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

Hezbollah Chief Says Does Not Want War But Ready for One

VOA's Jerusalem correspondent reports that with an Israeli election looming and Hezbollah's involvement in Syria, neither side appears interested in a wider conflict More

Multimedia VOA SPECIAL REPORT: Despite Danger, Best US Minds Battle Deadly Virus

Scientists at America's premier biological research center race in military confinement to find effective drugs, speedier tests and a safe vaccine amid the deadliest outbreak of Ebola in history More

Kurdish Poet Battles to Defend Language, Culture

Kawa Nemir's work is an example of what he sees as an irreversible cultural and political assertiveness among Kurds in Turkey 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.
Egypt's Suez Canal Dreams Tempered by Continued Unresti
X
Heather Murdock
January 30, 2015 8:00 PM
Egypt plans to expand the Suez Canal, raising hopes that the end of its economic crisis may be in sight. But some analysts say they expect the project may cost too much and take too long to make life better for everyday Egyptians. VOA's Heather Murdock reports.
Video

Video Egypt's Suez Canal Dreams Tempered by Continued Unrest

Egypt plans to expand the Suez Canal, raising hopes that the end of its economic crisis may be in sight. But some analysts say they expect the project may cost too much and take too long to make life better for everyday Egyptians. VOA's Heather Murdock reports.
Video

Video Threat of Creeping Lava Has Hawaiians on Edge

Residents of the small town of Pahoa on the Big Island of Hawaii face an advancing threat from the Kilauea volcano. Local residents are keeping a watchful eye on creeping lava. Mike O’Sullivan reports.
Video

Video Pro-Kremlin Youth Group Creatively Promotes 'Patriotic' Propaganda

As Russia's President Vladimir Putin faces international pressure over Ukraine and a failing economy, unofficial domestic groups are rallying to his support. One such youth organization, CET, or Network, uses creative multimedia to appeal to Russia's urban youth with patriotic propaganda. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports.
Video

Video Mobile Infrared Scanners May Help Homeowners Save Energy

Mobile photo scanners have been successfully employed for navigational purposes, such as Google Maps. Now, a group of scientists from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology says the same technology could help homeowners better insulate their houses and save some money. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Filmmakers Produce Hand-Painted Documentary on Van Gogh

The troubled life of the famous 19th century Dutch painter Vincent van Gogh has been told through many books and films, but never in the way a group of filmmakers now intends to do. "Loving Vincent " will be the first ever feature-length film made of animated hand-painted images, done in the style of the late artist. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Issues or Ethnicity? Question Divides Nigeria

As Nigeria goes to the polls next month, many expect the two top presidential contenders to gain much of their support from constituencies organized along ethnic or religious lines. But are faith and regional blocs really what political power in Nigeria is about? Chris Stein reports.
Video

Video Rock-Consuming Organisms Alter Views of Life Processes

Scientists thought they knew much about how life works, until a discovery more than two decades ago challenged conventional beliefs. Scientists found that there are organisms that breathe rocks. And it is only recently that the scientific community is accepting that there are organisms that could get energy out of rocks. Correspondent Elizabeth Lee reports.
Video

Video Paris Attacks Highlight Global Weapons Black Market

As law enforcement officials piece together how the Paris and Belgian terror cells carried out their recent attacks, questions are being asked about how they obtained military grade assault weapons - which are illegal in the European Union. As VOA's Jeff Swicord reports, experts say there is a very active worldwide black market for these weapons, and criminals and terrorists are buying.
Video

Video Activists Accuse China of Targeting Religious Freedom

The U.S.-based Chinese religious rights group ChinaAid says 2014 was the worst year for religious freedom in China since the end of the Cultural Revolution. As Ye Fan reports, activists say Beijing has been tightening religious controls ever since Chinese leader Xi Jinping came to office. Hu Wei narrates.
Video

Video Theologians Cast Doubt on Morality of Drone Strikes

In 2006, stirred by photos of U.S. soldiers mistreating Iraqi prisoners, a group of American faith leaders and academics launched the National Religious Campaign Against Torture. It played an important role in getting Congress to investigate, and the president to ban, torture. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Former Sudan 'Lost Boy' Becomes Chess Master in NYC

In the mid-1980’s, thousands of Sudanese boys escaped the country's civil war by walking for weeks, then months and finally for more than a year, up to 1,500 kilometers across three countries. The so-called Lost Boys of the Sudan had little time for games. But one of them later mastered the game of chess, and now teaches it to children in the New York area. VOA’s Bernard Shusman in New York has his story.
Video

Video NASA Monitors Earth’s Vital Signs From Space

The U.S. space agency, NASA, is wrapping up its busiest 12-month period in more than a decade, with three missions launched in 2014 and two this month, one in early January and the fifth scheduled for January 29. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, the instruments being lifted into orbit are focused on Earth’s vital life support systems and how they are responding to a warmer planet.

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More

All About America

AppleAndroid