Times Square Bomber Arrested On Emirates Airlines Flight 202 <


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Times Square Bomber Arrested On Emirates Airlines Flight 202

Shane Nolan

May 5, 2010 - At approximately 11:45 p.m. EDT, on Monday, Faisal Shahzad, a naturalized U.S. citizen born in Pakistan was taken into custody. FBI agents and detectives of the New York City Police Department arrested Shahzad at John F. Kennedy International Airport for driving a bomb-laden SUV into Times Square on the evening of May 1, 2010. Shahzad was on Emirates Airline Flight 202 to Dubai.

Emirates Airline Flight 202 was taxiing to the runway for takeoff when air traffic control ordered the pilot to return the aircraft back to the gate.

Dubai-based Emirates airline reported three passengers had been removed from the flight and the aircraft had been held at the gate for seven hours. Passengers on that flight were rescreened and the two passengers were able to reboard Flight 202 which departed Tuesday morning.

Shahzad appeared in Federal Court in Manhattan on Tuesday where he was formally charged.

“The naturalized U.S. citizen born in Pakistan arrested last night for his alleged role in the attempted car bombing in Times Square last Saturday was a terrorist whose goal was to murder Americans in one of the busiest places in this country,” Attorney General Eric Holder said today in Washington.

The arrest of Faisal Shahzad just over 53 hours after an explosives-filled SUV was discovered abandoned in the middle of New York City’s famous tourist area could not have happened without the cooperative efforts of federal and state law enforcement working around the clock.

“Our collective success unraveling this plot comes down to traditional investigative skills and intelligence collection,” FBI Deputy DIrector John Pistole said. “We used traditional law enforcement techniques, such as federal court-authorized search warrants, along with intelligence-based authorities, to maximize our evidence and intelligence gathering.”


“Our Joint Terrorism Task Force agents and officers interviewed Shahzad early this morning,” Pistole said, and he was “cooperative and provided valuable intelligence and evidence.”    

Shahzad is in custody and faces a variety of terrorism charges, but the case is ongoing. The Bureau continues to investigate leads here and internationally, and we are conducting a forensic examination of all evidence collected by the NYPD. “We also want to test the potential impact of the device to ascertain what would have happened had it worked as intended,” Pistole said. 

Working with New York Police Department detectives, the FBI identified Shahzad as the person who purchased the SUV. Based on that information, U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents were able to uncover Shahzad’s extensive travel to Pakistan, which eventually led to his arrest at JFK airport as he was trying to leave the country. 

FBI agents have been able to glean additional evidence from searching Shahzad’s car and home, and they continue to work with their state and local counterparts in New York, Connecticut and other jurisdictions to gather evidence and intelligence related to this case.  We are also coordinating with other members of the President’s national security team to ensure we use every resource available to bring everyone responsible to justice.

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