Times Square Suspect to Appear in Court

New York
Times Square Suspect to Appear in Court
Faisal Shahzad, the Pakistani- American accused of trying to set off a car bomb in New York's Times Square, is scheduled to appear in a federal court here today for a preliminary hearing.

30-year-old Shahzad, son of a retired Air Vice Marshal of Pakistan Air Force, faces five counts in connection with the botched car bomb attempt in Times Square on May 1.

He could be sentenced to life in prison if convicted.

Dressed in a grey sweatsuit and free of handcuffs, Shahzad appeared before a federal magistrate May 18 to hear the charges against him.

His lawyer did not object to a judge's order that he remain in federal custody. Shahzad did not enter a plea.

Senior counter-terrorism officials said Shahzad also planned to attack the Rockefeller Center, Grand Central Terminal and the World Financial Center in New York City. He also considered attacking Connecticut helicopter manufacturer Sikorsky, officials said.

Shahzad's arrest heightened concerns about the Pakistani Taliban, which US authorities believe directed the Times Square plot.

US intelligence officials fear the Taliban are actively plotting to strike within the United States and are targeting American interests overseas.

The concerns about the group are coming from multiple sources, including from Shahzad, CNN quoted the officials as saying.

US authorities have picked up three men in connection to Shahzad during a sweep in the Northeast. They are accused of being involved in an informal money-transfer network that provided cash to Shahzad.

Pakistan has rounded up another 11 people for questioning, though no one has been charged.
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