News / USA

Cooperative Effort Led to Arrest in NY Bomb Probe

U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder says the man charged with attempting to set off a car bomb in New York City's Times Square has admitted involvement in the plot and is cooperating with law enforcement officials.  Faisal Shahzad faces charges of terrorism and trying to commit mass destruction.   He was arrested late Monday onboard a flight that was about to leave New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport bound for Dubai.  

Prosecutors charged Faisal Shahzad with attempting to kill and maim Americans using a weapon of mass destruction.  They also say Shahzad has admitted that he received bomb-making training in Pakistan.  

Federal and New York City law enforcement officials briefed reporters at a news conference in Washington on Tuesday about the case.

"This plot was a very serious attempt.  If successful, it could have resulted in a lethal terrorist attack causing death and destruction in the heart of New York City," said U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder.

Holder said the investigation continues in what he called "a clear terrorist plot" aimed at murdering Americans.  The attorney general said quick investigative work by federal, state and local officials led to Shahzad's arrest.  

Shahzad was captured onboard a jetliner that was about to take off from New York to Dubai late Monday.

Deputy FBI Director John Pistole said Shahzad has been cooperating with investigators - before and after he was read his legal rights, known in the United States as Miranda rights. "Suffice it to say that he provided valuable information and intelligence and evidence during that time and then, as the attorney general noted, he was Mirandized [read him his legal rights] later and continued to cooperate and provide valuable information," he said.

Shahzad was arrested after investigators were able to link him with the vehicle that was rigged to explode in Times Square.

New York City Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly said someone removed the vehicle identification number, or VIN, from the sport utility vehicle, or SUV, but that did not stop investigators.

"The VIN number on the dashboard had been removed.  The break in this case took place when a New York City detective was able to go under the vehicle and get the hidden VIN number.  This identified the owner of record who in turn, as we know, sold it to the suspect," he said.

The bomb plot was foiled when bystanders in Times Square noticed smoke coming from the SUV.  A bomb squad then dismantled the explosive device.

Law enforcement officials say the bomb would have caused injuries and damage had it gone off.  But FBI official Pistole said the bomb's assembly did not appear very advanced. "It does not appear from our opinion to be the most sophisticated device.  There were a number of opportunities for the device to fail," he said.

That view is shared by James Cavanaugh, who recently retired after 33 years with the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

"It would have killed people who were in proximity to the car.  It could have killed people who were maybe in the car next to it.  But it wasn't going to destroy a city block or bring down the fronts of the building.  It wasn't that large of a device.  And it was very ill-conceived.  The firing and fusing system was a mess.  It's almost as if they read about it on the Web [the Internet], or someone schooled them verbally in this is what you should do," he said.

After investigators traced the vehicle to Shahzad, they placed his name on the federal do not fly list of people suspected of terrorist links.  Shahzad's plane nearly took off before it was called back to the gate and he was arrested.

U.S. officials are looking into how Shahzad got on the plane, even though his name was on the do not fly list.

Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said U.S. officials would have recalled the plane, even if it had taken off.

Attorney General Holder said he never doubted that Shahzad would be apprehended. "I was here all yesterday and through much of last night, and was aware of the tracking that was going on.  And I was never in any fear that we were in danger of losing him," he said.

Shahzad is 30-years-old and is a naturalized U.S. citizen from Pakistan.

U.S. officials say Shahzad recently returned from a five month trip to Pakistan.

Pakistan intelligence officials say at least one person with ties to the bomb plot has been arrested in the southern Pakistani city of Karachi.  At Tuesday's news conference, Attorney General Holder declined to comment on the reported Pakistan arrests.

You May Like

Russian Help on Iran Less Promising on Syria, Ukraine

US-Russian collaboration to secure a deal on Iran's nuclear program has raised hopes of closer cooperation on other world issues More

Video US: Millions Exploited by Vast Fortunes of Human Trafficking

State Department's annual report calls exploitation 'modern slavery,' brutalizing girls, women into prostitution and forcing men, women and children into low-wage jobs across the globe More

US-Ethiopia Relationship Strong, But Complicated

While Ethiopia serves as a valuable security ally and a bulwark against terrorism - the U.S., is a major aid donor and economic stimulator 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.
Iran Nuclear Pact Wins Few New US Congressional Backersi
X
Michael Bowman
July 26, 2015 8:44 PM
Later this week, President Barack Obama returns from a trip to Africa to confront a U.S. Congress roiled by the nuclear accord with Iran, an agreement that has received the blessing of the U.N. Security Council. Days of intensive lobbying and testimony by top administration officials have won few new congressional supporters of the pact. VOA’s Michael Bowman reports.
Video

Video Iran Nuclear Pact Wins Few New US Congressional Backers

Later this week, President Barack Obama returns from a trip to Africa to confront a U.S. Congress roiled by the nuclear accord with Iran, an agreement that has received the blessing of the U.N. Security Council. Days of intensive lobbying and testimony by top administration officials have won few new congressional supporters of the pact. VOA’s Michael Bowman reports.
Video

