// What is going on???
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blackrose
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« on: May 04, 2010 03:20 PM »


Suspect told neighbor he worked on Wall Street
Until last summer, alleged terrorist lived in Conn. with wife and 2 children
   
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The suspect in the Times Square bombing attempt was a family man who reportedly told a Connecticut neighbor that he worked on Wall Street.

FBI agents searched the home previously occupied by the suspect, Faisal Shahzad, in the Shelton neighborhood of Bridgeport early Tuesday, removing filled plastic bags. A bomb squad came and went without entering as local police and FBI agents gathered in the cordoned-off street.

Neighbor Brenda Thurman told the New York Times that Shahzad and his wife, Huma Mian, spoke limited English and kept mostly to themselves. The couple had two young children, a girl and a boy, she said.
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Thurman told the newspaper that the couple had lived at the house at 119 Long Hill Avenue for about three years before moving out last year.

"He was a little bit strange," she told the Associated Press. "He didn't like to come out during the day."

Shahzad had told her husband that he worked on Wall Street, adding that she was surprised by the turn of events. "I can't believe something like this happened. I can't believe it."

Thurman showed reporters a laptop computer showing a Facebook photo of her neighbor, the New Haven Independent reported. The photo showed Shahzad with a woman and a child.

Image: Suspect Faisal Shahzad, right.
Another neighbor, Audrey Sokol, who lived next door, said she thought Shahzad worked in nearby Norwalk. Sokol, a teacher, said that he would wave and say hello and that he seemed normal to her. 

The home was a two-story grayish-brown Colonial with a sloping yard in a working-class neighborhood. On Tuesday morning, the home looked as if it had been unoccupied for a while.

Shahzad left around May 2009, Thurman said, and his wife followed about a month later.

Pakistani police told NBC News that Shahzad traveled from the United States to Karachi on July 3, 2009, returning to the United States on Aug. 8, 2009. During that time, he is believed to have traveled to Peshawar, a major city in the region bordering Afghanistan known as the Federally Administered Tribal Areas.

Shahzad was taken into custody late Monday by FBI agents and New York Police Department detectives at Kennedy Airport while trying to board a flight to Dubai, according to U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder and other officials. He was identified by customs agents and stopped before boarding, Holder said early Tuesday in Washington.

The official says investigators still don't have evidence that Shahzad is connected to the Pakistani Taliban or any foreign terror groups. The official says, "He's claimed to have acted alone, but these are things that have to be investigated."

Another trip to Pakistan
Shahzad, who became a U.S. citizen last year, had recently returned from another trip to Pakistan, this time for five months, according to law enforcement officials who spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the investigation into the failed car bombing. They said his wife was in Pakistan.

It is believed Shahzad was a resident of a middle-class neighborhood of Karachi, called North Nazimabad, NBC said.
   
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  Suspect arrested
May 4: Federal agents and New York police arrested Faisal Shahzad at Kennedy Airport. NBC’s Pete Williams reports.

Today show

The U.S. attorney's office in Manhattan was handling the case and said Shahzad would appear in court Tuesday, but the charges were not made public.

The Pakistani foreign office said the U.S. government had not shared any information about Shahzad and had, so far, not asked for its help.

More than a dozen people with American citizenship or residency, like Shahzad, have been accused in the past two years of supporting or carrying out terrorism attempts on U.S. soil, cases that illustrate the threat of violent extremism from within the U.S.

Among them are Army Maj. Nidal Hasan, a U.S.-born Army psychiatrist of Palestinian descent, charged with fatally shooting 13 people last year at Fort Hood, Texas; Najibullah Zazi, a Denver-area airport shuttle driver who pleaded guilty in February in a plot to bomb New York subways; and a Pennsylvania woman Colleen LaRose who authorities say became radicalized online as "Jihad Jane" and plotted to kill a Swedish artist whose work offended Muslims.

Here is a link with the pic of the family: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/36934331/ns/us_news-security/?GT1=43001
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« Reply #1 on: May 07, 2010 03:10 AM »

What I understand about Faisal Shahzad

As a Muslim Pakistani, I can't tell you why he did it. But I know one violent nut can change how Americans see me
By Wajahat Ali

 

Last Saturday, I was drinking my chai, reading the latest Green Lantern comic, and participating in the glorious American hobby that is Googling when I saw the news about the foiled NYC Times Square terror plot. I immediately began reciting the "Post-Crisis Minority Mantra," familiar to many ethnic minorities and religions in these troubled times:

"Please don't let it be a Muslim or Pakistani dude. Please don't let it be a Muslim or Pakistani dude."

Back then, it wasn't. They had footage of a suspicious white guy.

"Phew! Thank God!" I said out loud.

But I had to invoke the mantra repeatedly over the next few days, as details emerged and the truth became all too clear: The terrorist was a recently naturalized U.S. citizen from Pakistan named Faisal Shahzad. A Muslim Pakistani.

"No! Not again! Why, God, why??"

