Life sentence sought in failed N.Y. bombing
Faisal Shahzad had expected to kill at least 40, and planned a second attack.
new york — U.S. prosecutors said Wednesday that they are seeking life in prison for a Pakistani-born American citizen who tried to set off a car bomb in New York’s Times Square and revealed that he had planned a second attack.
Faisal Shahzad, 30, pleaded guilty in June to the failed May 1bombing in busy midtown Manhattan. He was arrested two days later aboard a plane bound for Dubai, United Arab Emirates, minutes before it was to leave New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport.
Shahzad admitted that he received training in bomb-making from the Pakistani Taliban, also known as Tehrik-e-Taliban, and said the group had funded the failed attack.
Court documents made public Wednesday revealed Shahzad had told investigators that he thought his bomb would have killed at least 40 people, and that he had planned to carry out a second bombing attack two weeks later. The target of the second attack was not identified in the documents.
Prosecutors said Shahzad, a naturalized U.S. citizen, posed a “particularly pernicious threat” and his prison sentence should deter potential future radicalization of U.S. citizens.
“While it is self-evident that specific deterrence is important in this case, deterring other United States citizens as well as those who are permitted to reside here from working to undermine our national security by aiding foreign terrorist organizations is vital,” they said.
Prosecutors also revealed additional details about the plot. They said Shahzad used the Internet to study Times Square in a bid to maximize damage. They also said he consulted with militants in Pakistan throughout the bomb-making process.
“Shahzad used the Internet to access websites that provided real-time video feeds of different areas of Times Square,” the court papers said. “These websites enabled Shahzad to determine which areas of Times Square drew the largest crowds and the times when those areas would be most crowded.”
As he assembled the bomb at his Connecticut home, prosecutors said, he used specific programs on his computer to communicate with Tehrik-e-Taliban militants.
Shahzad is expected to be sentenced Oct. 5.
He pleaded guilty in June to the failed attack.