Times Square Bomb Suspect was a Suburban Father

“And this nonsense between “home grown” and international Islamic terrorism. It’s jihad. Nationality has nothing to do with this. Islam is their state. Borders are merely logistics.”

Pamela Geller
Atlas Shrugs, 5/5/2010

Times Square Bomb Suspect was a Suburban Father

James Barron and Michael S. Schmidt
The New York Times
5/4/2010

They took their places in the wood-paneled courtroom, 58 people from 32 countries. They listened as a federal magistrate banged the gavel and said it was “a wonderful day for the United States”— the day they would become Americans.

The magistrate talked about Thomas Jefferson and told the group that they could run for office — only the presidency and the vice presidency were off limits, according to a tape recording of the proceedings in a Bridgeport, Conn., courtroom last year, on April 17. On her instructions, they raised their right hands and repeated the oath of citizenship.

One man in the group was the Pakistani-born Faisal Shahzad, whose father or grandfather was a Pakistani military official and who, at 29, had spent a decade in the United States, collecting a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree and landing a job with a Connecticut financial marketing company.

He had obtained citizenship through marriage to a woman who was born in Colorado — the authorities say she and their two young children are still in Pakistan, where they believe he was trained in making bombs last year in Waziristan, a tribal area that is a haven for militants.

On Saturday, the authorities said, Mr. Shahzad drove a Nissan Pathfinder packed with explosives and detonators, leaving it in Times Square…

…Mr. Shahzad was born in Pakistan in 1979, though there is some confusion over where. Officials in Pakistan said it was in Nowshera, an area in northern Pakistan known for its Afghan refugee camps. But on a university application that Mr. Shahzad had filled out and that was found in the maggot-covered garbage outside the Shelton house on Tuesday, he listed Karachi.

Pakistani officials said Mr. Shahzad was either a son or a grandson of Baharul Haq, who retired as a vice air marshal in 1992 and then joined the Civil Aviation Authority.

A Pakistani official said Mr. Shahzad might have had affiliations with Ilyas Kashmiri, a militant linked to Al Qaeda who was formerly associated with Lashkar-e-Taiba, an anti-India militant group once nurtured by the Pakistani state. But friends said the family was well respected and nonpolitical.

“Neither Faisal nor his family has ever had any links with any jihadist or religious organization,” one friend said. Another, a lawyer, said that “the family is in a state of shock,” adding, “They believe that their son has been implicated in a fake case.”…

…Mr. Shahzad apparently went back and forth to Pakistan often, returning most recently in February after what he said was five months visiting his family, prosecutors said. A Pakistani intelligence official who spoke on condition of anonymity said Mr. Shahzad had traveled with three passports, two from Pakistan and one from the United States; he last secured a Pakistani passport in 2000, describing his nationality as “Kashmiri.”

Mr. Shahzad’s generation grew up in a Pakistan where alcohol had been banned and Islam had been forced into schools and communities as a doctrine and a national glue.

“It’s not that they don’t speak English or aren’t skilled,” a Pakistani official explained. “But in their hearts and in their minds they reject the West. They can’t see a world where they live together; there’s only one way, one right way.” …

Read the entire article at The New York Times.

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