Justice officials announced that federal agents and police have arrested a naturalized U.S. citizen from Pakistan for driving a failed car bomb in a sport utility vehicle into Times Square on Saturday.
The New York Times reports that U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder said Faisal Shahzad, 30, was arrested after midnight Monday night as he tried to get on a flight to Dubai at John F. Kennedy International Airport. Authorities allege that Shahzad bought a Nissan Pathfinder in Bridgeport, Connecticut, and drove it to Times Square full of fertilizer and explosives on Saturday. The vehicle had enough explosives to kill pedestrians and spray shrapnel.
“The investigation is ongoing, as are our attempts to gather useful intelligence, and we continue to pursue a number of leads," U.S. Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. told The Times. “But it’s clear that the intent behind this terrorist act was to kill Americans."
Saturday, two Times Square vendors alerted the New York Police Department to a smoking Nissan Pathfinder on West 45 Street. The police removed the car and then began the search for the owner of the car. They used the vehicle identification number stamped on the vehicle's engine to find a woman in Bridgeport who said she had recently sold the Pathfinder to a man of Middle Eastern or Hispanic descent, according to The Times. Federal authorities then identified Shahzad as the buyer.
The White House has called the incident a terrorist act. New York Governor David Paterson says even though the bomb failed to detonate, it may have served the intent of those responsible. A federal Manhattan court will formally charge Shahzad today.