News / USA

Bombing Suspect Faisal Shahzad Still being Questioned

U.S. officials say a Pakistani-American charged with an attempted car bombing in New York City is cooperating with investigators as they try to determine a motive for the planned attack. Faisal Shahzad was arrested late Monday and charged with trying to blow up a sports utility vehicle in crowded Times Square on Saturday.  Meanwhile, authorities in Pakistan say they have made arrests in connection with the failed car bombing. 

The man charged with numerous counts of terrorism was born in this tiny northwestern village known as Mohib Banda.  Faisal Shahzad's father is a retired air vice marshal in the Pakistani military. He comes from an upper-middle class family.  Neighbors in this town of 5,000 are saddened by the news.

"I am weeping for my village; I am weeping for this unfortunate family," Nazirullah Khan, retired school teacher said. "What on earth is going on?"

Some analysts say discontent is bubbling up from the Pakistani middle class because of U.S. restrictions on visas and increased screening after recent bomb attempts.  However, Faiz Ahmed, village elders says he knows Shahzad. "He was an absolutely normal person. He had no connection with any religious party or any political party," he recalled.

But police say Shahzad, now a naturalized American citizen, admitted to his role in Saturday night's attempted car bombing. And, that he took bomb making lessons in Pakistan.

The Pakistani Tehrik-e-Taliban, initially claimed responsibility for the attempted act of violence.  The group, based along the border with Afghanistan, had been targeting the Pakistani government, not the U.S.  But now, counterterrorism research fellow, Brian Fishman, worry the group's reach may go farther.  "This is clearly a sign that the group has become closer to al-Qaida and is looking to attack abroad," he said.

Other experts do not believe the Taliban in Pakistan have the resources for such an act.  They think Shahzad may have acted alone when they say he parked his car rigged with bomb materials in Times Square.  The terrorism attempt comes at a bad time for U.S.-Pakistani relations.  Analysts say the two countries were starting to make progress against the Taliban. The U.S. ambassador on Wednesday met with senior Pakistani officials, including President Asif Ali Zardari .

"They recognize as we do, that this is a shared responsibility and a shared threat," said P.J. Crowley of the US State Department.

The most recent threat nearly got away. The 30-year-old Pakistani American was on board this flight, bound for Dubai when pilots heard this from Air Traffic Control:

Federal agents stopped the flight and removed Shahzad, who managed to board the airplane despite being placed on a "no-fly" list hours before.  Now, the U.S. government is changing the rules to require airlines to check the no-fly list within two hours after being notified of changes.  Legislators on Capitol Hill are also looking at new laws to deny gun and explosive purchases to suspected terrorists.

"We don't want to rob people of a constitutional right but - I kind of don't like saying this, but I'm going to do it, and that is - to err on the side of protection is the chance sometimes we have to take," said Democratic Senator Frank Lautenberg from New Jersey.

Shahzad's first appearance in an American courtroom was delayed.  Law enforcement officials say they are keeping him busy with interrogations - and that he's giving them significant information.

You May Like

Video British Fighters on Frontline of Islamic State Information War

It’s estimated that several hundred British citizens are fighting for Islamic State alongside other foreign jihadists More

Pakistan's Political Turmoil Again Shines Spotlight on Military

Thousands of protesters calling for PM Sharif to step down continue protests in front of parliament, as critics fear political impasse could spur another military coup More

Photogallery Ebola Quarantines Spark Anxiety in Liberian Capital

Food prices rise sharply as residents attempting purchases clash with security forces, leaving one person dead More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Native Bees May Help Save Cropsi
X
Deborah Block
August 22, 2014 12:23 AM
U.S. President Barack Obama has called for a federal strategy to promote the health of bees that have been declining. The honeybee has been waning due to parasites, disease and pesticides. Wild bees may be used to take over their role as crop pollinators. Scientists first need to learn a lot more about wild bees, says biologist Sam Droege, who is pioneering the first national inventory on native bees. VOA’s Deborah Block went to his research laboratory in Beltsville, Maryland, to bring you more.
Video

Video Native Bees May Help Save Crops

U.S. President Barack Obama has called for a federal strategy to promote the health of bees that have been declining. The honeybee has been waning due to parasites, disease and pesticides. Wild bees may be used to take over their role as crop pollinators. Scientists first need to learn a lot more about wild bees, says biologist Sam Droege, who is pioneering the first national inventory on native bees. VOA’s Deborah Block went to his research laboratory in Beltsville, Maryland, to bring you more.
Video

Video US Defense Officials Plan for Long-Term Strategy to Contain Islamic State

U.S. defense officials say American air strikes in Iraq have helped deter Islamic State militants for the time being, but that a broad international effort is needed to defeat the extremists permanently. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel warned Thursday that the group formerly known as the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant, or ISIL, is better organized, and financially and militarily stronger than any other known terrorist group. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Drug-Resistant Malaria Spreads in Southeast Asia

On Thailand’s border with Myanmar, also known as Burma, a malaria research and treatment clinic is stepping up efforts to eliminate a drug-resistant form of the parasite - before it spreads abroad. Steve Sandford reports from Mae Sot, Thailand.
Video

Video Gaza Conflict, Hamas Popularity Challenge Abbas

The Palestinian unity government of Mahmoud Abbas has failed to convince Hamas to agree to Egyptian-negotiated terms with Israel on a Gaza cease-fire. VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports on what the Gaza conflict means for President Abbas, with whom U.S. officials have worked for years on a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Video

Video Nigeria's 'Nollywood' Movie Industry Rolls in High Gear

Twenty years after its birth in a video shop in Lagos, Nigeria's "Nollywood" is one of the most prolific film industries on earth. Despite low budgets and whirlwind production schedules, Nigerian films are wildly popular in Africa and industry professionals say they hope, in the future, their films will be as great in quality as they are in quantity. Heather Murdock has more for VOA from Lagos.
Video

Video UN Launches 'Biggest Aid Operation in 30 Years' in Iraq

The United Nations has launched what it describes as one of the biggest aid operations in 30 years in northern Iraq, as hundreds of thousands of refugees flee the extremist Sunni militant group calling itself the Islamic State. As Kurdish and Iraqi forces battle the Sunni insurgents, the fighting has forced more people to flee their homes. Kurdish authorities say the international community must act now to avert a humanitarian catastrophe. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Cambodian American Hip Hop Artist Sings of Personal Struggles

A growing underground movement of Cambodian American hip hop artists is rapping about the struggles of living in urban America. Most, if not all of them, are refugees or children of refugees who came to the United States from Cambodia to escape the Khmer Rouge genocide of the 1970s. Through their music, the artists hope to give voice to immigrants who have been struggling quietly for years. Elizabeth Lee reports from Long Beach, California.
Video

Video African Media Tries to Educate Public About Ebola

While the Ebola epidemic continues to claim lives in West Africa, information technology specialists, together with radio and TV reporters, are battling misinformation and prejudice about the disease - using social media to educate the public about the deadly virus. VOA’s George Putic has more.

AppleAndroid