Shahzad Planned to Hit 4 Other US Targets: Report

Rockefeller Center, a Grand Central Terminal, the World Financial Center and the Connecticut headquarters of defence contractor Sikorsky were also in the crosshairs

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May 18, 2010
Times of India

NEW YORK: Pakistani-American terror suspect Faisal Shahzad had planned to attack four other targets if his bid to detonate a car bomb near Times Square in New York was successful, according to a television channel.

Photo: A technician examines the SUV packed with bomb materials in New York's Times Square. (Brendan Mcdermid/Reuters)

FOX 5 News quoted a source as saying that Shahzad, arrested by the FBI for the May 1 failed bombing, has told investigators that he intended to attack four other locations in the US.

Other locations that he intended to attack were Rockefeller Center, a Grand Central Terminal, the World Financial Center and the Connecticut headquarters of defence contractor Sikorsky, the channel quoted the source as saying.

Sikorsky manufactures helicopters for the US Military, including the Black Hawk. It has headquarters in Shelton and Bridgeport -- the two cities where Shahzad has lived.

"They want to maximize the exposure of the attack," security expert Michael Balboni, a former homeland security adviser for New York State, told FOX news.

"So they want to pick things that are iconic that perhaps have a lot of people so they can increase the body count. Anything to make it as dramatic as possible."

The source also said Shahzad picked out two dates -- Saturday, May 1, the date of the attempted bombing, and an alternate Saturday, May 8. Shahzad reportedly picked these dates and the time of 6:30 pm for the attack after checking out live streaming video of Times Square online and concluded that this time is when Times Square is the most crowded, it said.

The source also said Shahzad's connections in Pakistan had advised him to buy the fireworks, fertilizer and pathfinder over a period of time so it wouldn't raise any suspicions. On May 1, Shahzad tried to blow up a crowded area of Times Square by leaving a car packed with explosives in the popular tourist site.

The 30-year-old Pakistani American was apprehended 53 hours later at John F Kennedy airport trying to escape to Dubai. He is believed to have been working in collusion with the Pakistan-Taliban.

Shahzad worked as a financial analyst in Connecticut where he lived with his wife. But his personal and professional life began to unravel last year during the financial crisis.

Citing a source close to the investigation, Fox 5 said Shahzad, 30, a Pakistan-born...