Wednesday, October 6, 2010
‘Brace yourself, the war has just begun’
06 October 2010, 00:10
The man who tried to bomb New York’s Times Square laughed and warned of more terror attacks as he was jailed for life with no parole on Tuesday.
Faisal Shahzad was given the maximum sentence possible and will die in jail for the plot and his “total lack of remorse”.
But in a five-minute outburst, the 31-year-old thanked the judge for the sentence and said he was “happy with the deal that God has given me”.
”The defeat of the US is imminent and will happen in the near future,” he told the court. “Brace yourselves because the war with the Muslims has
Shahzad, a recently naturalized US citizen who lived in Connecticut and led what appeared to be a typical immigrant's life, pleaded guilty in June to the May 1 bombing attempt.
The car bomb parked in the heart of teeming Times Square on a warm Saturday evening failed to detonate, and Shahzad was caught two days later at John F Kennedy Airport while about to take off in a plane bound for Dubai.
But the bomb scare and revelations that Shahzad had been trained by Pakistani Taliban further strained US-Pakistani relations, while deepening worries in the United States about so-called homegrown terrorists.
Judge Miriam Goldman Cedarbaum chided Shahzad for his “total lack of remorse” and said the mandatory life sentence was without parole.
“I want my sentence to be real, not fictitious,” she said.
“Allahu Akbar,” or “God is greatest,” responded a defiant Shahzad, heavily bearded and dressed in blue prison garb and a white Muslim cap.
Grim-faced and in a quiet voice, he predicted defeat for US-led forces in Afghanistan and praised Al-Qaeda founder Osama bin Laden as “the Saladin of the 21st century” - referring to the 12th century Arab commander who defeated the crusaders.
The former financial analyst and father of two became a US citizen in April 2009 after a decade in the country. But he said on Tuesday that had been only a ploy.
“Didn't you swear allegiance to this country?” Cedarbaum asked.
“I sweared, but I didn't mean it,” Shahzad replied.
Before Shahzad was handcuffed and led away by burly security guards, Cedarbaum said: “I hope you will spend some of the time in prison thinking carefully about whether the Qur’an wants you to kill lots of people.”
“The Qur’an gives me the right to defend” Muslims, Shahzad shot back.
Federal prosecutor Preet Bharara welcomed the sentence, saying in a statement that Shahzad “is a remorseless terrorist who betrayed his adopted country”.
Senator Charles Schumer said the sentence “sends a clear and unequivocal message to those who seek to do us harm”.
“Let this be a warning to others who would attempt to attack us: you will be caught, you will be held to account, and justice will be brought down upon you.”
Despite training with the Taliban, Shahzad’s operation was amateur. Not only did the explosive device fail, but he had to escape on foot because he left the keys to a second getaway car - and those to his apartment - inside the vehicle with the bomb.
But officials say that the bomb, had it gone off, would have caused carnage in one of New York's busiest neighbourhoods.
FBI officials later recreated the device in an empty field to demonstrate the fiery explosion they said could have occurred.
Prosecutors say that Shahzad boasted he expected to kill at least 40 people and that he had also planned to set off a second explosion, had he not been caught after the first.
According to prosecutors, he admitted using internet webcam sites to monitor Times Square and see when and where a bomb would be most likely to cause bloodshed. - Sapa-AFP, Daily Mail
Comments by Sonny
Why are these "Freedom Fighters" so determined to cause mayhem in the free world?
Don't they have anything better to do?