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Guilty plea in plot to bomb Times Square

NEW YORK — The suspect in the failed Times Square bombing pleaded guilty Monday, an abrupt and expedited end to a terrorism case that extended to Pakistan and an Islamic militant group there.

The defendant, Faisal Shahzad, 30, listened calmly as each of 10 counts was read to him in U.S. District Court in Manhattan, and he indicated that he understood the charges and the penalties he faced.

Shahzad seemed relaxed as he recounted how and why he conceived the plot, traveling to Pakistan in December to join the Taliban and receive training in constructing a bomb.

The plea and Shahzad's comments came four days after a federal grand jury returned an indictment that offered new details about the government's accusations that Tehrik-e-Taliban, the umbrella organization for the Pakistani Taliban, had assisted Shahzad.

In court, he admitted receiving the training, saying he had gone to Pakistan to find the Taliban and learned how to build a bomb.

"With them, I did the training to wage an attack inside the United States of America," Shahzad said.

"Any kind of attack?" Judge Miriam Goldman Cedarbaum asked.

"It would have been any kind of attack," Shahzad said, "but I was given bombing training, and that's what I learned there."

The guilty plea was consistent with Shahzad's behavior since his arrest on May 3 after the attempted bombing on May 1. He cooperated with the federal authorities for more than two weeks without counsel and waived his Miranda rights.

Cedarbaum scheduled Shahzad's sentencing for Oct. 5. Some of the counts carry mandatory life sentences. His lawyer, Philip Weinstein, had no comment after the hearing.

Guilty plea in plot to bomb Times Square 06/21/10 [Last modified: Monday, June 21, 2010 11:02pm]
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