Home inContext Man in Custody for NYC Terrorist Attack

Man in Custody for NYC Terrorist Attack

Samara Greenberg

An SUV containing explosive materials was left in Times Square Saturday, in the heart of New York City. The explosives failed to detonate properly, however, and a street vendor notified police when he saw the smoking car. Inside the SUV, investigators found three propane cylinders, two five-gallon jerry cans of gasoline, a canister of powder, electrical components and a timing device. While sources called the explosive device “crude,” police described the incident as “the real deal.” “We were lucky it didn’t detonate,” said Police Commissioner Ray Kelly. “In my judgment, it would have caused casualties, a significant fireball. I’m told the vehicle would have been cut in half.”

Following the incident, the Pakistani Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack; however, New York police have “no evidence” to support the Taliban’s claim.

Instead, late Monday night police arrested a man trying to leave the country for Dubai, Attorney General Eric Holder announced Tuesday morning. The suspect, Faisal Shahzad, 30, is a naturalized U.S. citizen of Pakistani origin and recently returned from a five-month trip to Pakistan. Shahzad told the FBI that he trained at a terrorism camp in the Waziristan region of Pakistan.

U.S. President Barack Obama promises to unearth any links to terrorist groups. “This incident is another sobering reminder of the times in which we live,” he said in a speech Tuesday. “Around the world, and here at home, there are those who would attack our citizens and who would slaughter innocent men, women and children in pursuit of their murderous agenda.” He continued, “As Americans and as a nation, we will not be terrorized. We will not cower in fear. We will not be intimidated. We will be vigilant, and we will protect and defend the country we love.”