CNC Industries Inc. is a United States manufacturer of firearms. Founded in 1991 and based in Cocoa, Florida, the company has manufactured firearms since 1995, starting with small, affordable semi-automatic pistols and expanding to rifles. Kel-Tec is a privately-owned Florida corporation....

 9mm Sub Rifle 2000
Kel-Tec SUB-2000
The SUB-2000 is a pistol-caliber carbine manufactured by Kel-Tec CNC Industries of Cocoa, Florida, United States. The rifle is a blowback operated, semi-automatic firearm with its operating spring located in the tubular stock....

 (a carbine hybrid of a pistol and a long gun with a folding stock, hand grip, and a rifle barrel) in Connecticut for $400.

Shahzad reportedly drove from his Connecticut home to a Dunkin' Donuts
Dunkin' Donuts
Dunkin' Donuts is an international doughnut and coffee retailer founded in 1950 by William Rosenberg in Quincy, Massachusetts; it is now headquartered in Canton...

 in Ronkonkoma, New York
Ronkonkoma, New York
Ronkonkoma is a census-designated place on Long Island in the Town of Islip, Suffolk County, New York, United States. The population was 20,029 at the 2000 census...

, on Long Island
Long Island
Long Island is an island located in the southeast part of the U.S. state of New York, just east of Manhattan. Stretching northeast into the Atlantic Ocean, Long Island contains four counties, two of which are boroughs of New York City , and two of which are mainly suburban...

 in the days before the failed attack to collect $4,000 in cash, some of which he used to finance his plan.

Shahzad is believed to have bought the 1993 Nissan Pathfinder on April 24, a week prior to the attempted bombing. The vehicle had been listed in an online Craigslist
Craigslist
Craigslist is a centralized network of online communities featuring free online classified advertisements, with sections devoted to jobs, housing, personals, for sale, services, community, gigs, résumés, and discussion forums....

 ad, and he reportedly bought it from a female Connecticut college student for $1,300 (negotiated down from $1,800), which he paid in $100 bills. He reportedly exchanged the cash for the car at a Connecticut shopping center parking lot, where he inspected the interior and cargo area (but not the engine) and declined the offer of a bill of sale. He later had the car windows tinted, which made it harder to peer inside. A surveillance tape from the parking lot shows Shahzad test-driving the car, according to the FBI. He bought a second vehicle through Craigslist (a black Isuzu Rodeo) from a mechanic in Stratford, Connecticut.

Shahzad reportedly watched streaming videos online to determine the day of the week and time that Times Square would be busiest, determining that it would be a Saturday night at 6:30 PM. He picked the following Saturday night at the same time as his alternate time for his car bomb attack.

On April 28, three days before the attempted bombing, he drove the Pathfinder from Connecticut to Times Square, apparently in a dry run
Dry run (terrorism)
A dry run is an act committed by a terrorist organization without carrying out any actual terrorism in an attempt to determine whether a technique they are planning to use will be successful. The dry run is part of the rehearsal for a terrorist act, and is often the immediate precursor to the attack...

 to figure out where the best place to leave it later would be, according to an official. A day before the attempted attack he drove a getaway car into mid-Manhattan, dropped it off blocks from his target, and took a train home to Connecticut, a law enforcement official said.

Arrest and follow-up


On May 3, federal authorities identified a person of interest in the attack. At 11:45 p.m. EDT, U.S. Customs and Border Protection
U.S. Customs and Border Protection
U.S. Customs and Border Protection is a federal law enforcement agency of the United States Department of Homeland Security charged with regulating and facilitating international trade, collecting import duties, and enforcing U.S. regulations, including trade, customs and immigration. CBP is the...

 officers arrested Shahzad at John F. Kennedy International Airport
John F. Kennedy International Airport
John F. Kennedy International Airport is an international airport located in the borough of Queens in New York City, about southeast of Lower Manhattan. It is the busiest international air passenger gateway to the United States, handling more international traffic than any other airport in North...

. He was detained just moments before his flight, Emirates Flight 202 to Dubai
Dubai
Dubai is a city and emirate in the United Arab Emirates . The emirate is located south of the Persian Gulf on the Arabian Peninsula and has the largest population with the second-largest land territory by area of all the emirates, after Abu Dhabi...

