Pakistani-American terror suspect Faisal Shahzad is expected to enter a plea today as he makes his second appearance in court after being charged with attempted use of a weapon of mass destruction and terrorism.
30–year-old Shahzad allegedly tried to explode a car bomb hidden in a Nissan Pathfinder in a crowded Times Square area here on May 1, and prosecutors claim that he got the money for the terror attack from Pakistani militants.
The 10-count indictment handed down on Thursday alleges that Shahzad was trained in Pakistan's restive tribal areas by affiliates of Tehrik-i-Taliban, the terror group of the Taliban in Pakistan.
Shahzad, the son of a retired Pakistani air force officer, faces charges including attempted use of a weapon of mass destruction, attempted act of terrorism transcending national boundaries, attempted use of a destructive device in a terrorist conspiracy and other conspiracy, explosives and weapons related charges.
The US authorities had suspected the hand of the Pakistani-Taliban in the attack since the beginning of the investigation.
"The facts alleged in this indictment show that the Pakistani Taliban facilitated Faisal Shahzad’s attempted attack on American soil," Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. said in a statement.
"This office will continue to work in lock-step with our partners at the FBI and the NYPD to protect New York City from the threat posed by terrorists and those who would support them," US Attorney Preet Bharara was quoted as saying by Fox news.
If convicted, he could be in prison for life.
Shahzad was apprehended at John F Kennedy airport trying to escape to Dubai and has been cooperating with the federal authorities by providing them with information since he was arrested two days after the attack was foiled.
Shahzad also allegedly received money from a man in Pakistan who is believed to have been working for Tehrik-i-Taliban, according to prosecutors.
The suspect then used this money to buy the Nissan Pathfinder and the material to make a car bomb.
A 9-millimetre Kel-Tec rifle was also purchased, which was found inside his car at the airport on the day of his arrest.
The indictment states that on February 25, Shahzad allegedly received USD 5,000 in cash in Massachusetts from a "co-conspirator," who's identified only as "CC-1.” The first round of money was followed by another UD 7,000 that was picked up in Long Island also allegedly from "CC-1."
The father of two worked as a financial analyst in Connecticut where he lived with his wife.
Faisal Shahzad Expected to Enter Plea
Betwa Sharma/New York
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