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Faisal Shahzad pleads guilty to Times Square bombing
Pakistani-born American Faisal Shahzad pleaded guilty ‘a hundred times’ on Monday to the Times Square bombing, warning of more attacks on the United States until it leaves Muslim lands. Shahzad, a self-proclaimed ‘Muslim warrior,’ showed no remorse on Monday as he pled guilty to all ten charges, including attempted use of a weapon of mass destruction and terrorism.
"I want to plead guilty a hundred times because unless the US pulls out of Afghanistan and Iraq, until they stop drone strikes in Somalia, Pakistan, and Yemen, and stop attacking Muslim lands, we will attack the US and be out to get them," he said, speaking in perfect English during the 90-minute court proceedings.
US attorney Preet Bharara said there was no plea agreement between Shahzad and the US government. And Shahzad has cooperated fully in custody, waiving Miranda rights that protect detainees from incriminating themselves, US justice officials say.
The 30-year old Shahzad was pulled off a flight to Dubai on May 3rd, two days after he parked a car containing a rudimentary explosive device in New York's Times Square entertainment district. The attempted bombing on a busy Saturday night was foiled when street vendors spotted smoke rising from the back of a Nissan Pathfinder and alerted authorities.
Shahzad told the judge on Monday how he had plotted the attack to cause maximum casualties. He also disclosed that he had undergone bomb-making training during a 40-day stay with the Pakistani Taliban in Pakistan last winter. The five days of bomb-making training involved "the whole thing -- how to make a bomb, how to detonate it," Shahzad said.
The ten-count indictment handed down on Thursday alleged that Shahzad received two payments totalling 9,700 euros from an unidentified co-conspirator in Pakistan. But Shahzad said on Monday that he had planned the bombing alone and had acted by himself, telling the judge: "Nobody helped me."
The son of a respected Pakistani air force officer, Shahzad attended an elite Pakistan Air Force college before coming to the United States to study at the age of 18 and eventually becoming a naturalized American citizen.