, left the gate. His destination was Islamabad
Islamabad
Islamabad is the capital of Pakistan and the tenth largest city in the country. Located within the Islamabad Capital Territory , the population of the city has grown from 100,000 in 1951 to 1.7 million in 2011...

, Pakistan, and he had paid for his estimated $800 ticket in cash.

After he was arrested, Shahzad directed authorities to his car which he had driven to and parked at the airport, a white Isuzu Trooper
Isuzu Trooper
The Isuzu Trooper was a mid-size SUV produced by the Japanese automaker Isuzu between 1981 and 2005. It was exported worldwide as the Isuzu Bighorn, Isuzu Trooper, Isuzu Trooper II , Caribe 442, Acura SLX, Chevrolet Trooper, Subaru Bighorn, Honda Horizon, Opel/Vauxhall Monterey, Holden Jackaroo,...

. His Kel-Tec 9 mm Sub Rifle 2000 was inside it, along with five full magazines of ammunition, according to law enforcement officials.

The FBI and NYPD searched Shahzad's Bridgeport, Connecticut
Bridgeport, Connecticut
Bridgeport is the most populous city in the U.S. state of Connecticut. Located in Fairfield County, the city had an estimated population of 144,229 at the 2010 United States Census and is the core of the Greater Bridgeport area...

, $1,150-a-month two-bedroom apartment (which he had rented since February 15, without ever missing a payment) at Sheridan Street and Boston Avenue on May 4, removing filled plastic bags. Materials related to the bomb were found in his apartment, including boxes that had contained the alarm clocks. Keys that had been found in the Pathfinder opened the door to the home, and in his garage fertilizer and fireworks were found that were similar to those that had been discovered in the car bomb.

Motive and prosecution


"Based on what we know so far, it is clear that this was a terrorist plot aimed at murdering Americans in one of the busiest places in our country," Attorney General Holder said. Holder said that Shahzad admitted involvement in the bombing attempt and that it "was a terrorist plot" . The Complaint against Shahzad also indicated that he had admitted to receiving bomb-making instruction in Waziristan, that he brought the Pathfinder to Times Square and attempted to detonate it there.

Shahzad reportedly had four other high-profile targets in the New York area he was planning to attack if his first attack had been successful. On his list were Rockefeller Center
Rockefeller Center
Rockefeller Center is a complex of 19 commercial buildings covering between 48th and 51st streets in New York City, United States. Built by the Rockefeller family, it is located in the center of Midtown Manhattan, spanning the area between Fifth Avenue and Sixth Avenue. It was declared a National...

, Grand Central Terminal
Grand Central Terminal
Grand Central Terminal —often incorrectly called Grand Central Station, or shortened to simply Grand Central—is a terminal station at 42nd Street and Park Avenue in Midtown Manhattan in New York City, United States...

, the World Financial Center
World Financial Center
The World Financial Center is a complex of buildings across West Street from the World Trade Center site in Lower Manhattan in New York City, overlooking the Hudson River. This complex is home to offices of companies including Merrill Lynch, RBC Capital Markets, Nomura Group, the Wall Street...

 (just across from Ground Zero
Ground zero
The term ground zero describes the point on the Earth's surface closest to a detonation...

) and the Connecticut-based company that manufactures helicopters for the U.S. military, Sikorsky.

CNN reported that Shahzad felt Islam
Islam
Islam . The most common are and .   : Arabic pronunciation varies regionally. The first vowel ranges from ~~. The second vowel ranges from ~~~...

 was under attack, according to an official familiar with the investigation. By a year prior to the attack, Shahzad became more introverted, more religious, and more stringent in his views, according to a friend of his from college.
Shahzad told interrogators that he was "inspired by" radical Anwar al-Awlaki
Anwar al-Awlaki
Anwar al-Awlaki was an American and Yemeni imam who was an engineer and educator by training. According to U.S. government officials, he was a senior talent recruiter and motivator who was involved with planning operations for the Islamist militant group al-Qaeda...

 to take up the cause of al-Qaeda. Shahzad was moved to action, at least in part, by al-Awlaki's writings calling for holy war against Western targets as a religious duty, and was a "fan and follower" of al-Awlaki, according to sources. A U.S. official said that al-Awlaki was a crucial influence on Shahzad, saying: "He listened to him, and he did it." Shahzad made contact over the internet with al-Awlaki, the Pakistani Taliban’s Baitullah Mehsud
Baitullah Mehsud
Baitullah Mehsud was a leading militant in Waziristan, Pakistan, and the leader of the Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan . He formed the TTP from an alliance of about five militant groups in December 2007. He is thought by U.S...

