N.Y. / Region

May 18, 2010, 5:21 pm

Faisal Shahzad Arraigned on Terror Charges


Updated, 5:36 p.m. | Faisal Shahzad, the man accused of trying to set off a car bomb in Times Square on May 1, was arraigned before a federal magistrate in Manhattan on Tuesday evening on five felony counts.

At 5:19 p.m., Mr. Shahzad, in a gray shirt and gray pants, was led into a small courtroom packed with reporters on the fifth floor of the federal courthouse on Pearl Street downtown and brought before Magistrate Judge James C. Francis IV.

Mr. Shahzad, 30, did not enter a plea, simply answering “yes” when the judge asked whether an affidavit attesting to his finances was accurate. When he had done so, the judge appointed Julia Gatto, the federal defender sitting at his side, to be his lawyer.

He was then charged with one count each of attempting terrorism by attempting to kill people; attempted use of a weapon of mass destruction; using a destructive device in connection with an attempted crime of violence; transporting explosives; and attempting to destroy property with fire and explosives. Attempted terrorism carries a maximum sentence of life in prison.

Mr. Shahzad kept his body language close. He sat forward in his chair and looked down meekly as Ms. Gatto softly spoke instructions to him.

He had been held in undisclosed locations since his arrest. Prosecutors say he has waived his right to be brought promptly before a judge. American law provides a right to be charged soon after arrest, usually within 48 hours.

Mr. Shahzad, a Pakistani immigrant who lived in Connecticut and had worked as a financial analyst, was taken into custody May 3 at Kennedy International Airport aboard a plane that was about to leave for Dubai. The authorities said he had left a Nissan Pathfinder rigged with makeshift, defective explosives smoldering in Times Square on May 1.

The judge asked an assistant United States attorney, Randall Jackson, whether the government wished Mr. Shahzad to be held. “The government seeks detention,” Mr. Jackson said. Ms. Gatto consented.

The judge set a June 1 date for Mr. Shahzad’s next hearing, and the defendant was handcuffed and led from the courtroom. The whole proceeding took less than 10 minutes.


  1. 1. May 18, 2010 7:26 pm Link

    Shame on you Mr Shahzad, you make me feel shame of being a Pakistani American. The American Justice is great, had you been in Pakistan they would hang you until your death, or shoot you in the busy market place. How could you do such thing to the country that got you what you were, you got educated here, and had a great JOB. Shame of people like you and those who are out to kill innocent people. I am sorry to say but hope the American people and the Govt don’t target people with the same profile. People has to understand that this is what exactly the terrorist want, they want us to hate each other. Their goal is accomplished if we go on attack people from Pakistan, who are living in American, who consider US their home, and willing to die for this great country.

    May God Bless America!

    — Waqar Khan
  2. 2. May 18, 2010 9:24 pm Link

    Shahzad has done 100% damage to all Pakisties and not just in the USA. I’m presently somewhere in the Pacific where international UN aid is being given to local governments. One of my collegues, a true professional, is a Pakistani. After this May 1 disaster in Manhattan this man is at a total loss of how to interact with others and is totally ignored by al local officials. They just don’t want him any more – news travels fast.

    — Agadir
  3. 3. May 18, 2010 9:55 pm Link

    Taliban tempts Jihadists with money and women slaves. If you die in battle against infidels (like many Pakistanis lost in wars), you go to heaven where you get a rich palace with 72 virgins. You are allowed to have a harem with 4 wives, and additional concubines. You are allowed to attack the infidel, kill the men, take over the women, their properties and belongings. This is written about in Pakistan’s Dawn of Apr 18, read http://www.dawn.com/wps/wcm/connect/dawn-content-library/dawn/the-newspaper/local/lahore/jindan-kaur-of-cheechonkemalian-840

    — vkmo
  4. 4. May 18, 2010 11:16 pm Link

    You are a disgrace to humanity in general and pakistani people in particular. If u are so upset, u have to look at your own self, your so called pakistani corrupt elite who have kept the masses poor and ignorant,thus creating a breeding ground for mindless “jihad” against the west. I will give u jihadis a hint: create jihad against ignorance, illiteracy,corruption,poverty etc etc . Those causes are far more beneficial to society than the terrorist mindset of blowing people up.

    — bina
  5. 5. May 19, 2010 6:10 am Link

    Let’s not get all down in the dumps now Faisal, look, you’re compatriot, the “Smiling Pirate” who committed piracy, just beat the charges of piracy. They’ve charged him with something…uh, irritating a motor vessel, or maybe it was the lack of life preservers in the pirate boat, something like that. Long story short, like you, he beat the reaper. Like you, his imprisonment will cost the taxpayers of a nation going broke, millions. Like you, he will disappear in the shuffle of the system, to be released, marry an American sympathizer and join a mosque uptown (you’ll probably opt for one of the Brooklyn locations) His years of “study” in various gaols will allow him to mentor others in the dark arts and to keep the dream alive. And just think, as you’re shuffling along in your chains, another big plane from Kablamistan has landed at JFK, chock full of folks dying to take up the cause!

    — will
  6. 6. May 19, 2010 7:11 am Link

    Immigration of Arabic and muslim persons has been so easy in the past, that the USA is paying for it dearly.

    — subbanarasu divakaran
  7. 7. May 19, 2010 9:25 am Link

    Shazad deserves a deterrent punishment for what he was going to do. I thank God that his mission was foiled by smart people.He has shattered the confidence of other Pakistani American fellows who are genuinely committed to serve their new country. He certainly did something that could conjure up hatred for Pakistani Americans. He is not a muslim indeed because muslims do not favor terrorism. Talibans by now should clearly be differentiated from muslims. I stand with American nation against terrorist talibans

    — rajput
  8. 8. May 19, 2010 11:39 am Link

    I think it is past the time where we came down strong and hard on these religious fundamentalist terrorists. They should be treated as enemy combatants and handed justice quickly and harshly. Stop wasting taxpayer money and time on these psychos.

    They don’t deserve any legal or constitutional rights. A quick military tribunal followed by the firing squad is the least we can do for these barbarians.

    — Davis, Jakarta
  9. 9. May 19, 2010 1:58 pm Link

    A stealthy, disciplined, and dangerous individual. It’s our good fortune indeed that he happened to stumble upon the only Wile E. Coyote School of Bomb Making in all Waziristan.

    — CD

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