Times Square Bomber Made Test Run and Had Escape Vehicle Ready
May 6, 2010
(ChattahBox) – Faisal Shahzad now in custody on terrorism and weapons charges, reportedly drove through the city staking out possible locations for a bombing, the day before he left an ignited car packed with explosives in the heart of New York City’s Times Square. Shahzad, 30, drove the 1993 Nissan Pathfinder to Times Square from Connecticut on April 28, apparently to figure out where would be the best place to leave it later, a law enforcement official said Wednesday. He then returned April 30 to drop off a black Isuzu SUV parked a few blocks from Times Square and took the train home to Connecticut, according to the source. On Saturday, he intended to use the Isuzu as an escape vehicle. But Shahzad left the keys to the Isuzu in the Pathfinder SUV he’d loaded with explosives and parked in Times Square. Looking for a way out of New York, Shahzad then took the Metro North train back to Connecticut and tried to later escape on a plane. Officials have now directed airlines to speed up their checks of new names added to the no-fly list, a requirement that might have prevented Shahzad from boarding a flight to Dubai on Monday night before his arrest at Kennedy International Airport. Law enforcement manually contacted a handful of airlines to alert them that Shahzad’s name had been added to a government no-fly list, but Emirates, the airline the Times Square car bomb suspect boarded late Monday, wasn’t one of them for reasons related to the investigation, an administration official confirmed. Officials said Wednesday that it was very likely that the Pakistani Taliban, had helped inspire and train Shahzad in the months before the attempted attack.