 (who was killed in a drone strike in 2009), and a web of jihadists, ABC News reported.

Al-Awlaki is known among other things for having spoken with three of the September 11 hijackers in 2001, for having exchanged dozens of emails with the suspected Fort Hood shooter Nidal Malik Hasan
Nidal Malik Hasan
Nidal Malik Hasan, USA is a United States Army officer and sole suspect in the November 5, 2009, Fort Hood shooting, which occurred less than a month before he would have deployed to Afghanistan....

, he is believed to have met with Christmas Day bomber Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab
Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab
Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab , popularly referred to as the "Underwear Bomber", is a suspected terrorist who attempted to detonate plastic explosives hidden in his underwear while on board Northwest Airlines Flight 253, en route from Amsterdam to Detroit, Michigan, on December 25,...

 during his training by Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, and for militant English-language online lectures and writings with violent rhetoric that have been a catalyst for a number of attacks. The New York Times described al-Awlaki as "perhaps the most prominent English-speaking advocate of violent jihad against the United States." Al-Awlaki is the first U.S. citizen approved for killing by the CIA under a presidential decree.

On May 4, federal prosecutors charged Shahzad with five counts, including attempting to use a weapon of mass destruction and trying to kill and maim people within the U.S. Two of his felonies carry a maximum of a life sentence if convicted, and two of his other counts carry mandatory minimum terms of 5 and 30 years, which means that if he is convicted of both, he will face at least 35 years in prison.

Federal authorities say Shahzad voluntarily waived his Miranda rights
Miranda warning
The Miranda warning is a warning given by police in the United States to criminal suspects in police custody before they are interrogated to preserve the admissibility of their statements against them in criminal proceedings. In Miranda v...

 and his right to an initial speedy court appearance, and agreed to answer questions. He was interrogated by the recently formed High-Value Interrogation Group
High-Value Interrogation Group
The High-Value Detainee Interrogation Group is an intelligence-gathering group created by the President of the United States in August 2009. Its charter was drawn up in April 2010. It is intended to centralize government expertise in enhanced interrogation techniques...

. Ron Kuby
Ron Kuby
Ronald L. Kuby is a criminal defense and civil rights lawyer, radio talk show host and TV commentator. He has hosted radio programs on WABC Radio in New York and Air America Radio.-Beginnings:...

, who has represented a number of terrorism defendants, said: "My experience with ... Islamists, is they love to talk. Their goal isn't to beat the rap when they're caught. Their goal is either to die as a martyr, or commit mass murder". Ken Wainstein, a former U.S. attorney who headed the Justice Department's anti-terrorism efforts, said that a defendant's cooperation is motivated by "just sheer pride in what he's done." Faisal was arraigned on May 18. He is being held at the Metropolitan Correctional Center
Metropolitan Correctional Center, New York City
The Metropolitan Correctional Center, New York City is a Federal Bureau of Prisons remand center in downtown Manhattan in New York City, located on Park Row behind the Thurgood Marshall United States Courthouse at Foley Square....

 in Manhattan. On June 17, a federal grand jury indicted Shahzad on terror charges. Shazad pled guilty to the charges. On October 5, 2010, he was convicted and sentenced to life imprisonment without the possibility of parole by a federal judge in New York. He responded to the sentence by saying that "the defeat of the U.S. is imminent." When asked by the judge, "Didn't you swear allegiance to this country?" Shahzad, a naturalized U.S. citizen, replied, "I sweared, but I didn't mean it."

Other arrests


Representative Jane Harman
Jane Harman
Jane Margaret Lakes Harman is the former U.S. Representative for , serving from 1993 to 1999, and from 2001 to 2011. She is a member of the Democratic Party....

