Thursday, December 25, 2014

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Arrest Made

Times Square Bombing Suspect Caught At JFK

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A man has been arrested in connection with the failed Times Square car bomb plot.

U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder says the suspect, identified as Faisal Shahzad, was taken into custody last night around 11:45 p.m. at John F. Kennedy International Airport.

Holder says Shahzad, a naturalized U.S. citizen born in Pakistan, was identified by customs agents while trying to take a flight to Dubai.

"This investigation is ongoing, as are our attempts to gather useful intelligence and we continue to pursue a number of leads. But it's clear that the intent behind this terrorist act was to kill Americans," Holder said.

Shahzad is being held in New York. He is expected to be brought up on formal charges later today in Manhattan federal court.

In a released statement, Mayor Michael Bloomberg said, "I want to thank the men and women of the NYPD, the FBI, the US Attorney’s Southern District of New York, Customs and Border Protection, and the many other agencies in New York, Washington and Connecticut whose focused and swift efforts led to this arrest after only 48 hours of around-the-clock investigation. I hope their impressive work serves as a lesson to anyone who would do us harm."

Shahzad's arrest comes just days after a 1993 Nissan Pathfinder packed with explosives was found abandoned on 45th Street between 7th and 8th Avenues.

The Associated Press reports Shahzad had been living in Bridgeport, Connecticut and recently returned from a five-month-long trip to Pakistan.

They say he found the SUV on Craigslist and paid cash to buy it in Stratford, Connecticut about three weeks ago.

The license plate on the vehicle was actually registered to car at an auto parts shop in Connecticut.

The vehicle identification number had been removed from the SUV's dashboard, but it was stamped on the engine, and investigators used it to find the owner of record.

Authorities say the SUV's registered owner is not considered a suspect.

Inside the SUV, police found propane tanks, gasoline containers and fireworks, along with a crude timing device and a gun locker packed with fertilizer.

Police Commissioner Ray Kelly said the bomb could have produced a "significant fireball" and sprayed shrapnel with enough force to kill pedestrians and knock out windows.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation is examining the bomb-making materials at their lab in Quantico, Virginia.

Police had originally been focusing on surveillance video showing a man taking off his shirt in Shubert Alley, about half a block from the SUV.

Officials now say he may have just been a bystander.

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