New York (CNN) — A naturalized U.S. citizen from Pakistan arrested overnight in the Times Square bombing investigation will appear in a Manhattan federal courtroom Tuesday morning to face formal charges.
Faisal Shahzad, 30, was arrested at JFK International Airport in New York at 11:45 p.m. E.T. Monday as he prepared to board a flight to Dubai, United Arab Emirates, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder said early Tuesday from Washington.
But a federal law enforcement source said Shahzad nearly made it out of the country. “They just caught him at the last second,” according to the source, who said Shahzad was on board the flight to Dubai and the jetway had been pulled back when the plane was called to return to the gate.
Investigators were searching a house in Bridgeport, Connecticut, in connection with the foiled bomb attack early Tuesday.
Speaking to reporters, FBI Special Agent in Charge Kim Mertz would not disclose any details of the search.
“Our first mission was to ensure the safety of the public and our law enforcement officials,” she said. “That is complete and the public is safe.”
Along with several patrol cars, a Connecticut State Police bomb squad truck was called to the two-story building at Sheridan Street and Boston Avenue.
Shahzad is now believed to be the person who drove the sports utility vehicle used in the attempted bombing to Times Square, a law enforcement official said.
The Nissan Pathfinder had its vehicle identification number removed from the dashboard. Police climbed under the SUV and retrieved the VIN from the bottom of its engine block. This, said the official, led investigators to the registered owner of the vehicle and then to Shahzad who purchased the SUV.
Shahzad claimed to have acted alone in the attempted bombing, said another law enforcement source with knowledge of the investigation. The Joint Terrorism Task Force investigating the bombing attempt has said it’s considering the possibility that the attempt involved more than just a “lone wolf.”
Law enforcement officials had said that Shahzad was the person who bought the Nissan Pathfinder used in the bombing attempt, but had not placed him behind the wheel.
Although officials have not confirmed what flight Shahzad was trying to take, Emirates Air Flight 202 was the only flight scheduled to fly to Dubai last night from JFK. The airline’s website says the flight was delayed until 6 a.m. ET Tuesday.
For more info go to: http://www.cnn.com/2010/CRIME/05/04/new.york.car.bomb/index.html?hpt=T1&iref=BN1