Monday, November 29, 1999

Times Square bomb suspect indicted in New York

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The man suspected of trying to set off a car bomb in New York's Times Square on May 1 was indicted by a federal grand jury on Thursday on terrorism-related charges.Pakistani-born Faisal Shahzad, who became a U.S. citizen last year, was indicted on 10 charges, including attempted use of a weapon of mass destruction and attempted terrorism transcending national borders.He faces life in prison if convicted and has been cooperating with authorities since he was arrested, officials said."(The) 10-count indictment returned in the Southern District of New York charges Faisal Shahzad with conspiring with the Pakistani Taliban to wreak death and destruction in Times Square," U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said in a statement.Shahzad's attorney, Philip Weinstein, declined comment on the indictment.Shahzad, 30, is accused of parking a vehicle containing a crude car bomb in Times Square in Midtown Manhattan. He was arrested aboard a Dubai-bound jetliner two days later that was minutes from leaving New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport.He did not enter a plea during his first court appearance on May 18.Prosecutors said Shahzad, who has a wife and two children in Pakistan, had traveled to a Taliban and al Qaeda stronghold in Pakistan to receive bomb-making training.The Pakistani Taliban, called Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan, has claimed responsibility for the attempted bombing.Shahzad lived in the neighbouring state of Connecticut and had returned recently to the United States after spending several months in Pakistan.Several people have been arrested in Pakistan in the case and U.S. authorities carried out raids in New York, Massachusetts, New Jersey and Maine, detaining several people on immigration charges.The indictment also said that Shahzad received $5,000 in Massachusetts in February sent from an unnamed co-conspirator who he believed worked with the Pakistani Taliban. He received a further $7,000 in April in New York, according to the indictment.Shahzad, who remains in custody, is due back in court on Monday.(Writing by Michelle Nichols; Editing by Daniel Trotta and Peter Cooney)

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