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Suspect Arrested in Times Square Bomb Attempt


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(May 4) -- A 30-year-old Pakistani-American has been arrested in connection with the failed SUV bomb in New York's Times Square, reportedly pulled off a midnight flight for Dubai just after it rolled out of the gate for takeoff from Kennedy International Airport.

Attorney General Eric Holder held a rare middle-of-the-night news conference today to announce the arrest of Faisal Shahzad, 30, of Connecticut.

The charges against Shahzad were not announced. The U.S. attorney's office in New York said he's due to appear in federal court in Manhattan today, where he'll be formally charged.

The suspect is believed to have recently returned from a five-month trip to Pakistan. Authorities say he paid cash for the Nissan Pathfinder that was found rigged with propane tanks, fertilizer and gasoline Saturday evening in Times Square. Witnesses alerted police to the smoking SUV and the bomb was defused. New York Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly said the device could have produced "a significant fireball" had it detonated properly.

Shahzad was arrested moments after the plane left the departure gate at New York's JFK airport and was taxiing toward the runway, The Washington Post reported.

Shahzad lived in two Connecticut cities, Shelton and then Bridgeport.

In Bridgeport, authorities searched a home overnight and into this morning, removing plastic bags holding evidence, according to reports. The house was in a mixed-race, working-class neighborhood in the state's largest city, The Associated Press reported.

A former neighbor in Shelton said Shahzad and his wife, Huma Mian, lived in the home for three years, spoke little English and mostly kept to themselves. Neighbor Brenda Thurman told The New York Times that Shahzad moved out in May, 2009, and his wife about a month later. They have a young son and daughter, she said.

Shahzad was nicely dressed early each morning and told Thurman he worked on Wall Street, she said.

"I think he caught the train to New York," she told the Times.

The arrest came after a sweeping two-day investigation in which officials said they uncovered a web of international and domestic clues that point to a plot involving more than one person.

"It's clear that the intent behind this terrorist act was to kill Americans," Holder told reporters at the Justice Department in Washington. His comments were carried by several news agencies. "We will not rest until we bring everyone responsible to justice."

Authorities have been hesitant to comment on Shahzad's foreign links, though an unidentified U.S. official told the Post that investigators are scouring international phone records showing calls "between some of the people who might be associated with this and folks overseas." They've also uncovered evidence -- a piece of paper, fingerprints or possibly both -- that also indicates international ties, another official was quoted as saying.

"We continue to gather leads in this investigation, and it's important that the American people remain vigilant," Holder said.

"As we move forward, we will focus on not just holding those responsible for it accountable, but also on obtaining any intelligence about terrorist organizations overseas."

President Barack Obama has been briefed periodically about the investigation and arrest.

Police said that had the bomb detonated properly, it could have killed or wounded scores in a bustling tourist area home to dozens of restaurants and Broadway theaters. It's the most serious bombing attempt in the United States since the Christmas Day attack aboard a commercial airliner bound for Detroit. In that case, the suspect was a young Nigerian man with ties to al-Qaida.

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