Times Square bomber pleads guilty, warns of more attacks

NEW YORK- Pakistani-American Faisal Shahzad pleaded guilty Monday to the Times Square car bomb bid last month, warning of more attacks on the United States because of its occupation of Muslim lands.
Asked by the judge to confirm he was pleading guilty to all 10 charges, including the attempted use of a weapon of mass destruction and terrorism, 30-year-old Shahzad, who faces life in prison, said: "Yes."

US Department of Justice-issued photo shows Pakistani-American Faisal Shahzad.
US Department of Justice-issued photo shows Pakistani-American Faisal Shahzad.
"We will be attacking the US," he warned, explaining that his motivation was the US occupation of Muslim countries such as Afghanistan, Iraq and Somalia.
Shahzad was pulled off a flight to Dubai on May 3, two days after he parked a car containing a rudimentary explosive device in New York's Broadway entertainment district.
The attempted bombing on a busy Saturday night outside a theater showing "The Lion King" was foiled when street vendors spotted smoke emanating from the back of a Nissan Pathfinder and alerted the authorities.
A 53-hour manhunt ensued, ending with Shahzad's arrest as his plane was about to taxi for take-off from John F. Kennedy Airport to Dubai.
Shahzad has cooperated fully in custody, waiving Miranda rights that protect detainees from incriminating themselves, US justice officials say.
Wearing a white Muslim skullcap, Shahzad told the judge that he had undergone bomb-making training during a 40-day stay with the Pakistani Taliban in Pakistan, between December 9 and January 25.
The five days of bomb-making training involved "the whole thing -- how to make a bomb, how to detonate it," he said.
Shahzad then returned to the United States and planned the bombing, acting "all by myself. Nobody helped me," he told the judge.
A 10-count indictment handed down Thursday alleged that Shahzad received two payments totaling 12,000 dollars from an unidentified co-conspirator in Pakistan.
He used the money to buy a semi-automatic nine millimeter Kel-Tec rifle in March and the Nissan Pathfinder, for which he paid 1,300 dollars cash in a supermarket parking lot on April 24, it alleged.
He then bought components for "improvised explosive and incendiary devices," loaded them in the Pathfinder, and on May 1 drove the sport utility vehicle to Times Square, the complaint said.
Shahzad pleaded guilty to attempted use of a weapon of mass destruction, attempted act of terrorism transcending national boundaries, attempted use of a destructive device in a terrorist conspiracy and a string of other conspiracy, explosives and weapons related charges.
Shahzad, the son of a respected Pakistani air force officer, went to an elite Pakistan Air Force college before coming to the United States to study at the age of 18.
He is a naturalized American who spent much of the last decade in the United States.
The botched car bombing left residents, visitors and authorities in Times Square jittery, with several "suspicious packages", which later turned out to be harmless, sparking false alarms.
US aviation officials also changed security regulations, shortening the amount of time for airlines to check updated "no-fly" lists, after Shahzad was able to board his flight despite having been added to the list.

Tuesday, June 22nd 2010

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