What We Know About Times Square Suspect

Searching for information about Faisal Shahzad

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Authorities arrested Faisal Shahzad late last night, calling him the man responsible for the failed car bomb in New York City's Times Square on Saturday. Shahzad was pulled off of an airliner leaving from Kennedy Airport in New York for Dubai. He is a naturalized American citizen who was born in Pakistan, where he had recently traveled. But there remains much we don't know about Shahzad, such as whether he is connected to any groups, and why he drove that Nissan Pathfinder into Times Square. Here's what we know and what's still unanswered.

  • Pakistani Taliban Denies Videotape  A videotape released Monday, in which a man says he is part of the Pakistan-based insurgent group Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), claimed responsibility for the car bomb. But the spokesman for TTP says the group never released the tape. "We don't know about this video. As far as I know, none of our people have posted the video. We have no information about it," he told media.
  • Didn't Know How To Make a Bomb  ABC News reports, "Instead of ammonium nitrate, the kind of fertilizer used by Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh, the person who abandoned the van on the crowded New York City street had a metal gun locker full of a harmless fertilizer. ... if that person were not aware of the characteristics of the fertilizer it could point to the fact that the bomber did not know what he was doing. Sources also told ABC News that the valves on the propane tanks were not open, which would have made it less likely that the gas inside would have ignited.
  • Two Other People Pulled Off Shahzad's Flight  The New York Times reports, "Two other passengers were removed from the plane, Emirates [airline] said, but it was unclear whether they were connected with the bombing attempt."
  • Lived in Bridgeport, Connecticut  The Wall Street Journal reports, "Federal agents and police conducted a search of a house in Bridgeport, Conn., related to the investigation early Tuesday morning. ... Officials appeared to be searching a multifamily house on Bridgeport's east side, according to witness Ted Fiorito, who arrived at the scene shortly after 2 a.m. ET. Mr. Fiorito said officials appeared to have evacuated several buildings around the one they were searching. He said they removed bags from the building." ABC News speaks to a neighbor:
  • ...With His Family?  The New York Times reports, "Early Tuesday, at Mr. Shahzad’s former home in Shelton, Conn., just outside Bridgeport, a neighbor said that Mr. Shahzad and his wife, Huma Mian, spoke limited English and kept mostly to themselves. The couple had two young children, a girl and a boy, said the neighbor, Brenda Thurman. Ms. Thurman said the couple had lived at the house at 119 Long Hill Avenue for about three years before moving out last year. Mr. Shahzad left around May, she said, and his wife followed about a month later."
  • Online Jihadists Divided  Foreign Policy's Brian Fishman writes, "The response on jihadi forums to the Times Square attack and these films has been generally positive. Jihadi posters accept Hussain's claim of responsibility for the Times Square attack, though Western officials have denied an operational link. Posters are likewise gleeful that Mehsud is alive. But there is worry among some jihadi supporters that the failed Times Square attack makes jihadists look weak. They hope the bombing scares Americans, but are dismayed that it has already been called 'amateurish' in the media. Jihadists want to see fear, and they are not getting enough of it in this case."
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.