Times Square Bomb FBI Recreation 311.
(photo credit: Reuters)
NEW YORK — The Pakistani man who planted a car bomb in Times Square boasted that he thought it would kill at least 40 people and that he planned to detonate a second bomb two weeks after the first, prosecutors said Wednesday, quoting the former financial analyst in a video where he said he'd hoped "to join my brothers in jihad" ever since the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks.
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Included in the government submission to the sentencing judge in U.S. District Court in Manhattan was a 40-minute video in which Shahzad fires a machine gun in what appears to be the mountains of Pakistan as he announces that he has met members of the Pakistan Taliban and has decided "we are going to raise an attack inside America."
Prosecutors also included a video of the government's explosion of a bomb the size of Shahzad's, saying the results in a Pennsylvania field show the attack would have been "devastating to the surrounding area" had it succeeded.
Shahzad was arrested two days after his May 1 bomb attempt in tourist-filled Times Square, where the explosives he had packed into the back of a sports utility vehicle sputtered and failed to detonate.
A street vendor spotted smoke coming from the SUV and alerted police, who quickly cleared the area. The bomb attempt set off an intense investigation that culminated two days later with investigators plucking Shahzad off a Dubai-bound plane at a New York airport.
Prosecutors said the video, which includes publicly released photographs
taken in Times Square following the attempted bombing, includes a
segment in which Shahzad explains that "jihad is one of the pillars upon
which Islam stands" and later advises that "Jews and Christians have to
accept Islam as a religion and if you don't do that, then you are bound
to go in hellfire."
The Pakistan-born Shahzad, 30, pleaded
guilty to 10 terrorism and weapons counts, some of which carry mandatory
Prosecutors noted the irony of Shahzad's plans
to attack the United States, where he'd succeeded academically and
professionally over the past decade and created a life with his wife and
two young children that was "full of promise."