Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. announced early Tuesday that an arrest had been made in the failed Times Square car bombing, saying that Faisal Shahzad, a 30-year-old American, was taken into custody at John F. Kennedy International Airport as he tried to fly to Dubai on Monday night.
Authorities said Shahzad, who is of Pakistani origin and lived in Connecticut, had paid cash for a Nissan Pathfinder that was found packed with explosives Saturday night on a tourist-crowded block in midtown Manhattan. The vehicle was set ablaze but failed to detonate.
Officials located Shahzad after a sweeping two-day investigation that yielded what senior Obama administration officials described as a flood of international and domestic clues suggesting a plot involving more than one person.
“It was clear that the intent behind this terrorist act was to kill Americans,” Holder said at a rare middle-of-the-night news conference at the Justice Department, nearly three hours after the suspect was pulled from an international flight that had already left the departure gate.
Shahzad has family links to the southern port city of Karachi, according to Dawn television, an English-language station in Pakistan. Shahzad flew to Karachi in July 2009 on Emirates, the Dubai-based international airline of the United Arab Emirates, and returned to the U.S. via the same airline on August 5, the station said, citing unnamed sources.
Pakistani officials said U.S. authorities have asked for their help investigating Shahzad.