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Shahzad Did A Dry Run The Day Before

A day before driving an SUV with a rigged homemade bomb into Times Square, a Pakistani-American made a test drive into the heart of the city, dropped off a getaway car blocks from his target
PTI May 07, 2010 9:28 IST
PTI
A day before driving an SUV with a rigged homemade bomb into Times Square, a Pakistani-American made a test drive into the heart of the city, dropped off a getaway car blocks from his target and took a train home to Connecticut, a law enforcement official said.

The official's account of Faisal Shahzad, who took no visitors in the shabby apartment where he hoarded a gun and low-grade fireworks for months, bolsters a growing theory that he prepared a terrorist attack in the United States on his own once he moved back to the US from five months in his native Pakistan, law enforcement officials say.

Shahzad, of Bridgeport, Connecticut, remained in custody on terrorism and weapons charges, accused of trying to detonate a crude bomb of gasoline, propane and low-grade fireworks on a crowded on Saturday night in Times Square. Officials said he has been cooperating with investigators since he was pulled off a Dubai-bound plane in New York on Monday.

Authorities investigating the failed attack have said that Shahzad made quick preparations to buy supplies for the homemade bomb, including the used SUV for which he shelled out 13 $100 bills a week earlier.

Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly said in Washington that Shahzad bought a gun in March found in his Isuzu at Kennedy Airport, suggesting that he was moving ahead with the bombing plot shortly after returning from Pakistan. "It appears from some of his other activities that March is when he decided to put this plan in motion," Kelly told a Senate panel.

Shahzad first drove the Pathfinder to Times Square from Connecticut on April 28, apparently to figure out where would be the best place to leave it later, according to a law enforcement official who briefed a reporter on the dress rehearsal. He then returned April 30 to drop off a black Isuzu, the official said.

When he left Times Square on Saturday, he discovered he left a chain of 20 keys including those to the getaway car and his home in Connecticut in the SUV, and had to take the train home, the official said.

Investigators had already started searching for suspects, when he returned to the scene on Sunday with a second set of keys to pick up the Isuzu, parked about eight blocks from the car bomb site. AP