NY bombing suspect Shahzad Faisal pleads guilty | world | Hindustan Times
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NY bombing suspect Shahzad Faisal pleads guilty

Faisal Shahzad, a Pakistan-born terror suspect, pleaded guilty to charges of attempting to detonate a bomb-laden van in New York's Times Square, when he was arraigned in a US federal court. He called himself a "Muslim soldier", pleaded guilty to all 10 counts of terrorism and weapons possession.

world Updated: Jun 22, 2010 08:26 IST

Faisal Shahzad, a Pakistan-born terror suspect, pleaded guilty on Monday to charges of attempting to detonate a bomb-laden van in New York's Times Square, when he was arraigned in a US federal court.

Shahzad, 30, who called himself a "Muslim soldier", pleaded guilty to all 10 counts of terrorism and weapons possession, which were made against him last week by a grand jury. If convicted, the charges could send him to prison for life.

"One has to understand where I'm coming from," Shahzad told district judge Miriam Goldman Cedarbaum. "I consider myself a Muslim soldier."

Wearing a white skullcap, Shahzad was defiant when the judge questioned his intention to carry out the plot May 1 by parking the van in front of a Broadway theatre.

But the bomb failed to ignite and was disarmed by police, who were alerted by a vendor at Times Square. Shahzad fled but was captured three days later by Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) agents minutes before his Dubai-bound plane was to leave New York's John F. Kennedy international airport.

News reports said Shahzad had been cooperating with US authorities since his arrest.

During the court hearing, Shahzad revealed he had three bombs in the van and lighted a fuse. But the homemade bombs failed to explode.

"It's a war," he was quoted as saying. "I am part of the answer to the US terrorising the Muslim nations and the Muslim people."

"On behalf of that, I'm revenging the attack," he said. "Americans only care about their people but they don't care about the people elsewhere in the world when they die."