Times Square Bomber Sentenced to Life without Parole
U.S. District Judge Miriam Goldman Cedarbaum sentenced "Times Square bomber" Faisal Shahzad to life with no chance for parole Tuesday, in a Manhattan federal court. Shahzad, 31, pleaded guilty to attempting to blow up a bomb in the busy midtown Manhattan square. He confessed to investigators that he received bomb-making training and funding for the plot from the Tehrik-e-Taliban in Pakistan.
Shahzad, a Pakistani immigrant, parked a sports utility vehicle containing an explosive device in Times Square on May 1. Street vendors alerted police to the vehicle, which was left with its engine running and hazard lights flashing, when they saw smoke coming out of it. Thousands of people were evacuated from the area and a bomb squad defused the device, which included propane gas tanks.
Judge Cedarbaum said her sentence was very important "to protect the public from further crimes of this defendant and others who would seek to follow him."
Shahzad was unrepentant and defiant. At one point during his statement before the sentencing, Judge Cedarbaum cut him off to ask if he had sworn allegiance to the United States when he became a citizen in 2009.
"I did swear but I did not mean it," he replied.
"So you took a false oath," the judge answered.
Shahzad is a former budget analyst from Connecticut. The explosive device he had set up was not sophisticated but prosecutors claimed it was lethal nonetheless: "While it is impossible to calculate precisely the impact of Shahzad's bomb had it detonated, the controlled detonation ... demonstrated that those effects would have been devastating to the surrounding area," they wrote.
Shahzad was arrested aboard a Dubai-bound passenger jet at New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport May 3. He had been hoping to fly to Pakistan.