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'Investigators looking into how Faisal boarded flight'

Federal investigating authorities are looking into how Faisal Shahzad, the Times Square bomb suspect, managed to board a Dubai-bound plane at the JFK airport before he was nabbed minutes before it took off, the White House has said.

world Updated: May 05, 2010 08:53 IST

Federal investigating authorities are looking into how Faisal Shahzad, the Times Square bomb suspect, managed to board a Dubai-bound plane at the JFK airport before he was nabbed minutes before it took off, the White House has said.

"That's part of the investigation we're looking at," White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs told reporters in response to questions as to how Shahzad was able to go so far despite that he was put on the no-fly list.

Shahzad, a Pakistan-born US citizen, was taken into custody at John F Kennedy International Airport on May 3, after he was identified by Department of Homeland Security's US Customs and Border Protection while attempting to flee the country.

The 30-year-old was charged with attempted use of a weapon of mass destruction, acts of terrorism transcending national boundaries and other federal crimes for allegedly driving a car bomb into Times Square.

"I think it's important to understand that the system is built with necessary and built-in redundancy, so that if a name is added and a carrier misses the added name, that Customs and Border Police (CBP), once a manifest is locked, runs those names through a center and can identify anything that a carrier may have missed," Gibbs said while explaining the issue to reporters.

"CBP caught and apprehended that individual before the plane left and even would have. We had the authority to either have the plane land or turn around."

"The system is built with duplicative mechanisms in order to ensure that if a carrier isn't picking up a change in the no-fly list, that that change can be caught when Customs and Border Police go through the manifest again prior to the flight leaving," he said.