, a California Democrat and Chairman of the House Homeland Security Subcommittee on Intelligence, Information Sharing, and Terrorism Risk Assessment, said Pakistani officials arrested “alleged facilitators” as part of a “far broader investigation.” Pakistani authorities arrested more than a dozen suspects in the investigation of the attempted car bombing, including two or three people at a house in Karachi's Nazimabad
Nazimabad
Nazimabad is a middle-class suburb of Karachi, Sindh, Pakistan.Nazimabad was developed starting in 1952 to settle Muslim refugees in Pakistan. This suburb was named after Khawaja Nazimuddin who was the second Governor-General of Pakistan, and later the second Prime Minister of Pakistan as well...

 district where Shahzad is said to have stayed.

Pakistani intelligence officials said a man named Tauseef Ahmed, a friend of Shahzad, was detained in Karachi in connection with the case. He had been in touch with Shahzad by email, and is believed to have traveled to the U.S. two months prior to the attack to meet with Shahzad. Another man arrested, Muhammad Rehan, an alleged hardcore militant, had spent time with Shahzad during a recent visit to Pakistan and was arrested in Karachi at a mosque known for links to the militant group Jaish-e-Muhammad. On May 6, Pakistani officials said U.S. law enforcement officers had joined them in questioning four alleged members of an al-Qaeda-linked militant group, Jaish-e-Mohammad, regarding possible links to Shahzad. A Major
Major
Major is a rank of commissioned officer, with corresponding ranks existing in almost every military in the world.When used unhyphenated, in conjunction with no other indicator of rank, the term refers to the rank just senior to that of an Army captain and just below the rank of lieutenant colonel. ...

 serving in Pakistan Army
Pakistan Army
The Pakistan Army is the branch of the Pakistani Armed Forces responsible for land-based military operations. The Pakistan Army came into existence after the Partition of India and the resulting independence of Pakistan in 1947. It is currently headed by General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani. The Pakistan...

 & a businessman Salman Ashraf Khan were also arrested.

Reaction




Mayor
Mayor of New York City
The Mayor of the City of New York is head of the executive branch of New York City's government. The mayor's office administers all city services, public property, police and fire protection, most public agencies, and enforces all city and state laws within New York City.The budget overseen by the...

 Michael Bloomberg
Michael Bloomberg
Michael Rubens Bloomberg is the current Mayor of New York City. With a net worth of $19.5 billion in 2011, he is also the 12th-richest person in the United States...

 and Police Commissioner Kelly were in Washington, D.C., to attend the 2010 White House Correspondents' Dinner, but returned immediately to New York after they were informed of the incident. Bloomberg's initial statement was to the effect that it may have been perpetrated by a domestic terrorist, saying to CBS's Katie Couric
Katie Couric
Katherine Anne "Katie" Couric is an American journalist and author. She serves as Special Correspondent for ABC News, contributing to ABC World News, Nightline, 20/20, Good Morning America, This Week and primetime news specials...

, "If I had to guess 25 cents, this would be exactly that: homegrown, or maybe a mentally deranged person, or somebody with a political agenda that doesn't like the health care bill or something. It could be anything."

President
President of the United States
The President of the United States of America is the head of state and head of government of the United States. The president leads the executive branch of the federal government and is the commander-in-chief of the United States Armed Forces....

 Barack Obama
Barack Obama
Barack Hussein Obama II is the 44th and current President of the United States. He is the first African American to hold the office. Obama previously served as a United States Senator from Illinois, from January 2005 until he resigned following his victory in the 2008 presidential election.Born in...

 called the bomb attempt a "sobering reminder of the times in which we live", and said that Americans "will not cower in fear" as a result of it. He telephoned Duane Jackson, one of the vendors, to thank him for alerting police. Attorney General Eric Holder
Eric Holder
Eric Himpton Holder, Jr. is the 82nd and current Attorney General of the United States and the first African American to hold the position, serving under President Barack Obama....

 called it a "terrorist act". White House spokesman Robert Gibbs
Robert Gibbs
Robert Lane Gibbs was the 28th White House Press Secretary. Gibbs was the communications director for then-U.S. Senator Barack Obama and Obama's 2008 presidential campaign...

, similarly, said "Anybody that has the type of material that they had in a car in Times Square, I would say that was intended to terrorize, absolutely. And I would say that whoever did that would be categorized as a terrorist, yes."

Mayor Bloomberg warned against retribution, saying, "We will not tolerate any bias or any backlash against Muslim New Yorkers." Commissioner Kelly said that to terrorists, "New York is America, and they want to come back to kill us."

