Times Square car bomb suspect indicted in NYC
Times Square bomb suspect Faisal Shahzad was charged Thursday with 10 terrorism and weapons counts in an indictment that accuses him of receiving explosives training and financial help from the Pakistani Taliban.
The indictment returned by a grand jury in U.S. District Court in Manhattan added five charges to the original case against the 30-year-old Shahzad and also detailed in greater depth his alleged financing, saying Shahzad had received a total of $12,000 from the militant group through cash drop-offs in Massachusetts and Long movie posters Island.
Shahzad is accused of plotting to build and detonate a homemade gasoline-and-propane bomb inside a used SUV among thousands of tourists on a busy Saturday night. He was sports posters charged with attempted use of a weapon of mass destruction among several terrorism and weapons counts.
"The facts alleged in this indictment show that the Pakistani Taliban facilitated Faisal Shahzad's attempted attack on American soil," Attorney General Eric Holder said in a release. "Our nation averted serious loss of life in this attempted bombing, but it is a reminder that we face an evolving threat that we must continue to fight with every tool available to the government."
Shahzad's lawyers did not immediately respond to requests for comment on the indictment. Shahzad was scheduled to enter a plea during an appearance in court Monday. The most serious counts against him carry mandatory penalties of life in prison.
The indictment alleged that Shahzad received explosives training music posters in Waziristan, Pakistan, in December 2009 from trainers affiliated with Tehrik-e-Taliban, a Pakistan-based militant extremist group. The affiliation with the group led to financing as well, the indictment alleged.
It said Shahzad received approximately $5,000 in cash in Massachusetts on Feb. 25 from a co-conspirator in Pakistan whom Shahzad understood worked for Tehrik-e-Taliban.
Approximately motivational posters six weeks later, on April 10, 2010, Shahzad received an $7,000 more in cash in Ronkonkoma, N.Y., which also was sent at the co-conspirator's direction, the indictment said.
U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said Shahzad conspired with the Pakistani Taliban "to wreak death and destruction in Times Square."
Shahzad was born in Pakistan, moved to the United States when he was 18 and lived most recently in Bridgeport, Conn.
He was accused of abandoning an SUV fitted with a homemade car bomb in Times Square on May 1. A street vendor noticed smoke in the vehicle and alerted vintage posters police, who immediately evacuated the area. The bomb never ignited and no one was hurt.
Shahzad was arrested May 3 on a Dubai-bound plane at Kennedy International Airport.
After his arrest, Shahzad cooperated with investigators for several weeks, providing what authorities described as details of the attack and information that led to other Classical Music arrests. Authorities say he almost immediately admitted his role in the attack.
The indictment, reciting the facts dispassionately, said Shahzad bought a semiautomatic 9 mm Kel-Tec rifle in Connecticut on March 15. The weapon was found loaded in his car on the day of his arrest.
It said he contacted the seller of a Nissan Pathfinder in April after seeing an advertisement posted on a website. According to the indictment, Shahzad met the vehicle's seller in a Connecticut supermarket parking lot, where he paid $1,300.