Times Square bomb suspect indicted
Faisal Shahzad charged on 10 counts including terrorism over failed attack in New York.
Last Modified: 18 Jun 2010 03:12 GMT
Investigators say that if the bomb had gone off it would have caused many casualties [Reuters]

The man suspected of trying to set off a bomb in New York City's Times Square early last month has been formally charged by a federal grand jury.

Faisal Shahzad - a Pakistani-born US citizen - was indicted in New York on Thursday on 10 counts, including charges of terrorism and attempting to use a weapon of mass destruction.

He faces life in prison if convicted.

"[The] 10-count indictment returned in the Southern District of New York charges Faisal Shahzad with conspiring with the Pakistani Taliban to wreak death and destruction in Times Square," Preet Bharara, a US attorney said in a statement.

The indictment also said that Shahzad received $5,000 from an unnamed co-conspirator in Massachusetts in February who he believed worked with the Pakistani Taliban.

He received a further $7,000 in April in New York, according to the indictment.

Shahzad did not enter a plea during his first court appearance on May 18, but is scheduled to enter a plea during a court appearance on Monday.

His lawyers have not commented on the indictment.

'Evolving threat'

Eric Holder, the US attorney-general, said in a statement that "the facts alleged in this indictment show that the Pakistani Taliban facilitated Faisal Shahzad's attempted attack on American soil".

Faisal Shahzad faces life in prison if convicted on the charges [AFP]

"Our nation averted serious loss of life in this attempted bombing, but it is a reminder that we face an evolving threat that we must continue to fight with every tool available to the government."

Shahzad is accused of parking a vehicle containing a car bomb in Times Square on May 1.

The explosives found in the car failed to detonate.

Two days later, he was arrested aboard a Dubai-bound jetliner minutes before it was due to take off from New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport.

Bomb training

Prosecutors claim that Shahzad had travelled to a Taliban and al-Qaeda stronghold in Pakistan to receive bomb-making training.

The Pakistani Taliban, called Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan, had claimed responsibility for the attempted bombing.

Shahzad lived in the neighbouring state of Connecticut and had returned to the United States shortly before the attempted bombing after spending several months in Pakistan.

At least 11 people have been arrested in Pakistan since the attempted attack and an intelligence official has alleged two of them played a role in the plot.

No one has been charged.

Three men in Massachusetts and Maine suspected of supplying money to Shahzad have been detained on immigration charges, and one was recently transferred to New York.

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