A Muslim born and raised in America with Pakistani parents, I was the "token" at early age. Growing up, I was like any other socially awkward, overweight, dorky American kid who wanted to date Alyssa Milano and beat Contra on my Nintendo without using the secret, unlimited life code -- except my T-shirts were smeared with turmeric and lentil stains instead of PB and J, and in place of Lunchables my mom fed me homemade, green-colored, lamb patty burgers. I was the kid comfortable with all his identities -- Muslim, American, Pakistani -- and as such, I became the one people consulted when uncomfortable questions had to be asked, or misconceptions and stereotypes needed to be explained.

After news of the averted attack, I was hit with a blitzkrieg of texts, Facebook updates and gchat pings. Friends from varying backgrounds -- Mexican-American, African-American, Arab-American -- wanted to know what I thought about another "Rage Boy" foolishly attempting to commit violence with an amateurish terror plot. Several made a similar confession: How glad they were that the suspect didn't belong to "their tribe." What I did know, with a sinking feeling, was that many moderate, peaceful Pakistani Muslims like me were further doomed to collective mistrust and suspicion.

America has a long tradition of scapegoating (see African Americans, Jews, Irish and Japanese Americans), in which the criminal and moral bankruptcy of a few perverse individuals becomes an archetype for multitudes. But when painting the complex experience of Muslim Pakistanis in the mainstream media, there seems to be only two colors: "Crazy" and "Hella Crazy." Islam was recently voted "the third worst brand disaster of the decade" thanks to a few deluded individuals -- out of the vast 1.5 billion members of Muslim communities -- who have engaged in violent jihadi movements, honor killings, suicide bombings and pathetic assassination threats directed at satirical cartoonists. Honestly, I cannot blame the average American, who gets his information from cable news or hate radio, for harboring such caricatures. The misunderstanding cuts both ways: When I travel in the Middle East, I'm asked why I invaded Iraq and want to impose my imperialistic might on sovereign nations. Thanks, George W. Bush, for this staggering global misconception.

But if "Muslim Pakistani American" were an asset, it would be more toxic than the Goldman Sachs Abacus CDO. If it were a stock, it would plummet to Enron levels.

Sometimes, I long for the blurry cultural identities of the 80s, when elementary school friends lumped all Pakistani, Bangladeshi, Sri Lankan and Egyptian immigrants in one brown-hued bucket: "India." Who wouldn't rather be affiliated with "Slumdog Millionaire," Metro PCS's Ranjit and Chad, Chicken Tikkah Masala, Bhangra remixes and Bollywood instead of religious extremism and Al Qaeda? Pakistani culture has some bomb biryani, lively and critical political commentary, Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, and dubious Lollywood entertainment. But we rarely hear anything about that.

Sometimes, I feel Muslim Pakistanis are like Daffy Duck, always cursed to have the anvil drop on our heads, regardless of our patriotism, lack of criminal record, good credit score and groomed facial hair. The moderate and innocent majority collectively bear the brunt of the sins of a deluded minority, such as Faisal Shahzad.

This is something my white friends can never understand. They never get personal blowback when one of their members commits crimes. They are like Bugs Bunny to our Daffy Duck: They can get hit with a McVeigh, Madoff, Kaczynski, the Hutaris, even W. Bush. They just brush it off, make a wisecrack, and move along untouched. They are never asked to "prove their loyalty" or face increased racial profiling and "extra loving" pat downs at the airport.

In the last two days, many other Pakistani American Muslims like me have been bombarded with one question: "Why did Faisal Shahzad do it?" Let it be known that Pakistanis and Muslims are not like the Borg, some cybernetic species with a collective consciousness. There is no broadcast frequency that alerts us to the internal machinations of an angry or confused individual who simply happens to share our skin color, ethnicity or religious affiliation. We are not "alerted" when they create their diabolical plans to commit mayhem. It's akin to me asking all my white friends: Why does the Tea Party think Obama is a Muslim? What goes on in the mind of those crazy-ass white, Christian militias who hate the government? Or really: Why do white people wear cargo shorts?

But what I can tell you is that the news hits us differently. A friend of mine born and raised in this country, who is both a religious Muslim and shares strong Pakistani roots, emailed me saying he was "ashamed and disgraced" about Faisal Shahzad. A Pakistani immigrant uncle in the Texas community was outraged that the suspect tried to commit terror despite having just "recited a pledge of allegiance to his adopted country ... still the greatest country on the fact of the earth, warts and all notwithstanding." We face increased calls to "police our own." (Perhaps people forget that it was a Senegalese Muslim immigrant by the name of Aliou Niasse responsible for tipping off the NYPD to the burning vehicle.)

But the overwhelming response to this averted tragedy amongst Pakistani Muslim Americans was simple: anger, disgust, outrage. Just like any other American.

Wajahat Ali is the author of "The Domestic Crusaders," a play about Muslim Pakistani Americans that will be published by McSweeney's in the Fall 2010. He blogs at Goatmilk.
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