6 Oct 2010

NY bomb plotter sentenced to life

5:57 am on 6 October 2010

The man convicted of a failed car bomb attack in New York's Times Square has been sentenced to life in prison.

Faisal Shahzad, an American citizen who was born in Pakistan, pleaded guilty in June to weapons and terrorism charges.

Explosives packed into the vehicle on 1 May failed to detonate and Shahzad was arrested two days later, the BBC reports.

At his sentencing in Manhattan, Shahzad warned Americans to "brace themselves" for a war with Islam and said it was facing "imminent" defeat.

He added that he rejected the court's authority because "Muslims don't abide by human laws".

US Attorney Preet Bharara said in a statement after the sentencing that Shahzad was a remorseless terrorist who betrayed his adopted country.

Giving Shahzad a mandatory life sentence, Judge Miriam Cedarbaum said it was important "to protect the public from further crimes of this defendant and others who would seek to follow him".

Experts say the petrol and fertiliser-fueled bomb Shahzad left in Times Square failed to go off because the wiring was faulty and it contained the wrong ingredients.

A street vendor in Times Square - which was packed with visitors - alerted police after seeing smoke coming from the Nissan Pathfinder vehicle.

Prosecutors had said that if the bomb had gone off, the lives of numerous residents and visitors would have been lost.

At his court appearance in June, Shahzad said he wanted "to plead guilty and 100 times more".

Shahzad was arrested as he tried to take a flight to Dubai from New York's John F Kennedy airport.

Under interrogation, the financial analyst said he had gone to Pakistan's North Waziristan tribal region in December 2009 for bomb training with militants linked to the Pakistani Taliban, his indictment read.