Authorities tell ABC News that, despite the massive manhunt underway for Faisal Shahzad, the 30-year-old Pakistani/American who has claimed responsibility for the Times Square plot, Shahzad’s passport had not been flagged and he was able to pay cash for a ticket, clear security, and board a flight connecting to Pakistan:
FBI agents discovered Shahzad’s car parked in a short-term lot at JFK airport Monday evening and searched for his name on airline passenger manifests.
The flight had begun to taxi for takeoff when FBI agents ordered it to return to the gate where Shahzad and two others were taken into custody. The other two were later released, authorities said.
Authorities said they found a 9 mm handgun in Shahzad’s car and two loaded ammunition magazines.
Upon apprehension Shahzad was reportedly questioned by agents for several hours, during which time he claimed to have acted alone in carrying out his attempted bomb plot.
A YouTube video claiming credit for a “successful” bombing in Times Square was uploaded just hours after the failed attempt, to a web site created the day before.
The video was uploaded in Connecticut, where Faisal Shahzad, arrested last night at JFK International, calls home.
Like seemingly every modern-day terrorist, Shahzad has a Facebook page (I won’t link to it, but it is easy enough to find), and to be plugged in to social media broadly. This purported image of Shahzad comes from the social networking site orkut.com, which is popular in countries like Brazil, India, and Pakistan.
Shahzad is a American citizen who had recently returned from a five-month trip to Peshawar, Pakistan, a hub of al-Qaeda and Taliban activity. Police are reportedly actively pursuing a number of other individuals in connection with the plot.