The attempted car bombing in Times Square last month can be traced directly to the Pakistani Taliban, the Justice Department said Thursday as it announced a 10-count indictment against the man accused of carrying out the plot, Faisal Shahzad.
Shahzad, a 30-year-old Pakistani-born naturalized American, faces an array of grave charges including attempting to use a weapon of mass destruction, attempting an act of terrorism transcending national boundaries, transporting explosives and attempting to destroy property by fire and explosive.
Six of the charges against Shahzad carry a maximum penalty of life in prison. In addition, if convicted on two explosives and firearm charges, he would receive a mandatory life prison sentence, the Justice Department said.
“The facts alleged in this indictment show that the Pakistani Taliban facilitated Faisal Shahzad’s attempted attack on American soil,” Attorney General Eric Holder in a written statement. “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.”
The indictment says Shahzad got explosives training in Waziristan, Pakistan in December 2009 from “trainers affiliated with Tehrik-i-Taliban, a militant extremist group based in Pakistan.” Shahzad had a co-conspirator in the bombing who sent him $12,000 in February and April 2010, the indictment alleges, but that individual was not named or charged Thursday. (continues here)