This is a classic, textbook investigation.
The thirty year-old son of a retired Pakistani air force officer has been arrested at JFK as he boarded an Emirates flight bound for Dubai and then Islamabad, and charged with having driven an SUV packed with home-made explosives into Times Square on Saturday evening.
Faisal Shahzad, who became a US citizen last year, had obtained university degrees in computer science and business management, and had recently returned to his home in Connecicut after five months in Pakistan where reportedly his wife still lives. Last year, having given up his job as a financial adviser, one of their homes in the US was repossessed.
Unlike the Christmas Day bomber in Detroit, Shahzad was questioned by federal agents under the public safety exclusion rule which allowed him to be interrogated without a Miranda warning. Allegedly he confessed, admitting that he had undergone military training in Waziristan, although the forensic evidence against him sounds overwhelming.
NYPD detectives found the vehicle’s VIN number on an axle and then traced the last registered owner who identified Shahzad as the current keeper. Shahzad’s name was then added to the No-Fly List, and promptly found to be booked on the Emirates flight.
This is a classic, textbook investigation completed in around fifty-four hours, and it only remains to establish Shahzad’s motives and identify any accomplices. Three of Shahzad’s associates, including his father-in-law, have been detained in Karachi, and it may be that they will shed further light on the incident.