Senator Joe Lieberman
Joe Lieberman
Joseph Isadore "Joe" Lieberman is the senior United States Senator from Connecticut. A former member of the Democratic Party, he was the party's nominee for Vice President in the 2000 election. Currently an independent, he remains closely affiliated with the party.Born in Stamford, Connecticut,...

, a Connecticut independent and chairman of the Senate Homeland Security Committee
United States Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs
The United States Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs has jurisdiction over matters related to the Department of Homeland Security and other homeland security concerns, as well as the functioning of the government itself, including the National Archives, budget and...

, introduced bipartisan legislation under which Americans joining or working with foreign terrorist groups would be stripped of their U.S. citizenship. Identical legislation is being introduced in the United States House of Representatives
United States House of Representatives
The United States House of Representatives is one of the two Houses of the United States Congress, the bicameral legislature which also includes the Senate.The composition and powers of the House are established in Article One of the Constitution...

 by Pennsylvania Congressmen, Jason Altmire
Jason Altmire
Jason Altmire is the U.S. Representative for , serving since 2007. He is a member of the Democratic Party.-Early life and education:...

, a Democrat, and Charlie Dent
Charlie Dent
Charles "Charlie" Dent is the U.S. Representative for , serving since 2005. He is a member of the Republican Party.The district includes all of Northampton County, most of Lehigh County, and small parts of Berks and Montgomery Counties....

, a Republican. Lawmakers said that revoking citizenship would block terrorism suspects from using U.S. passports to re-enter the U.S., and make them eligible for prosecution before a military commission instead of a civilian court. The measure, named the Terrorist Expatriation Act, was immediately criticized by Muslim advocacy groups, who said it would unjustly target Muslim Americans and other minority groups. “In my opinion it is xenophobic and unconstitutional and un-American,” said Mahdi Bray
Mahdi Bray
Wright Mahdi Bray , a Black American convert to Islam, is a civil and human rights activist who serves as Executive Director of the Muslim American Society's Freedom Foundation based in Washington, DC...

, executive director of the Muslim American Society
Muslim American Society
The Muslim American Society is a nonprofit organization founded in 1993 that describes itself as an Islamic revival and reform movement....

. The bill is an amendment to a 1940 law which stripped citizenship from individuals who joined either Japanese or German armies.

Muslim leaders in the U.S. urged the public to "distinguish between acts of violence and terror and Islam, a religion that they said encourages peace and love", reported The Wall Street Journal
The Wall Street Journal
The Wall Street Journal is an American English-language international daily newspaper. It is published in New York City by Dow Jones & Company, a division of News Corporation, along with the Asian and European editions of the Journal....

.

In Pakistan there was common belief that Shahzad's arrest was a U.S. conspiracy to malign Muslims worldwide, according to the Financial Times
Financial Times
The Financial Times is an international business newspaper. It is a morning daily newspaper published in London and printed in 24 cities around the world. Its primary rival is the Wall Street Journal, published in New York City....

.

Some criticism followed partisan lines. S. E. Cupp, for example, wrote there was a culture of political correctness towards Islamic extremism in the White House, juxtaposing it with the administration's more aggressive stance towards Christian militia groups. And former U.S. Attorney General Michael B. Mukasey
Michael B. Mukasey
Michael Bernard Mukasey is a lawyer and former judge who served as the 81st Attorney General of the United States. Mukasey, an American lawyer, was appointed following the resignation of Alberto Gonzales. Mukasey also served for 18 years as a judge of the United States District Court for the...

 lamented the leakage of what he termed "intelliporn"—intelligence information that is disclosed by the media because it is "fun to read about", even though it causes harm by disclosing critical information to terrorists. The Arabic newspaper Asharq Al-Awsat carried an editorial praising Obama for not mentioning the word Islam in connection with Shahzad.

Professor Fouad Ajami
Fouad Ajami
Fouad A. Ajami , is a MacArthur Fellowship winning, Lebanese-born American university professor and writer on Middle Eastern issues. He is currently a senior fellow at Stanford University's Hoover Institution....

 wrote:
This is a long twilight war, the struggle against radical Islamism. We can't wish it away. No strategy of winning "hearts and minds," no great outreach, will bring this struggle to an end. America can't conciliate these furies. These men of nowhere—Faisal Shahzad, Nidal Malik Hasan
Nidal Malik Hasan
Nidal Malik Hasan, USA is a United States Army officer and sole suspect in the November 5, 2009, Fort Hood shooting, which occurred less than a month before he would have deployed to Afghanistan....

