Suspect indicted in bomb attempt
Shahzad’s source of cash detailed
NEW YORK — Times Square bomb suspect Faisal Shahzad was charged yesterday with 10 terrorism and weapons counts in an indictment that accuses him of receiving explosives training and financial help from the Pakistani Taliban.
The indictment returned by a grand jury in US District Court in Manhattan added five charges to the original case against Shahzad, 30. It also detailed in greater depth his alleged financing, saying Shahzad had received a total of $12,000 from the militant group through cash drop-offs in Massachusetts and Long Island.
He is accused of plotting to build and detonate a gasoline-and-propane bomb inside a sport-utility vehicle among thousands of tourists. He was charged with attempted use of a weapon of mass destruction among several terrorism and weapons counts. “The facts alleged in this indictment show that the Pakistani Taliban facilitated Faisal Shahzad’s attempted attack on American soil,’’ Attorney General Eric Holder said in a release.
Shahzad’s lawyers did not immediately respond to requests for comment. Shahzad is scheduled to enter a plea in court Monday. The most serious counts against him carry mandatory penalties of life in prison.
The indictment alleged that Shahzad received explosives training in Waziristan, Pakistan, in December 2009 from trainers affiliated with Tehrik-e-Taliban, a Pakistan-based militant extremist group. The affiliation with the group led to financing as well, the indictment alleged.
It said Shahzad received about $5,000 in cash in Massachusetts on Feb. 25 from a co-conspirator in Pakistan whom Shahzad understood worked for Tehrik-e-Taliban. About six weeks later in Ronkonkoma, N.Y., Shahzad received $7,000 in cash, the indictment said.
US Attorney Preet Bharara said Shahzad conspired with the Pakistani Taliban “to wreak death and destruction.’’
Shahzad was born in Pakistan, moved to the United States when he was 18, and lived most recently in Bridgeport, Conn.
He was accused of abandoning a SUV fitted with a homemade car bomb in Times Square on May 1. A street vendor noticed smoke in the vehicle and alerted police. The bomb never ignited and no one was hurt.
Shahzad was arrested May 3 on a plane at Kennedy International Airport bound for Dubai, United Arab Emirates.
After his arrest, Shahzad cooperated with investigators, providing what authorities described as details of the attempted bombing and information that led to other arrests. Authorities say he quickly admitted his role in the incident.
The indictment indicated Shahzad bought a semiautomatic 9mm Kel-Tec rifle in Connecticut on March 15. The weapon was found loaded in his car.
Authorities have said they believe Shahzad acted alone in carrying out the bomb plot after receiving financial and other help from the Pakistani Taliban.
Three men in Massachusetts and Maine suspected of supplying money to Shahzad have been detained on immigration charges.