Last Updated: 7:59 AM, May 5, 2010
Posted: 3:07 AM, May 5, 2010Comments: 36
Every morning, Shahzad would leave wearing a suit and tie to go to work at a marketing firm, the Affinion Group in Norwalk, Conn., where he had been hired as a junior analyst in 2006 to prepare financial reports, a company spokesman said.
Despite their unremarkable exterior, the Shahzads sometimes made their neighbors wonder about them.
"He seemed like a hard worker, but he was always weird," said neighbor Brenda Thurman. "I didn't think he was that weird to do something like this."
Among the things that struck her as odd, Thurman said, was that Shahzad liked to jog late at night wearing dark-colored traditional Islamic robes along unlit streets. He told her he didn't like the sunlight.
"My husband said that he looked like a terrorist," Thurman said.
Tracy Howard, 46, who said Shahzad often carried black duffel bags, considered him "very nice and very quiet."
The couple had moved into the brand-new house in 2005, but for the first three years, Mian acted as if she spoke no English, Thurman said. It was only in their last year living there that Thurman discovered Mian spoke it fluently, having spent most of her life in the United States.
Officials at area mosques said they had had no contact with Shahzad or his wife, despite the fact that he had lived in the region for more than a decade after attending the University of Bridgeport.
"To our knowledge, no one has had knowledge or acquaintance with him," said Kashif Abdul-Karim, the imam of Masjid An-Noor in Bridgeport, which is the largest mosque in the area.
Employees at a local halal meat store said Shahzad would stop by monthly to buy meat and spices, but rarely raised an eyebrow.
"He doesn't talk too much. He speaks very quietly, you could barely hear him," said counterman Mohammed Abid, 54. "When I heard that guy did that, I was shocked."
When Shahzad bought the property he didn't say much to the broker -- except when he went on a rant about President George W. Bush's policies in Iraq.
"I didn't take it for anything, since a lot of people didn't like Bush," Igor Djuric told the Journal.
"But he was a little strong about expressing it." Both Shahzad and his wife come from prominent families in Pakistan.
Shahzad hails from the small village of Pabbi in the northwest of the country, but was raised in an upper-middle-class area of Karachi.
His father, retired Air Vice Marshall Baharul Haq, was a decorated aviator in the Pakistani Air Force, having been an instructor for the RAF in England, and is now the deputy director general of the country's civil aviation authority.