After some serious investigation, police have identified and arrested the man responsible for an attempted bombing of an SUV in Times Square on the evening of May 1st. Identified as the owner of the SUV, Shahzad was captured by FBI agents after he was already on board a plane headed to Dubai.
Shahzad, 30, is a naturalized U.S. citizen who led a quiet life in Shelton, Connecticut. His neighbors said that he hardly came out during the day and wasn’t very social. When police searched his home, it seemed like no one had lived there for months, which matches newly discovered intel that he had recently traveled to Pakistan for five months. The official conducting the investigation also reported that Shahzad had a wife in Pakistan, which might be where he was planning to go back to after the bombing.
Shahzad was identified through the found SUV’s VIN numbers. The 1993 Nissan Pathfinder was purchased from a Connecticut man in cash (so that it would be harder to trace back to him). When Shahzad left the SUV in Times Square with the explosives, he scratched off the VIN numbers from the dashboard, but forgot or didn’t know that they were also on the engine. This is how authorities were able to pin the crime on him.
“He’s claimed to have acted alone, but these are things that have to be investigated,” the official said.
After the bomb was found, multiple terrorist groups tried to take credit for the bomb, but Shahzad kept denying it and saying that he was in on it alone. As of right now there is not enough proof to link him to one of these terrorist groups, but the investigation is still in process.
U.S. authorities “will not rest until we have brought everyone responsible to justice,” Attorney Eric Holder said early Tuesday, suggesting additional suspects are being sought.
One of the most disturbing facts about this situation is that the reason Shazhad was able to board a plane and practically take off before police were able to capture him–even though his name appears on a “no fly” list. After being identified as a likely suspect for setting up the bomb, police were ordered to follow him, but not legally allowed to put a GPS tracking device on his vehicle, which is why they lost him on the way to the airport. This particular situation is bound to bring attention to the level of security in our airports and public terminals.
(Via Huffington Post)