Faisal Shahzad, 30, a US citizen from Pakistan, was arrested at New York's JFK airport trying to board a flight to Dubai and will appear in federal court Tuesday. He was identified as the buyer of the Nissan Pathfinder used to rig the failed car bomb. US Attorney General Eric Holder said that investigators are now looking at more than one person in connection with the attempted terrorist attack and hinted at a foreign terrorist leak. By Monday night, 48 hours after the incident, US officials had begun to look seriously at the Pakistani Taliban claim of responsibility, highlighted by debkafile Sunday, May 2. His information is vital to uncovering the extent of the conspiracy and its potential for more terrorist attacks in New York or other American cities.
Shahzad, who is due to appear in the Manhattan federal court later Tuesday, became a naturalized US citizen last year. He recently returned from a five-month visit Pakistan, where he said he visited his wife. Investigators searched his house in Bridgeport, Connecticut, Tuesday and took away filled bags.
Emirates Airlines said US officials had removed to other people from its flight to Dubai after Shahzad was apprehended.
The investigation got off to a slow start due to the initial skepticism in the administration and New York City Hall to the possibility of a high-profile terrorist operation demanding immediate, comprehensive action.
Shortly after the car bomb parked near on Times Square was defused safely Saturday night, May 1, debkafile reported: Our terror experts doubt that he was a loner. Surveillance was needed to locate the bomb vehicle and steal or buy it from the used car junkyard, several hands must have assembled the materials and prepared the explosive device, and his lightning disappearance indicates that a getaway car must have been on hand to whisk him away from the scene before the police arrived.
The bomb made up of propane tanks, fertilizer and gasoline failed to detonate in the SUV, which NY Police Commissioner Ray Kelly said could have produced " significant fireball" in the heart of Midtown Manhattan Saturday night May 1 had it worked properly. It was detected when smoke billowed out of the parked vehicle near Time Square.
The next day, debkafile headlined the Pakistani Taliban's claim of responsibility, taped in advance by its top bomb-maker, Qari Hussain Mehsud, and strengthened a few hours later by the release of a videotape allegedly made by Pakistani Taliban leader Hakimullah Mehsud on April 4, weeks after he was reported killed by a US missile strike in January, and ignored at the time.
On that nine-minute tape, he vowed retaliation for the killing of Islamist leaders: "The time is very near when our fedayeen will attack the American states in the major cities."
Shortly before he was killed by a US drone in Aug. 2009, his predecessor, Baitullah Mehsud, claimed his movement was now able to execute operations inside the United States.
US security officials did not take this claim seriously. However the evidence against Najibullah Zazi, the Detroit taxi driver charged in February with conspiring to attack the New York subway, reveals that al Qaeda in Pakistan recruited him when he arrived their to join Taliban. The two movements' campaign of violence against the United States and US targets in Pakistan is so closely coordinated as to be virtually interchangeable.
Therefore, when Qari Hussein claimed Taliban was avenging "martyred leaders," he included Abu Omar al Baghdadi, the al Qaeda commander in Iraq killed by a joint US-Iraqi intelligence team in mid-April.
He also warned NATO governments to denounce the US and apologize for "the massacres in Iraq, Yemen, Afghanistan, and Pakistani tribal areas – otherwise be prepared for the worst destruction and devastation in their own countries."