NEW YORK (WPIX)—It's been more than 24 hours since Times Square bombing suspect Faisal Shahzad was arrested. Usually, within that time, a suspect is required to appear before a judge.
Federal authorities treat Shahzad's case, however, as an exception, which is why he has yet to make a first court appearance.
Prosecutors detail in a five-count, 10-page complaint against Shahzad charges that include attempting to use weapons of mass destruction. At the same time, though, federal officials admit to mistakes that almost let Shahzad slip away.
The JFK control tower issued the following message to Emirates Flight 202 after 11:30 pm Monday: "Actually, I have a message for you to go back to the gate immediately." The verbal order came minutes before the flight was due to take off for Dubai with Times Square bombing suspect Faisal Shahzad onboard.
Officials at the Department of Homeland Security and the FBI admit that agents in Connecticut who'd been trailing Shahzad lost track of him, allowing him to make his way to the airport without being arrested. Also, the airline he was on, Emirates, apparently failed to spot Shahzad on a no-fly list when he bought his ticket to Dubai in cash.
The situation prompted Mayor Michael Bloomberg to make this comment about Shahzad at a news conference yesterday, "Clearly, the guy was on the plane and shouldn't have been. And we got very lucky."
Federal investigators say Shahzad is cooperating with them and he told them that another trip he took recently helped to prepare him for Saturday's attempted bombing. Shahzad's months-long visit to Pakistan last year featured bomb-making training with the organization Pakistani Taliban.
The Pakistani Interior Ministry says it has arrested at least seven men involved with the Pakistani Taliban in relation to the Times Square bombing attempt. Pakistan also says that at least two of the men in custody had spent time with Shahzad while he was visiting Pakistan.
However, this morning the Pakistani Army said that it doubts Shahzad had a formal relationship with the Pakistani Taliban. Whether or not that's true, it is confirmed that Shahzad, a naturalized U.S. citizen born in Pakistan, recently spent an extended period of time in that country. Also, Najibullah Zazi, the confessed attempted subway bombing suspect, also got explosives training in Pakistan, and so did his alleged accomplices.
Late last year, five men from suburban Washington D.C. were arrested in Pakistan, also suspected of terrorism training there. Federal officials confirm that a threat from terror suspects in Pakistan against innocent people remains in the wake of Shahzad's arrest, and they warn the public to be vigilant.