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Times Square bomb suspect eyed other landmarks, AP reports

NEW YORK — While sequestered in a New York hotel room, the Times Square bomb suspect revealed he had thought about targeting other landmarks and asked investigators why the bomb he built failed to go off, people familiar with the investigation said Wednesday.

Faisal Shahzad said he considered attacking Grand Central Terminal, Rockefeller Center in midtown Manhattan, the World Financial Center near ground zero and Sikorsky Inc. — a defense contractor with an office in his Connecticut hometown — before deciding to abandon an SUV rigged with a homemade bomb in Times Square on May 1, the Associated Press said it learned from a law enforcement official.

AP said it was told by a person familiar with the case that during more than two weeks of questioning, the Pakistani-American also expressed surprise that the device — made of fireworks, gasoline canisters, propane tanks and fertilizer — did not detonate. AP reported it was told Shahzad said he expected the fireworks to rupture the tanks and create a deadly fireball.

Shahzad, who authorities say has said he received explosives training in Pakistan, even asked interrogators to explain why the device failed.

Experts said the bomb had been poorly constructed with a nest of wires, battery-operated alarm clocks and heavy bags of fertilizer that couldn't explode.

On Tuesday, Shahzad, 30, appeared in a U.S. court for the first time since his May 3 arrest. He was ordered held without bail on five felony charges including attempted use of weapons of mass destruction and attempted acts of terrorism transcending national boundaries, each of which carry potential penalties of life in prison.

Man sent money to al-Qaida

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — A Kansas City auto parts dealer who had sworn allegiance to al-Qaida pleaded guilty Wednesday to taking part in a conspiracy to provide financial support to the terrorist group. Khalid Ouazzani, 32, a Moroccan native who became a naturalized U.S. citizen in 2006, admitted that he sent $23,500 to al-Qaida between August 2007 and mid 2008. Although Ouazzani talked with others about ways to support al-Qaida, including plans for them to fight in Afghanistan, Iraq or Somalia, U.S. Attorney Beth Phillips said he did not pose a threat to the Kansas City area, where he briefly operated a business that sold auto parts and used vehicles.

Times Square bomb suspect eyed other landmarks, AP reports 05/19/10 [Last modified: Wednesday, May 19, 2010 9:41pm]
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