Faisal Shahzad may have had help in his attempted Times Square bomb plot. Shahzad was taken into custody yesterday while on board an Emirates Airline Flight 202 bound for Dubai. According to witnesses, four men were removed from the jet liner after it was recalled from the tarmac at JFK Airport. Two of the men were allowed back on board. Shahzad and another were questioned further. Shahzad was officially been arrested by Federal authorities in connection with the Times Square bomb plot. Meanwhile, today we learn of his connections with Pakistan and of the arrest of others in Pakistan.
As it turns out Faisal Shahzad is the son of retired Pakistani officer, Air Vice Marshall Baharul Haq! According to the Associated Press, Baharul Haq was the former senior officer of Pakistan’s Air Force, and was also deputy director of general aviation, covering civilian aircraft. A cousin of Shahzad’s father, Kityat Ali, claims that the arrest of Shahzad is a pretense for America to engage in more drone attacks in Pakistan. He insisted that Faisal had no religious or political motives. However, Pakistan’s Foreign Ministry spokesman, Abdul Basit, said “He belongs to Pabbi”, referring to a town in north-westen Pakistan mostly populated by Pashtuns and where Islamic extremists operate.
The numbers of those arrested in Paksitan is unclear at this time. One report cites as many as a dozen people have been taken into custody in connection to Shahzad. Several reports only list one person, who was a close friend of the suspect. As the story began to break last night, Shahzad, a naturalized U.S. citizen, was said to have recently been in Pakistan and may have received terrorist training there. The Taliban did release a video claiming responsibility for the attempted car-bombing Saturday in New York’s Times Square. Some of the reported arrests may have been the result of information from Faisal Shahzad’s cell phone when arrested last night at JFK Airport.
Many questions still remain unanswered. Some reports that Shahzad was in the midst of a home foreclosure. Yet, allegedly he purchased the 1993 Nissan Pathfinder for $1,300 in cash, as well as paid cash for an $8,000 first-class seat on Emirates Flight 202. Shahzad apparently led a quiet life while here in America. Faisal Shahzad’s wife, Huma Mian, even had a Facebook page where admit to liking the TV comedy series, “Everybody Loves Raymond” and “Friends”. Another key question in this case is how Faisal was able to board the jet liner despite being on a Homeland Security ‘no-fly’ list? He did go through a double-check before boarding, but authorities seeking him did not know he was on the flight until just 30 minutes prior to it’s departure. After his arrest, Federal agents found a 9-millimeter pistol in his car parked at JFK.