After three days, the suspect in the failed bombing of Time Square on Saturday, May 2, 2010 has finally been arrested. CNN reports that Faisal Shahzad, a 30-year-old Pakistani-American, was arrested around 11:45 p.m. ET Monday at New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport moments before he was to fly to Pakistan via Dubai. The suspect had made the flight reservation on his way to the airport and paid for his trip in cash, which set off some signals. In addition, Shahzad was on the federal “no-fly” list. Therefore, shortly after the plane pulled away from the gate it was called back to the airport at which point FBI agents and NYPD officers took him into custody.
Shahzad is scheduled to make a trip to Manhattan this afternoon and appear before the federal court. There he will face terrorism and weapons of mass destruction charges. Upon being questioned, Shahzad admitted his role in the attempt to set off the car bomb in Times Square. This brings to conclusion several hectic days for individuals who live and work in or around the New York City area.
Though Shahzad is an American citizen, there has been some speculation has to whether he would be considered a home grown terrorist. This may be a tough argument considering that he has only been a United States citizen since April 17, 2009, and he has spent a lot of time abroad as of late. It has been documented that Shahzad recently spent about five months in Pakistan before returning to the United States. He has family is a highly volatile area in Northern Pakistan where officials are in the process of fighting Taliban militants. Given the facts, it appears that Shahzad’s came to America for the sole purpose of carrying out this act of terrorism.
Other lesson learned from this event is the fact that terrorism can take place anywhere and at any time and in any place. Yes, in this case the target was Times Square, New York. However, this individual was living and plotting this act in a small, quiet, suburban neighborhood in Connecticut. It may not always be easy for the authorities to find these terrorists living in the United States and American citizens need to have their guard up in order to spot suspicious behavior.
Americans are in no way, shape or form desensitized to terrorism and events such as this will only heighten their awareness. If you see something, then say something. Thanks to some alert people evidence was quickly gathered and this terrorist has been brought to justice.