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Suspected Times Square bomb plotter pleads guilty

By Stephen C. Webster
Monday, June 21, 2010 17:16 EDT
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A Pakistan-born American citizen accused of plotting to detonate a car bomb near Times Square pleaded guilty on Monday to the first of a series of charges related to the failed attack, according to published reports.

Faisal Shahzad, a 30-year-old Connecticut resident, entered a guilty plea on one count, but planned to admit guilt to nine other related charges. He told the judge his plea was “guilty and a hundred times more” and warned of future attacks, according to the Associated Press.

Shahzad was indicted last week on the 10 counts, which include conspiracy to use a weapon of mass destruction. The former financial analyst for Affinion Group Holdings Inc. allegedly received explosives training from a terror group in Pakistan, but his explosive-packed SUV failed to detonate on May 1, as it sat in a parking lot near Times Square.

Reports said Shahzad had been put on a no-fly list in the frenzied hours before his arrest, as investigators struggled to close a net after picking up a treasure trove of clues left by the failed attack.

Even so, Shahzad was captured after boarding an Emirates Airlines flight to Pakistan, despite being on the no-fly list. The plane was headed down the runway when security agents flagged it down, boarded and made the arrest.

In response to the failed bombing, New York City police and the mayor’s office have argued for a dramatic expansion of the city’s surveillance grid, which was modeled after the massive spying infrastructure in London. The plan also calls for private businesses to allow police direct network access to their cameras: a first for the city.

Stephen C. Webster
Stephen C. Webster
Stephen C. Webster is the senior editor of Raw Story, and is based out of Austin, Texas. He previously worked as the associate editor of The Lone Star Iconoclast in Crawford, Texas, where he covered state politics and the peace movement’s resurgence at the start of the Iraq war. Webster has also contributed to publications such as True/Slant, Austin Monthly, The Dallas Business Journal, The Dallas Morning News, Fort Worth Weekly, The News Connection and others. Follow him on Twitter at @StephenCWebster.
 
 
 
 
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