Times Square Car Bomb Suspect Pleads Guilty In NYC | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

: News

Filed Under:

Times Square Car Bomb Suspect Pleads Guilty In NYC

Play associated audio

By TOM HAYS Associated Press Writer

NEW YORK (AP) A Pakistan-born U.S. citizen pleaded guilty Monday to carrying out the failed Times Square car bombing, saying he wanted it known that unless the U.S. stops attacking Muslim lands, "we will be attacking U.S."

Faisal Shahzad, 30, entered the plea in U.S. District Court in Manhattan just days after a federal grand jury indicted him on 10 terrorism and weapons counts, some of which carried mandatory life prison penalties.

Shahzad made the plea and an accompanying statement as U.S. District Judge Miriam Goldman Cedarbaum began asking him a lengthy series of questions to ensure he understood his rights. She did not immediately accept the plea.

Cedarbaum asked Shahzad if he understood he might spend the rest of his life in prison. He said he did.

At one point, she asked him if he was sure he wanted to plead guilty.

He launched into a statement, saying he wanted "to plead guilty and 100 times more" to let the U.S. know that if it did not get out of Iraq and Afghanistan and stop drone attacks and meddling in Muslim lands, "we will be attacking U.S."

The Bridgeport, Conn., resident was arrested trying to leave the country May 3, two days after a gasoline-and-propane bomb failed to ignite in an SUV parked near a Broadway theater.

Authorities said Shahzad immediately cooperated, delaying his initial court appearance for two weeks as he spilled details of a plot meant to sew terror in the world-famous Times Square on a warm Saturday night when it was packed with thousands of potential victims.

The bomb apparently sputtered, emitting smoke that attracted the attention of an alert street vendor, who notified police, setting in motion a rapid evacuation of blocks of a city still healing from the shock of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attack on the World Trade Center.

According to the indictment issued last week, Shahzad received a total of $12,000 prior to the attack from the Pakistani Taliban through cash drop-offs in Massachusetts and Long Island.

Attorney General Eric Holder said the Pakistani Taliban "facilitated Faisal Shahzad's attempted attack on American soil."

Shahzad was accused in the indictment of receiving explosives training in Waziristan, Pakistan, during a five-week trip to Pakistan. He returned to the United States in February.

The indictment said he received $5,000 in cash on Feb. 25 from a co-conspirator in Pakistan and $7,000 more on April 10, allegedly sent at the co-conspirator's direction.

Shahzad, born in Pakistan, moved to the United States when he was 18.

Pakistan has arrested at least 11 people since the attempted attack. An intelligence official has alleged two of them played a role in the plot. No one has been charged.

Three men in Massachusetts and Maine suspected of supplying money to Shahzad have been detained on immigration charges; one was recently transferred to New York.

Federal authorities have said they believe money was channeled through an underground money transfer network known as "hawala," but they have said they doubt anyone in the U.S. who provided money knew what it was for.

Associated Press Writer Larry Neumeister contributed to this story.
(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

NPR

Searching For Buried Treasure In China, A Writer Discovers Himself

During the Sino-Japanese War, Huan Hsu's great-great-grandfather buried his vast porcelain collection to keep it safe. Hsu went to find it 70 years later, on a trip about more than missing china.
NPR

Cheez Whiz Helped Spread Processed Foods. Will It Be Squeezed Out?

Turns out, the history of Kraft's dull-orange cheese spread says a lot about the processed food industry — and where it might be headed as Kraft and Heinz merge.
NPR

Proposed Payday Industry Regulations Must Strike Delicate Balance

The federal government is moving to reign in the payday loan industry, which critics say traps consumers in a damaging cycle of debt. A look at the possible effects of proposed regulations.
NPR

App That Aims To Make Books 'Squeaky Clean' Draws Ire From Edited Writers

Clean Reader — an app designed to find, block and replace profanity in books — has drawn considerable criticism from authors. This week, makers of the app announced they would no longer sell e-books.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.