22 Jun 2010

Times Square bomb suspect pleads guilty

7:23 pm on 22 June 2010

A Pakistani-born American citizen has defiantly told a court, "I plead guilty 100 times over," to attempting to set off a car bomb in New York's Times Square.

In a lengthy speech Faisal Shahzad told the court he considered himself a Muslim soldier.

He said although he'd had bomb making training in Pakistan, militants had not told him how or what to attack in the United States.

Shahzad said he worked alone on the plot - making the bomb and driving it to Times Square on 1 May last year.

The 30-year-old, who became a United States citizen last year, was arrested on board a plane bound for Dubai two days later.

Shahzad has been indicted on 10 charges, including attempted use of a weapon of mass destruction and attempted terrorism transcending national borders.

The charges said that Shahzad received $5000 in Massachusetts in February sent from an unnamed co-conspirator who he believed worked with the Pakistani Taliban. He received a further $7000 in April in New York, according to the indictment.

Prosecutors said Shahzad, who has a wife and two children in Pakistan, had travelled to a Taliban and al Qaeda stronghold in Pakistan to receive bomb-making training.

The Pakistani Taliban, called Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan, has claimed responsibility for the attempted bombing.

Several people have been arrested in Pakistan in the case and US authorities carried out raids in New York, Massachusetts, New Jersey and Maine; detaining several people on immigration charges.