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

Lesotho Faces New Round of Violence, Political Crisis

Brutal killing of military officer has sent former leaders back into S. Africa where they're watching anxiously as regional officials head in to try to restore peace More

Video VOA EXCLUSIVE: US Diplomat Expects Adoption of Bosnian Massacre Anniversary Resolution

Samantha Power says there's broad consensus about killings in Bosnia's war, but Russia calls resolution 'divisive,' backs countermeasure at UN More

UN Report Exposes Widespread Boko Haram Atrocities

Damning report graphically details pattern of vicious, widespread atrocities committed by Islamist militants 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.
Family of American Marine Calls for Release From Iranian Prisoni
X
Heather Murdock
July 01, 2015 8:59 PM
As the crowd of journalists covering the Iran talks swells, so too do the opportunities for media coverage.  Hoping to catch the attention of high-level diplomats, the family of American-Iranian marine Amir Hekmati is in Vienna, pleading for his release from an Iranian prison after nearly 4 years.  VOA’s Heather Murdock reports from Vienna.
Video

Video Family of American Marine Calls for Release From Iranian Prison

As the crowd of journalists covering the Iran talks swells, so too do the opportunities for media coverage.  Hoping to catch the attention of high-level diplomats, the family of American-Iranian marine Amir Hekmati is in Vienna, pleading for his release from an Iranian prison after nearly 4 years.  VOA’s Heather Murdock reports from Vienna.
Video

Video UK Holds Terror Drill as MPs Mull Tunisia Response

After pledging a tough response to last Friday’s terror attack in Tunisia, which came just days before the 10th anniversary of the bomb attacks on London’s transport network, British security services are shifting their focus to overseas counter-terror operations. VOA's Henry Ridgwell has more.
Video

Video Obama on Cuba: This is What Change Looks Like

President Barack Obama says the United States will soon reopen its embassy in Cuba for the first time since 1961, ending a half-century of isolation. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video Hate Groups Spread Influence Via Internet

Hate groups of various kinds are using the Internet for propaganda and recruitment, and a Jewish human rights organization that monitors these groups, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, says their influence is growing. The messages are different, but the calls to hatred or violence are similar. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports.
Video

Video US Silica Sand Mining Surge Worries Illinois Residents, Businesses

Increased domestic U.S. oil and gas production, thanks to advances known as “fracking,” has created a boom for other industries supporting that extraction. Demand for silica sand, used in fracking, could triple over the next five years. In the Midwest state of Illinois, people living near the mines are worried about how increased silica sand mining will affect their businesses and their health. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh has more in this first of a series of reports.
Video

Video Blind Somali Journalist Defies Odds in Mogadishu

Despite improving security in the last few years, Somalia remains one of the most dangerous countries to be a journalist – even more so for someone who cannot see. Abdulaziz Billow has the story of journalist Abdifatah Hassan Kalgacal, who has been reporting from the Somali capital for the last decade despite being blind.
Video

Video Texas Defies Same-Sex Marriage Ruling

Texas state officials have criticized the US Supreme Court decision giving same-sex couples the right to marry nationwide. The attorney general of Texas says last week's decision did not overrule constitutional "rights of religious liberty," and therefore officials performing wedding services can refuse to perform them for same-sex couples if it is against their religious beliefs. Zlatica Hoke reports on the controversy.
Video

Video Rabbi Hits Road to Heal Jewish-Muslim Relations in France

France is on high alert after last week's terrorist attack near the city Lyon, just six months after deadly Paris shootings. The attack have added new tensions to relations between French Jews and Muslims. France’s Jewish and Muslim communities also share a common heritage, though, and as far as one French rabbi is concerned, they are destined to be friends. From the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, Lisa Bryant reports about Rabbi Michel Serfaty and his friendship bus.
Video

Video Saudi Leaks Expose ‘Checkbook Diplomacy’ In Battle With Iran

Saudi Arabia’s willingness to wield its oil money on the global diplomatic stage appears to have been laid bare, after the website WikiLeaks published tens of thousands of leaked cables from Riyadh’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Nubians in Kenya Face Land Challenges

East Africa's ethnic Nubians have a rich cultural history that dates back thousands of years, but in Kenya they are facing hardships, including the loss of lands they have lived on for generations. They say the government has reneged on its pledge to award them title deeds for the plots. VOA's Lenny Ruvaga reports.
Video

Video Military Experts Question New Russian Tank Capabilities

Russia has been showing off its new tank design – the Armata T-14. Designers claim it is 20 years ahead of current Western designs - and driving it feels like playing a computer game. But military analysts question those assertions, and warn the cost could be too heavy a burden for Russia’s struggling economy. Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video In Kenya, Police Said to Shoot First, Ask Questions Later

An organization that documents torture and extrajudicial killings says Kenyan police were responsible for 1,252 shooting deaths in five cities, including Nairobi, between 2009 and 2014, representing 67 percent of all gun deaths in the areas reviewed. Gabe Joselow has more from Nairobi.

VOA Blogs