Video Underground Streetcar Station In Washington, DC, to Become Arts Venue

Abandoned more than 50 years ago, the underground streetcar station in Washington D.C’s historic DuPont Circle district is about to be reborn. The plan calls for turning the spacious underground platforms - once meant to be a transportation hub, - into a unique space for art exhibitions, presentations, concerts and even a film set. Roman Mamonov has more from beneath the streets of the U.S. capital. Joy Wagner narrates his report.
Video

Video Obama Encourages Kenya to Fix Cultures of Corruption, Discrimination

President Barack Obama bid farewell to Kenya Sunday with a major speech at as stadium outside the capital Nairobi where he called on Kenyans to change the cultures of corruption and discrimination that can hold society back. VOA East Africa Correspondent Gabe Joselow has the story.
Video

Video Europe’s Twin Crises Collide in Greece as Migrant Numbers Soar

Greece has replaced Italy as the main gateway for migrants into Europe, with more than 100,000 arrivals in the first six months of 2015. Many want to move further into Europe and escape Greece’s economic crisis, but they face widespread dangers on the journey overland through the Balkans. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Stink Intensifies as Lebanon’s Trash Crisis Continues

After the closure of a major rubbish dump a week ago, the streets of Beirut are filling up with trash. Having failed to draw up a plan B, politicians are struggling to deal with the problem. John Owens has more for VOA from Beirut.
Video

Video Paris Rolls Out Blueprint to Fight Climate Change

A U.N. climate conference in December aims to produce an ambitious agreement to fight heat-trapping greenhouse gases. But many local governments are not waiting, and have drafted their own climate action plans. That’s the case with Paris — which is getting special attention, since it’s hosting the climate summit. Lisa Bryant takes a look for VOA at the transformation of the French capital into an eco-city.
Video

Video Racially Diverse Spider-Man Takes Center Stage

Whether it’s in a comic book or on the big screen, fans have always known the man behind the Spider-Man mask as Peter Parker. But that is changing, at least in the comic book world. Marvel Comics announced that a character called Miles Morales will replace Peter Parker as Spider-Man in a new comic book series. He is half Latino, half African American, and he is quite popular among comic book fans. Correspondent Elizabeth Lee reports from Los Angeles.
Video

Video California Towns Welcome Special Olympics Athletes

Cities and towns in Southern California are greeting thousands of athletes who are arriving for Special Olympics, a competition for people with intellectual disabilities. The games will run from July 25th through August 2nd. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports from Pasadena, California, where athletes from Namibia, Singapore and Tanzania got a rousing welcome from local residents.
Video

Video Critics of Japan Defense Policy Focus on Okinawa

In Okinawa, many locals have long complained that Tokyo places an unfair burden on the tiny island by locating most of Japan's U.S. military bases there. As Japan's government moves toward strengthening and expanding the country's defense policies, opponents of those plans are joining local protesters in Okinawa, voicing concern about where the country is headed. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from Okinawa.
Video

Video IS Uses Chemical Weapons in Syrian Attack

Islamic State militants have added a new weapon in their arsenal of fear: chemical weapons. VOA Kurdish service reporter Zana Omer was on the scene within hours of a recent attack in Hasakah, Syria, and has details of the subsequent investigation, in this report narrated by Miguel Amaya.
Video

Video Historic Symbol Is Theme of Vibrant New Show

A new exhibit in Washington is paying tribute to the American flag with a wide and eclectic selection of artwork that uses the historic symbol as its central theme. VOA’s Julie Taboh was at the DC Chamber of Commerce for the show’s opening.
Video

Video Hoverbike Flying Toward Reality

Another long-standing dream of many technological inventors is quickly approaching reality: U.S.- and British-based firms are cooperating in the development of an individual flying platform they call a hoverbike. They say it may revolutionize the concept of flying, including in the U.S. military. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video As Japan Expands Defense Role, Protests Follow

The Japanese government is moving forward with a controversial security bill that would authorize the military to fight abroad for the first time since World War II. Leaders say it is critical to defend against rising threats from China and North Korea. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from Japan on the big changes ahead, and the opposition they are drawing.
Video

Video Rise in HIV Infections Worries Ugandan Officials

Uganda had the third-highest number of new HIV infections in sub-Saharan Africa last year, reversing its reputation for successfully tackling the epidemic in the 1990s. Although the percentage of people living with HIV/AIDS is still half of what it was in the 1980s, the increase in new infections is worrying to health workers. VOA's Serginho Roosblad reports.
Video

Video Replacing Poppies with Coffee in Myanmar

The remote mountains of Myanmar’s Shan state are home to the second-largest opium-producing region in the world. After a drop during the 2000s, production surged in the past eight years to feed an increasing demand for heroin in China. But farmers are now making less on the crop, and the U.N. is hoping many will make the switch to growing coffee. Daniel de Carteret reports for VOA from Taunggyi.

VOA Blogs