Complaint: Car-bomb suspect admits role

May 4, 2010 at 7:36 PM
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NEW YORK, May 4 (UPI) -- A man in federal custody admitted he tried to set off a car bomb in New York and received bomb-making training in Pakistan, a criminal complaint indicated.

Faisal Shahzad, a naturalized U.S. citizen from Pakistan, was charged with attempting to use weapons of mass destruction and other related crimes as the investigation into Saturday's failed car bombing expanded to Asia, where Pakistani authorities arrested several people linked to the suspect, The New York Times reported.

During an afternoon news conference, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder said Shahzad was cooperating and "has provided useful information to authorities."

Federal agents and police detectives arrested Shahzad at John F. Kennedy International Airport on board a plane bound for Dubai in the United Arab Emirates.

Pakistani officials identified one detainee as Tauhid Ahmed, saying he had been in contact with Shahzad via e-mail, the Times said. Officials said another man, Muhammad Rehan, was arrested in Karachi at a mosque known for its ties to the militant group Jaish-e-Muhammad.

The 10-page criminal complaint indicated Shahzad admitted to investigators he tried to detonate the car bomb in New York's bustling theater district and told them he recently received bomb-making training in Waziristan province in Pakistan.

The five counts contained in the complaint include claims that Shahzad drove from his home in Connecticut to New York, attempted to use a weapon of mass destruction and "attempted to kill and maim persons within the United States," along with other explosives-related charges.

The document laid out Shahzad's movements in the days leading up to the failed attack, describing how he arranged to buy the Nissan Pathfinder he eventually packed with fire crackers, propane tanks, gasoline containers, alarm clocks and non-explosive fertilizer, and how he received four calls from Pakistan hours before he bought the car in late April.

Shahzad was scheduled to appear in court Tuesday, but CNN reported it wasn't clear when the suspect would be in court.

U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder announced Shahzad's arrest Tuesday, saying he drove the 1993 Pathfinder into the heart of Times Square.

Shahzad's intent "was to kill as many innocent tourists and theater-goers as possible," Holder said during a news conference, adding that the attempt served as "stark reminder that there are those who wish to do us harm because of our way of life."

Some people "are coming to New York and they're trying to hurt us," New York Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly said, noting he's aware of 11 terrorist plots in the Big Apple since the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001. The arrest means "we can breathe easier but we always have to be vigilant. In eyes of terrorists, New York is America and they always want to come ... to kill us."

Earlier President Barack Obama told the Business Council: "Justice will be done and we will continue to do everything in our power to protect the American people. This incident is another sobering reminder of the times in which we live. Around the world and here at home there are those who would attack our citizens and who would slaughter innocent men, women and children in pursuit of their murderous agenda."

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