More On Faisal Shahzad, Times Square Bombing Suspect

By Justin Gardner | Related entries in New York, New York City, Terrorism, The War On Terrorism

By now you know that he was nabbed last night at JFK International Airport, but do you know how it happened?

From Politico:

The number from a disposable cellphone led FBI agents to the suspect arrested Monday night for allegedly driving a car bomb into Times Square on Saturday evening, according to a senior official.

“They were able to basically get one phone number and by running it through a number of databases, figure out who they thought the guy was,” the official said.

A huge law-enforcement force tracked the suspect through the afternoon and evening. He was arrested at 11:30 p.m. at John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York City.

The vehicle identification number had been removed from the bomb-laden 1993 Nissan Pathfinder left in Times Square. But investigators were able to lift it from a second location on the vehicle, and used that to track down a Connecticut man who said he had sold the Pathfinder for cash about three weeks ago.

The man had offered the vehicle on Craigslist, and FBI agents were able to recover the number from a disposable cellphone that had been used by the buyer.

The suspect didn’t still have the phone. But using a lot of technology and access to database, agents located the suspect.

Here’s my question…that last part…he didn’t have the cell phone, but they were able to use “a lot of technology and access to database”…what does that mean? Was he part of a database? Did they already know who he was? Was he on some list?

Also, here’s one nugget I think many of us haven’t seen yet…he almost got away!

After media reports late Monday that authorities were looking for a Pakistani-American man, Shahzad fled to Kennedy airport, boarding a flight for Dubai before law enforcement called the plane back to the terminal and the arrest was made.

Regardless, glad to see that the government caught the guy that they think did it…but we should all be cautious given our record in the past.

Here’s more on Shahzad, how he became a citizen and what that means:

Despite becoming a naturalized U.S. citizen on April 17, 2009, Shahzad spent much of the past year outside of the country, mostly in Pakistan where his wife, Huma Mian, is currently living. Details of his activities abroad remain unclear, but a picture of his life in American began to emerge Tuesday.

Shahzad, along with his wife and children, a boy and a girl, lived for about three years in a two-story Colonial-style three-bedroom home in Shelton, Conn., former neighbors said.

Neighbors offered diverging descriptions of Shahzad but agreed that he kept to himself. One, Brenda Thurman, said Shahzad had told her husband he worked on Wall Street, while another neighbor, Audrey Sokol, said she thought he worked in nearby Norwalk.

“He was a little bit strange,” she said. “He didn’t like to come out during the day.”

Sokol, a teacher who lives next door to Shahzad’s old house, said that he would wave and say hello and that he seemed normal to her.

Shahzad was currently living with a roommate in a mixed-race, working-class neighborhood of multi-family homes in Bridgeport, Conn. Authorities removed filled plastic bags from that house overnight and a bomb squad came and went without entering as local police and FBI agents gathered in the cordoned-off street.

He became a citizen in Hartford, Conn., and passed all the criminal and national security background checks required for citizenship, officials said.

The officials familiar with the inquiry say investigators plan to go through his citizenship application line by line to see if he lied about anything.

If Shahzad did try to blow up that SUV in Times Square, he’ll represent what many Americans fear: a foreign born naturalized citizen turned against us within our own shores. Basically, somebody who would be nearly impossible to stop from carrying out something truly horrific since he’s “one of us.”

Still, I would argue that this seems no different than a lone nut getting angry and flying his plane into a building…except this attempt wasn’t successful. The media spent maybe a day or two on that story. How long will they spend digging into Shahzad’s past, motives, etc.?

More as it develops…


This entry was posted on Tuesday, May 4th, 2010 and is filed under New York, New York City, Terrorism, The War On Terrorism. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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