, the American-born renegade cleric Anwar Awlaki now holed up in Yemen and their likes—are a deadly breed of combatants in this new kind of war. Modernity both attracts and unsettles them. America is at once the object of their dreams, and the scapegoat onto which they project their deepest malignancies.


In Dubai's Gulf News
Gulf News
Gulf News is a daily English language newspaper published from Dubai, in the United Arab Emirates with a December 2009 BPA audited circulation of over 117,036 qualified copies...

, a columnist responded to Ajami's column by writing: "What is now needed is for smart police officers in the East and the West to work together to arrest and bring to justice criminals who have little respect for life itself — though we must also try politicians who launched perpetual wars and thinkers who pretended to add value by opining that our civilizations are doomed to clash."

Exactly one year later on that same date Osama Bin Laden
Osama bin Laden
Osama bin Mohammed bin Awad bin Laden was the founder of the militant Islamist organization Al-Qaeda, the jihadist organization responsible for the September 11 attacks on the United States and numerous other mass-casualty attacks against civilian and military targets...

 was killed
Death of Osama bin Laden
Osama bin Laden, then head of the Islamist militant group al-Qaeda, was killed in Pakistan on May 2, 2011, shortly after 1 a.m. local time by a United States special forces military unit....

 by U.S. Navy Seals. Bin Laden was considered on of the worst terrorists in history.

Claims of responsibility


Initially, according to a report by the Associated Press
Associated Press
The Associated Press is an American news agency. The AP is a cooperative owned by its contributing newspapers, radio and television stations in the United States, which both contribute stories to the AP and use material written by its staff journalists...

, a Pakistan
Pakistan
Pakistan , officially the Islamic Republic of Pakistan is a sovereign state in South Asia. It has a coastline along the Arabian Sea and the Gulf of Oman in the south and is bordered by Afghanistan and Iran in the west, India in the east and China in the far northeast. In the north, Tajikistan...

i Taliban group claimed responsibility for an attack against the U.S. in a video posted on YouTube
YouTube
YouTube is a video-sharing website, created by three former PayPal employees in February 2005, on which users can upload, view and share videos....

, saying it was revenge for the killing of Baitullah Mehsud
Baitullah Mehsud
Baitullah Mehsud was a leading militant in Waziristan, Pakistan, and the leader of the Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan . He formed the TTP from an alliance of about five militant groups in December 2007. He is thought by U.S...

 and the top leaders of al-Qaida in Iraq — Abu Omar al-Baghdadi and Abu Ayyub al-Masri
Abu Ayyub al-Masri
Abu Ayyub al-Masri , also known as Abu Hamza al-Muhajir and other aliases , was an active combattant of al-Qaeda and at least a senior aide to former leader of Al-Qaeda in Iraq, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi. When Zarqawi was killed in a U.S. airstrike on 7 June 2006, U.S...

 — as well as for general American "interference and terrorism in Muslim Countries, especially in Pakistan." However, "The tape makes no specific reference to the attack; it does not mention that it was a car bomb or that it took place in New York City". According to the New York Times and the New York Daily News
New York Daily News
The Daily News of New York City is the fourth most widely circulated daily newspaper in the United States with a daily circulation of 605,677, as of November 1, 2011....

, the same group has made far-fetched, false claims for other attacks in the past.

On May 6, however, a Pakistani Taliban spokesman said it was not involved with the attempted bombing, but added: "Such attacks are welcome. We have no relation with Faisal. However, he is our Muslim brother. We feel proud of Faisal. He did a brave job." On May 9, The New York Times opined that the retraction may have been prompted by fears that admission of responsibility might result in an attack on the Pakistan Taliban in North Waziristan by the U.S. or Pakistan.

