Shahzad's first court date later this week

May 5, 2010 at 5:00 PM
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NEW YORK, May 5 (UPI) -- U.S. Homeland Security officials Wednesday issued new rules requiring airlines to pay closer attention to changes in the no-fly list.

The rules came in response to the ability of accused Times Square would-be bomber Faisil Shahzad's ability to board a plane to Dubai even though his name appeared on the list.

Homeland Security told airlines changes to the no-fly list will now take effect immediately and airlines will be required to check the changes within two hours of receiving notification a high-priority name has been added, The New York Times reported. Previously airlines had 24 hours to check for changes.

Shazhad, 30, a Pakistan-born naturalized U.S. citizen, was aboard an Emirates Airlines flight to Pakistan and ticketed through to Dubai when he was arrested late Monday. He faces a variety of terrorism and weapons charges for allegedly leaving a sport utility vehicle rigged as a bomb in Times Square Saturday night.

Shazhad had been scheduled for a court appearance Tuesday but the U.S. attorney's office said it likely would be Thursday before he is arraigned because he was still being questioned by investigators, CNN reported.

Shahzad, who lives in Bridgeport, Conn., was charged Tuesday in federal court with attempted use of a weapon of mass destruction and four other explosive-related charges.

Since his arrest Monday at John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York, Shahzad "has provided useful information to authorities" during questioning, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder said during a news conference Tuesday.

Shahzad admitted to driving the Nissan Pathfinder loaded with fireworks, propane tanks, gasoline cans, non-explosive fertilizer and alarm clocks to the heart of New York's theater district Saturday and to receiving bomb-making training in Pakistan, among other things, the criminal complaint indicated.

A federal law enforcement official told CNN the fireworks used in the attempted car bombing were bought in Pennsylvania.

U.S. officials said two security lapses allowed Shahzad to board a flight Monday from New York to Dubai in the United Arab Emirates, despite his being on a no-fly list, The New York Times reported.

The article said an FBI team assigned to tail Shahzad lost contact with him before he drove to the airport. In addition, federal officials told the Times Emirates Airlines hadn't acted on a message sent Monday to carriers to check the updated no-fly list that included Shahzad, who paid cash for his ticket.

A Homeland Security official said airlines aren't required to report cash transactions, but Emirates said the airline did report Shahzad's purchase, but he was in custody by then.

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