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AG Holder Says Car Bomb Suspect Providing Useful Information

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The suspect believed to have attempted to set off a car bomb in New York City's Times Square is providing useful information to authorities, according to federal officials.

Attorney General Eric Holder, briefing reporters in Washington, said that Faisal Shahzad, a naturalized U.S. citizen who was born in Pakistan, had been arrested and questioned by federal agents.

"As a result of those communications, Shahzad has provided useful information to authorities," Holder said. "We anticipate charging him with an act of terrorism transcending national borders, attempted use of a weapon of mass destruction, use of a destructive device during the commission of another crime, and explosives charges."

Citing the need to protect the ongoing investigation, Holder declined to say whether Shahzad acted in concert with others in his attempt to set off the bomb, but he emphasized that the suspect "has been talking to us and providing us with useful information."

Holder said that the fact that the car bomb failed to explode did not reduce the seriousness of the attempt.

"This was a terrorist plot aimed at murdering Americans in one of the busiest places in this country," he said. "We believe this suspected terrorist fashioned a bomb from rudimentary ingredients, placed it in a rusty SUV and drove it into Times Square with the intent to kill as many innocent tourists and theater-goers as possible."

He added, "If successful, it could have resulted in a lethal terrorist attack causing death and destruction in the heart of New York City."

FBI Deputy Director John Pistole, who joined Holder at the press conference, said that after his arrest Shahzad was initially detained and questioned without being read the Miranda warning under a homeland security exemption.

"He was eventually transferred to another location mirandized and continued talking," Pistole said.

Pistole also said he was not surprised that Shahzad's bomb attempt failed.

"It does not appear from our opinion to be the most sophisticated device," he said. "There were a number of opportunities for the device to fail."

He added, "He clearly had the intent to do harm."

Despite the fact that Shahzad was arrested after having boarded a flight to Dubai, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, also at the press conference, said there was little chance that he could have successfully escaped the country after being put on the "No Fly" list Sunday afternoon.

Napolitano said, "They pulled the flight back … to the gate," adding that authorities could have ordered the plan to turn around and come back if it had already taken off.

Holder added that he had been closely monitoring the tracking of Shahzad before his arrest and said, "I was never in any fear that he would evade police."

by RTT Staff Writer

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