Days before the failed car bomb in Times Square, a Pakistani-American scouted the bustling district in the same vehicle and then, on a second trip, left a getaway car blocks from his chosen target, a law enforcement official has told The Associated Press.
Faisal Shahzad, now in custody on terrorism and weapons charges, drove a 1993 Nissan Pathfinder to Times Square from Connecticut on April 28, apparently to figure out where would be the best place to leave it later, the official said Wednesday. He then returned April 30 to drop off a black Isuzu, according to the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitive nature of the investigation.
The official said Shahzad went back Saturday and left the SUV loaded with firecrackers, gasoline and propane, enough to likely create a fireball and kill nearby tourists and Broadway theatergoers had it gone off successfully.
Shahzad, 30, a Pakistani-American from Connecticut, admitted to rigging the Pathfinder with a crude bomb based on explosives training he received in Pakistan, authorities say. He was pulled off a Dubai-bound plane Monday and has been cooperating with investigators. For a second day Wednesday, he had yet to appear in Manhattan federal court.
Kifyat Ali, a cousin of Shahzad's father, has called the arrest "a conspiracy."