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Times Square bomber probe: Did Faisal Shahzad act alone?

That is the next question investigators will be asking now that Faisal Shahzad has been charged in the Times Square bomber plot. Reports suggest arrests in Pakistan have already been made.

This photo from the social networking site Orkut.com, shows a man who was identified by neighbors in Connecticut as Faisal Shahzad. Mr. Shahzad was arrested at a New York airport Monday as a part of the Times Square bomber investigation.

Orkut.com/AP

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By Ron Scherer, Staff writer / May 4, 2010

New York

Now that law enforcement authorities have charged Faisal Shahzad, an American citizen born in Pakistan, in the attempted Times Square bomber plot, they will be racing to see if there are other people – in the US or in Pakistan – connected to the failed attack.

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Media reports suggest that Pakistan made several arrests in connection with the Times Square plot, but US Attorney General Eric Holder said he could not confirm the report in a press conference Tuesday. He did, however, say Mr. Shahzad has admitted involvement and that the bombing attempt "was a terrorist plot."

The ongoing investigation will entail going through Shahzad’s computer, his phone records, and talking to informants who may have met with him as well as neighbors and acquaintances. Shahzad is also giving interrogators valuable information, Mr. Holder said Tuesday.

“The next issue is: Who else may have worked with him,” says Danny Defenbaugh, a retired FBI agent with his own security company in Dallas.

On Tuesday, New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg declined to answer questions about what he referred to as “an ongoing investigation.”

Mayor Bloomberg said that “the last I heard, there was only one person they were talking to, but who knows where that is going to lead.” And, the mayor added: “There is still plenty of work to do.”

Mr. Shahzad is expected to be arraigned in New York on Tuesday afternoon.

President Obama said Tuesday that the administration would be looking to determine “what if any connection this individual has to terrorist groups and it includes collecting critical intelligence as we work to disrupt any future attacks.”

How a 'multifaceted' investigation works

Obama referred to the ongoing investigation as “multifaceted.”

Michael Wildes, a former federal prosecutor, says that means the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force is acting in concert with other intelligence services around the world, including the Pakistani Intelligence Service.

"Knowing who this person consorted with over the past year is significant,” says Mr. Wildes, who now practices immigration law in New York.

Any investigation of Shahzad is likely to involve a close look at his finances, says Joseph King, a professor of terrorism at John Jay College in New York and a former federal agent.

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