Times Square bomb suspect arrested in New York

A man suspected of attempting to detonate a car bomb in New York City has been arrested.

Faisal Shahzad, a US citizen of Pakistani origin, is accused of driving the explosives-laden car into Times Square on Saturday evening.

He is due to appear in court in Manhattan later.

US Attorney General Eric Holder said Mr Shahzad was arrested at John F Kennedy Airport attempting to board a flight to Dubai.

Reports from the US say Mr Shahzad recently returned from a five-month visit to Pakistan.

The FBI said it had searched his home in Bridgeport, Connecticut, on Tuesday.

In a statement quoted by AFP news agency, Emirates Airlines said US officials had removed three people from its Flight EK 202 from New York to Dubai, moments before it was due to take off.

It added: “Full security procedures were activated, including the deplaning of all passengers and a thorough screening of the aircraft, passengers, and baggage.”

A senior Pakistani security source in the Pakistani capital Islamabad told the BBC that the authorities had no knowledge of Mr Shahzad.

He also dismissed statements released by the Pakistani Taliban saying that they were behind the failed attack and promising more to come.

Plot foiled

A car containing a bomb made from fertiliser, fireworks, petrol and propane gas tanks was left in Times Square on Saturday.

The Nissan Pathfinder was parked with its engine running and its hazard lights flashing.

The bomb was discovered and dismantled before it could explode after a street-vendor noticed smoke coming from the vehicle and alerted police.

Mr Holder told a news conference that investigators were pursuing “a number of leads”, adding: “We will not rest until we have brought everyone responsible to justice.”

He urged the American people to “remain vigilant” and report anything suspicious to the authorities.

Mr Holder said the attempted car bombing “would have been a deadly attack had it been successful”.

He added: “It’s clear that the intent behind this terrorist act was to kill Americans.”

Times Square was packed with tourists and theatregoers when the alarm was raised.

Police evacuated a wide area of the district and closed subway lines, while a controlled explosion was carried out.

Officials said the bomb was crude, but could have sparked a “significant fireball”.

BBC