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Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Faisal Shahzad Claims He Acted Alone In Times Square Plot

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Times Square Bomb Suspect, Faisal Shahzad, Says He Acted Alone

The Connecticut man accused of plotting to blow up Times Square told investigators he is not connected to a larger terrorist organization, authorities said Tuesday.

"He's claimed to have acted alone, but these are things that have to be investigated," a law enforcement official told the Associated Press.

Officials said a disposable cell phone led to the arrest of 30-year-old Faisal Shahzad.

Law enforcement officials were able to track down Shahzad, a naturalized U.S. citizen from Pakistan, by recovering his number from the cell phone of the woman who sold him a Pathfinder SUV just weeks before Saturday night's failed bomb attempt.

"They were able to basically get one phone number and by running it through a number of databases, figure out who they thought the guy was," a senior FBI official told

Shahzad, of Bridgeport, Conn., was arrested at JFK Airport late Monday night aboard Emirates Flight 202 bound for Dubai.

U.S. Attorney Eric Holder said authorities are hunting for other suspect, but did not give details. A sources told the Daily News at least three other people were involved in buying the bomb materials found in the Pathfinder.

We "will not rest until we have brought everyone responsible to justice," Holder said.

Officials said Shahzad's final destination was Pakistan. He spent several months there last year with his family in the southern port city of Karachi, according to Pakistani media.

"He was looking to get out of the country," a source told the News.

It's still unclear whether he has links to any terrorist organizations.

The Pakistan Taliban claimed responsibility for the bomb plot that cleared the Crossroads of the World, but U.S. officials said so far there's no proof they were involved.

Investigators are looking for any links to a Connecticut-based Web site that supports the Pakistan Taliban.

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Shahzad is expected in Manhattan Federal Court on Tuesday. He is accused of parking his Pathfinder SUV - filled with enough fuel, fertilizer and explosives to ignite a massive fireball - on W. 45th St.

FBI agents searched his home in Bridgeport, removing several plastic bags from the two-story Colonial home. A phone number listed for Shahzad was not in service.

Neighbor Brenda Thurman, 37, said Shahzad told her he worked on Wall Street.

"He was a little bit strange," she said. "He didn't like to come out during the day."

Shazad bought the SUV, which was found in Times Square with stolen plates from a nearby junkyard, from a Connecticut woman three weeks ago.

Peggy Colas, a 19-year-old student, said Shahzad paid $1,300 cash.

"He came off like a nice guy, I guess," said one of Colas' brothers. "He told my sister, 'I'm going to New York.' He said he needed a car in the city."

Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) called for federal funding for more security between 34th and 59th Sts. as cops searched vehicles entering the city Tuesday.

"It's clear that the intent behind this terrorist act was to kill Americans," Holder said.

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Sources: MSNBC, NY Daily News, Google Maps

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