Faisal Shahzad, a Pakastani native and a naturalized American citizen living in Connecticut, has been arrested for the bombing attempt in Times Square. He was already on a plane to Dubai when authorities finally identified him as the culprit. The plane turned around and Faisal was arrested when it landed at Kennedy International. It also appears that he was trained in bomb making in Pakistan and several of his contacts in that country are now under arrest. This from the NYT:
. . . Mr. Shahzad was arrested just before midnight Monday aboard an Emirates flight. He was charged in a five-count complaint with crimes including conspiring to use weapons of mass destruction in what Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. called a “terrorist plot aimed at murdering Americans.” Speaking at a news conference in Washington, Mr. Holder said Mr. Shahzad had been talking to investigators and had provided “useful information.” Officials had previously said that Mr. Shahzad had implicated himself in statements after he was pulled off the plane. At the same time, President Obama said federal investigators were looking into whether Mr. Shahzad had any ties to terrorist organizations.
Mr. Shahzad, 30, a naturalized United States citizen from Pakistan, had apparently driven to the airport in a white Isuzu Trooper that was found in a parking lot with a Kel-Tech 9-millimeter pistol, with a folding stock and a rifle barrel, along with several spare magazines of ammunition, an official said. He told the authorities that he had acted alone, but hours after he was arrested, security officials in Pakistan said they had arrested seven or eight people in connection with the bombing attempt.
Pakistani officials identified one of the detainees as Tauhid Ahmed and said he had been in touch with Mr. Shahzad through e-mail, and had met him either in the United States or in the Pakistani port city of Karachi.
Another man arrested, Muhammad Rehan, had spent time with Mr. Shahzad during a recent visit there, Pakistani officials said. Mr. Rehan was arrested in Karachi just after morning prayers at a mosque known for its links with the militant group Jaish-e-Muhammad.
Investigators said Mr. Rehan told them that he had rented a pickup truck and driven with Mr. Shahzad to the northwestern city of Peshawar, where they stayed from July 7 to July 22, 2009. The account could not be independently verified. Mr. Shahzad, who lives in Bridgeport, Conn., spent four months in Pakistan last year, the authorities said.
The criminal complaint charging Mr. Shahzad says that after his arrest he admitted attempting to detonate the bomb in Times Square and told investigators that he recently received bomb-making training in Waziristan.
The detailed 10-page document tracks his movements in the days before and after the failed car bomb attack, describing how he used a pre-paid cellular telephone to contact the seller of the car and arrange the purchase – and how the phone received four calls from a number in Pakistan hours before he made the purchase on April 24.
Apparently, authorities were able to identify Shahzad through his pre-paid cell phone and call history. I would be surprised if this wasn't primarily the work of the NSA using its massive data base and complex software developed over the past decade.
There appears nothing in his eleven years living in the U.S. to mark him as a potential terrorist. The same cannot be said of his contacts in Pakistan. At least one of those arrested in Pakistan appears to have links to Jaish-e-Muhammad, one of the principal jihadi organizations in Pakistan.
Unlike the Christmas Day Undiebomber, this was an act by an American citizen acting on American soil, so there is no question that he is entitled to the full panopoly of Constitutional rights. The Obama administration is using the word "terrorist" at every opportunity at this point, and no one will fault AG Eric Holder for reading Shahzad his rights on this one. That said, Shahzad, as American citizen, should be additionally charged with treason. At any rate, by all accounts, our investigative services have worked swiftly and efficiently to make this capture. My hat is off to them.