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Terrorism & Security

Pakistani Taliban paid $12,000 to Times Square bomber Faisal Shahzad

The Pakistani Taliban paid $12,000 to attempted Times Square bomber Faisal Shahzad, according to a federal indictment released Thursday. Further evidence of their involvement showcases the lengthening reach of Pakistan-based militants.

By Taylor BarnesCorrespondent / June 18, 2010

In this May 2 file image taken from video, a police officer approaches the vehicle containing a car bomb, which stands with the door open and the police officer reaches down to lift one of the red canisters on the roadway in New York City's Times Square. Faisal Shahzad, accused of attempting to set off the car bomb, received $12,000 from the Pakistani Taliban, according to a federal indictment released Thursday.

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Faisal Shahzad, accused of attempting to set off a car bomb in Times Square, received $12,000 from the Pakistani Taliban, according to a federal indictment released Thursday. The 10-count indictment against Mr. Shahzad, who became a US citizen in 2009 and grew up in Pakistan, includes charges with mandatory life sentences for his botched attempt in New York City on May 1.

The indictment alleges that Shahzad received payments of $5,000 and $7,000 in transactions with an accomplice affiliated with the Taliban, the Washington Post reports. He collected one payment in February in Massachusetts and the next two weeks later in New York.

In this indictment, the prosecution added five new charges – including conspiracy and attempted terrorist act across national borders – in addition to the charge of attempting to use a weapon of mass destruction, according to Bloomberg. Though Shahzad did not enter a please in his first court appearance May 18, Attorney General Eric Holder has said that he has admitted to his role in the bombing and has cooperated with authorities since his arrest, Bloomberg adds:

Shahzad, who lived in Bridgeport, Connecticut, told authorities he “recently” received bomb-making instructions in Waziristan, the US said in court papers. He also told officials he tried to detonate the improvised bomb in the Pathfinder and tried to flee the US after the failed attack, prosecutors said.

Federal agents arrested three more people on immigration charges in May when probing the bombing, though no one other than Shahzad has been publicly charged with the plot, Bloomberg adds.

Shahzad was arrested while boarding a flight to Dubai from New York's JFK airport. He also considered attacks on Connecticut helicopter maker Sikorsky, and on Rockefeller Center, Grand Central Terminal, and the World Financial Center in New York City, according to senior counterterrorism officials, CNN reports.

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