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Investigators still interviewing NY bomb suspect

New York, May 5, 2010

US authorities were still questioning a Pakistani-American man on Wednesday, who they say admitted trying to bomb New York's Times Square and receiving training in a Taliban and al Qaeda stronghold in Pakistan.

Prosecutors have charged Faisal Shahzad, 30, a naturalized US citizen born in Pakistan with attempting to use a weapon of mass destruction and trying to kill and maim people within the United States as well as other offenses.

He faces a life sentence if he is convicted.

New York Police Commissioner Ray Kelly said late on Tuesday that Shahzad was cooperating with investigators and had waived his Miranda rights, which grant him the right to a lawyer and full US constitutional legal rights.

'He's giving us significant information,' Kelly told a New York television station. 'We want to learn as much as we can about him, we want to learn about the training, who gave the training, where did it happen.'

Shahzad was arrested late on Monday after he was taken off an Emirates plane that was about to depart for Dubai. Hours later, several of his relatives were arrested in Pakistan, security sources said.

Kelly said it was the 11th thwarted attack on New York City since hijacked airliners destroyed the World Trade Center's twin towers on Sept. 11, 2001 killing more than 2,600 people.

President Barack Obama said the investigation would seek to determine whether Shahzad had any connection with foreign extremist groups.

The Taliban in Pakistan have claimed responsibility for the attempted bombing, saying it was planned to avenge the killing in April of al Qaeda's two top leaders in Iraq as well as US interference in Muslim countries.

While some US officials were skeptical about the claim, Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi told CBS News he believed the failed attack was a retaliation for the United States targeting Taliban followers.

'This is a blow back. This is a reaction. This is retaliation,' he said. 'Let's not be naive. They're not going to sort of sit and welcome you to eliminate them. They're going to fight back. And we have to be ready for this fight.'

If links are found between the attempted bombing and Pakistan's Taliban, Islamabad could come under renewed US pressure to open risky new fronts against Islamic militants.

Shahzad told authorities he acted alone, but officials say he recently spent five months in Pakistan and Kelly said Shahzad has a wife and two children living in Peshawar.

A former financial analyst who lived and worked in Connecticut, Shahzad was accused of driving a crude homemade bomb of gasoline, propane gas, fireworks and fertilizer into Times Square on Saturday evening.

The bomb was in a sports utility vehicle that prosecutors said Shahzad bought three weeks ago in Connecticut for $1,300 cash after it was advertised online. The Nissan Pathfinder was found in Times Square with a license plate from another car.

Street vendors selling T-shirts and handbags alerted police to the smoking vehicle that had been parked awkwardly with the engine running and the hazard lights on. Thousands of people were evacuated from Times Square. – Reuters




Tags: Emirates | New York | Taliban | Bomb | Times Square | Faisal Shahzad |

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