Failed Times Square Bomber Sentenced to Life
In this handout image provided by the U.S. Department of Justice, suspected Times Square bomber Faisal Shahzad poses for a mug shot. [U.S. Dept. of Justice]
New York Daily News via YellowBrix
October 05, 2010
An unrepentant Faisal Shahzad, proudly wearing the mantle of terrorist, was sentenced to life in prison Tuesday morning for his failed Times Square car-bombing plot.
The Pakistani-born terrorist, speaking before learning he would die behind bars, warned Americans to “brace yourself” for future attacks.
“The defeat of the U.S. must and will happen in the near future,” Shahzad declared, adding that the attacks were just Muslims defending themselves.
“If you call us terrorists for doing that, than we are proud terrorists,” said Shahzad, wearing a white skull cap and a blue prison-issued outfit.
The sentence in Manhattan Federal Court came just five months after Shahzad parked an explosives-laden SUV on W. 46th St. in the Theater District – and tried to detonate it.
“You are a young man, and you will have a lot of time to reflect on what you have done and what you have said today,” Federal Judge Miriam Cedarbaum said in handing down the life term.
The judge, in a brief back and forth, had earlier asked Shahzad about the oath he took when becoming a naturalized U.S. citizen.
“I did swear but I did not mean it,” Shahzad replied.
“So you took a false oath?” the judge asked.
“Yes,” he replied.
The unusually quick terror case turnaround followed Shahzad’s unrelenting admissions to his role in the plot to kill dozens of tourists and theatergoers on a Saturday night in May.
“I want to plead guilty and I’m going to plead guilty a hundred times forward,” Shahzad said when entering his plea on June 21.
The onetime resident of suburban Connecticut, a married father of two, declared himself “a Muslim soldier.”
Prosecutors said Shahzad, 31, was already plotting a second attack if his Times Square bombing came off as planned.
Shahzad was arrested at Kennedy Airport two days after the May 1 bombing bid while sitting aboard a Dubai-bound plane.
“It’s only right that Faisal Shahzad forfeit his freedom for life after trying to forfeit the lives of innocent New Yorkers forever,” said Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly.
Shahzad was trained and funded by Tehrik-e-Taliban, a militant group in his homeland known as the Pakistani Taliban.
Three Pakistani men were later arrested on charges they arranged introductions for Shahzad to leaders of the militant group.
“The case of Faisal Shahzad demonstrates the global scope of the terrorist threat. Distinctions between home-grown and foreign terrorists are blurred when a U.S. citizen travels to Pakistan to learn bomb-making from a known terrorist organization, then returns to the U.S. and receives financial backing from the overseas organization,” said FBI Assistant Director-in-Charge Janice K. Fedarcyk.