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Times Square Suspect Admits Involvement, Holder Says (Update1)

May 04, 2010, 2:15 PM EDT

(Updates with suspect due in court in fourth paragraph.)

By Jim Rubin

May 4 (Bloomberg) -- Attorney General Eric Holder said the naturalized U.S. citizen from Pakistan who is suspected of trying to explode a car bomb in New York’s Times Square on May 1 has admitted his involvement and is providing “useful information” to authorities.

Holder, at a news briefing in Washington, said the attempted bombing was a “terrorist plot” aimed at causing death and destruction, in one of the busiest tourist spots in the world. It should remind Americans of the “constant threat” from those who want to do harm to the U.S., he said.

The suspect, Faisal Shahzad, is being cooperative, Holder said, and “has been talking to us and providing useful information.”

Shahzad is due to appear in federal court in Manhattan today to respond to terrorism-related charges. He was arrested by agents from the Department of Homeland Security at New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport last night after he boarded a flight to Dubai, officials said.

To terrorists, “New York is America and they want to come back to kill us,” said New York City Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly, standing alongside Holder.

Earlier today, President Barack Obama called the attempted car bombing a “sobering reminder” of the threat facing the U.S. and said law enforcement officials are using every tool to determine whether there is a connection to terrorist groups.

“Justice will be done, and we will continue to do everything in our power to protect the American people,” Obama said in Washington. “This incident is another sobering reminder of the times in which we live.”

Representative Jane Harman, a California Democrat, said Pakistani officials have arrested “alleged facilitators” there as part of a “far broader investigation.”

Kelly said earlier that U.S. investigators don’t have any evidence that Pakistani Taliban sympathizers were behind the failed bombing, though a group with that affiliation has claimed responsibility.

--Editors: Robin Meszoly, Laurie Asseo .

To contact the reporter on this story: Jim Rubin in Washington at jimrubin@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Laurie Asseo at lasseo1@bloomberg.net

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