On May 9, however, Holder said "We’ve now developed evidence that shows the Pakistani Taliban was behind the attack," directed the plot, and may have financed it. The Taliban in Pakistan is believed by some military intelligence officials to have joined forces with al-Qaeda. John Brennan, President Obama’s chief counterterrorism adviser, said: “He was trained by [the Taliban in Pakistan]. He received funding from them. He was basically directed here to the United States to carry out this attack." Some military intelligence officials believe the Taliban in Pakistan has joined forces with al-Qaeda. John Brennan, President Obama’s chief counterterrorism adviser, said: "It's a group that is closely allied with al-Qaeda. They train together, they plan together, they plot together. They are almost indistinguishable."

Several other groups claimed responsibility, without any corroborating evidence or verified data.

See also



  • 1973 New York City bomb plot
    1973 New York City bomb plot
    The 1973 New York City bomb plot was a plan by the Palestinian militant group Black September to detonate three car bombs in New York City at the same time Israeli Prime Minister Golda Meir arrived there in March 1973. The bombs failed to explode, but the main suspect, Khalid Duhham Al-Jawary, was...

  • 1993 World Trade Center bombing
    1993 World Trade Center bombing
    The 1993 World Trade Center bombing occurred on February 26, 1993, when a truck bomb was detonated below the North Tower of the World Trade Center in New York City. The 1,336 lb urea nitrate–hydrogen gas enhanced device was intended to knock the North Tower into the South Tower , bringing...

  • 2001 September 11 attacks
  • 2006 Hudson River bomb plot
  • 2008 Times Square bombing
    March 6, 2008 Times Square bombing
    On the morning of March 6, 2008, an unknown individual placed a small bomb in front of a United States armed forces recruiting station in Times Square, located in Midtown Manhattan in New York City. There were no injuries...

  • The Christmas underwear bomber (December 25, 2009)
    Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab
    Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab , popularly referred to as the "Underwear Bomber", is a suspected terrorist who attempted to detonate plastic explosives hidden in his underwear while on board Northwest Airlines Flight 253, en route from Amsterdam to Detroit, Michigan, on December 25,...

  • List of terrorist incidents in 2010
  • Terrorism in the United States
    Terrorism in the United States
    A common definition of terrorism is the systematic use or threatened use of violence to intimidate a population or government and thereby effect political, religious, or ideological change...

  • Islamic terrorism
  • 2010 Panama City school board shootings
    2010 Panama City school board shootings
    The 2010 Panama City school board shootings occurred on December 14, 2010 in Panama City, Florida. In the attack, a disgruntled individual, Clay Allen Duke, fired more than a dozen shots at six Bay District School board members, but missed them all, including the superintendent...

  • Michael Finton
    Michael Finton
    Michael C. Finton, also known as Talib Islam , a convert to Islam and a part-time cook at a fish and chicken restaurant, attempted to bomb the Paul Findley Federal Building and the adjacent offices of Congressman Aaron Schock in downtown Springfield, Illinois, on September 24, 2009...

    , attempted truck bombing of U.S. target with undercover FBI agent he thought was al-Qaeda member, in September 2009
  • Ahmed Ressam
    Ahmed Ressam
    Ahmed Ressam is an Algerian al-Qaeda member who lived in Montreal, Canada.He was convicted of attempting to bomb the Los Angeles International Airport on New Year's Eve 1999, as part of the foiled 2000 millennium attack plots...

    , the "Millennium Bomber", arrested in December 1999 with 118 pounds of urea, primary and secondary explosives, and alarm watches in his car with which he intended to bomb Los Angeles International Airport
  • Bryant Neal Vinas
    Bryant Neal Vinas
    Bryant Neal Vinas is a Hispanic Muslim American convicted of participating in and supporting Al-Qaeda plots in Afghanistan and the U.S....

    , U.S. citizen, trained in Waziristan, Pakistan, convicted in 2009 of participating in/supporting al-Qaeda in Afghanistan and helping al-Qaeda plan a bomb attack on the LIRR in NYC
  • Najibullah Zazi
    Najibullah Zazi
    Najibullah Zazi is an Afghan-American who was arrested in September 2009 as part of the 2009 U.S. Al Qaeda group accused of planning suicide bombings on the New York City subway system, and has pled guilty as have two other defendants. U.S...

    , U.S. resident, trained in Waziristan, Pakistan, pleaded guilty in 2010 of planning al-Qaeda suicide bombings near NYC's Grand Central and Times Square subway stations

External links