RSS
Who is Faisal Shahzad?
After a dramatic airport arrest, authorities are interrogating a Pakistani-born U.S. citizen in the Times Square bomb case. Who is he?
 
Faisal Shahzad.
Faisal Shahzad.
AP

U.S. authorities have made an arrest in the attempted bombing of Times Square on Saturday night. The Pakistani-born U.S. citizen, suspected of involvement in the plot, was picked at JFK Airport minutes before his flight departed for Dubai on Monday evening. (Watch a Fox report about Faisal Shahzad's arrest.) A little more about the sole suspect in the car bomb attack:

Who is he?
Faisal Shahzad is a 30-year-old naturalized U.S. citizen who lives in Bridgeport, Connecticut. Originally from Pakistan, he has a wife, Huma Mian, and two young children there, according to one neighbor. Officials say he was "unemployed and bankrupt" at the time of his arrest.

When did he move to the U.S.?
Officials say Shahzad arrived in America on Jan. 16, 1999, on a student visa (which requires a criminal background check). He enrolled at the University of Bridgeport, where he completed a bachelor's degree in computer science and engineering in 2000.

Where did he work?
He worked for the cosmetics giant, Elizabeth Arden, as an accounting clerk in 2001 and was granted a professional's H1B visa in 2002. From 2006 to 2009 he worked as a junior finance adviser at the Affinion Group, a marketing and consulting business based in Norwalk, Connecticut. He left there in June 2009. 

When did he become a U.S. citizen?
In April, 2009. He and his family had been living in a new, single-family house in Shelton, Connecticut that he'd purchased in 2004 for $273,000. He reportedly defaulted on the mortgage sometime last year, around the time his wife and children left the U.S. for Pakistan.

Does he have links to Islamic groups?
He recently spent five months in the city of Peshawar, a hub for Islamic militants. He is reported to have attended militant training camps while there

How did authorities link him with the bombing?
Federal officials believe he bought the Nissan Pathfinder that was used in the attempted Times Square attack for $1,300 in cash several weeks ago. Authorities tracked him down using a cellphone number and an e-mail address he gave to the seller of the vehicle on the Craigslist website.

How did the arrest go down?
According to authorities, Shahzad drove to JFK Airport in a white Isuzu trooper that was later found with a handgun inside. The suspect was apprehended aboard Emirates flight 202 to Dubai just before midnight on Monday evening. Officials apparently called the plane back after it had left the gate.

Is he the man in the security camera pictures?
It seems not. Cameras show a middle-aged, balding man removing a dark-colored shirt and walking away from the explosives-laden vehicle. New York commissioner Ray Kelly says that man was still a "person of interest."

What has Shahzad said to authorities?
He has "made statements implicating himself," according to The New York Times, and has "told the authorities that he acted alone." The FBI said the investigation is still ongoing, and the Pakistan authorities, who've already arrested several suspects, have pledged to assist the U.S. in any way that they can.

(This article was updated on May 5).

Sources: BBC, The New York Times, New York Daily News, Huffington Post

 

THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER

Subscribe to the Week