A Pakistani-born American citizen defiantly pleaded guilty yesterday to attempting to set off a car bomb in New York’s Times Square, saying that Islamist extremists would continue to attack the United States.
Faisal Shahzad, 30, admitted traveling to Pakistan to receive bomb-making training from the Pakistani Taliban, called Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan, and receiving $12,000 from the group to carry out the failed plot on May 1.
Shahzad, who has a wife and two children living in Pakistan, pleaded guilty to 10 charges, including attempted use of a weapon of mass destruction and attempted terrorism transcending national borders. He faces life in prison.
“I’m going to plead guilty 100 times over,” Shahzad told the court. Until the United States stops drone aircraft attacks and the occupation of “Muslim lands,” Shahzad said “we will be attacking the United States and I plead guilty to that.”
Shahzad awkwardly parked a sports utility vehicle in Times Square with its engine running and hazard lights flashing on a balmy Saturday evening last month. Street vendors alerted police to the smoking vehicle within minutes and thousands of people were evacuated from the popular theater district.
A New York Police Department bomb squad diffused the crude device, which included firecrackers and propane gas tanks.