May 4 2010

Faisal Shahzad Arrested In Connection With Times Square Car Bomb

Faisal Shahzad, a 30-year-old U.S. citizen of Pakistani descent, was arrested in connection to the failed Times Square bombing tonight around 12:00 AM EST while boarding a plane at JFK in New York City for Dubai.

On Sunday evening, a 1993 Nissan Pathfinder was parked on Broadway in Manhattan as the Broadway shows were loading in for the evening.  The driver turned on the hazard lights, exited the car and disappeared.  After about 15 minutes on the street, it started to pop and smoke, causing two street vendors to alert the police to the situation.  The immediate area was evacuated, and the bomb squad was called in.

A very rudimentary bomb was discovered inside the car, which if it had detonated could have been quite destructive and killed a considerable number of people.

After only a little over 24 hours of investigation, Connecticut resident Faisal Shahzad was connected to the incident, and was pulled off of a plane he had boarded for Dubai at JFK airport.

U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder issued the following statement:

Earlier this evening, Faisal Shahzad was arrested in connection with the attempted car bombing in New York on Saturday. Mr. Shahzad, an American citizen, was taken into custody at JFK Airport in New York as he attempted to board a flight to Dubai.

Since this plot was first uncovered on Saturday night, the FBI, prosecutors and intelligence lawyers in the National Security Division of the Justice Department and the U.S. Attorneys Offices in Manhattan and Connecticut, along with the NYPD have worked night and day to find out who was responsible for what would have been a deadly attack had it been successful. Over the course of the day today, we have gathered significant additional evidence that led to tonight’s arrest, which was made by agents from Department of Homeland Security’s Customs and Border Protection.

This investigation is ongoing, as are our attempts to gather useful intelligence, and we continue to pursue a number of leads. But it’s clear that the intent behind this terrorist act was to kill Americans.

FBI agents are working with their state and local counterparts in New York, Connecticut and other jurisdictions to gather evidence and intelligence related to this case. We are also coordinating with other members of the President’s national security team to ensure we use every resource available to the United States to bring anyone responsible to justice.

We continue to gather leads in this investigation, and it’s important that the American people remain vigilant. The vehicle in Times Square was first noticed on Saturday by a citizen who reported it to authorities, and, as always, any American who notices suspicious activity should report it to the appropriate law enforcement agencies.

This investigation is ongoing, it is multi-faceted, and it is aggressive. As we move forward, we will focus on not just holding those responsible for it accountable, but also on obtaining any intelligence about terrorist organizations overseas.

Because of the fast-moving nature of this investigation, I am not able to make any further information public at this time. But the American people should know that we are deploying every resource available, and we will not rest until we have brought everyone responsible to justice.

Regular readers of this blog know that I normally have an opinion on these types of stories, but I’m just not ready on this one yet. I’m sure I will be by this week’s Scattercast.

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