Page last updated at 00:15 GMT, Wednesday, 5 May 2010 01:15 UK

NY bomb-plot suspect charged with terrorism

US Attorney General Eric Holder: "There is a constant threat"

A Pakistan-born US citizen has been charged with terrorism and trying to use a weapon of mass destruction over the failed car-bomb attack in New York.

US authorities said Faisal Shahzad, 30, had also admitted to being trained in bomb-making in Pakistan.

Mr Shahzad was arrested on a Dubai-bound plane at JFK airport on Monday, two days after the car bomb was found.

Earlier, President Barack Obama vowed Americans would "not cower in fear" because of the Times Square incident.

Mark Mardell
Maybe the US is learning that with all the vigilance, the best intelligence, the tightest security, you can never eliminate all risk, and that the unwitting allies of terrorists are those who want America to be terrified
BBC North America editor Mark Mardell

He said it was a "sobering reminder of the times in which we live" and vowed that justice would be done.

FBI search

Mr Shahzad is believed to have bought an SUV that was found loaded with an improvised explosive device in Times Square.

Two days after the bomb was discovered, he nearly managed to escape the US.

Despite his name being added to the government's no-fly list earlier on Monday, Mr Shahzad managed to buy a ticket on an Emirates flight to Dubai and made it through JFK's security checks late that evening.

Customs agents checking the passenger list realised Mr Shahzad's name was on it and stopped the flight with just minutes to spare as it taxied to the runway.

Investigators said the Connecticut resident implicated himself and told them he was acting alone.

But court documents stated that he admitted having attended a militant training camp in the lawless Pakistani tribal region of Waziristan.

He apparently told investigators the plot had begun in December last year.

Faisal Shahzad, taken from social networking site
Aged 30
Naturalised US citizen born in Pakistan
Resident of Bridgeport, Connecticut
Reports say he recently returned from five-month visit to Pakistan

The FBI searched Mr Shahzad's home in Bridgeport, Connecticut, on Tuesday morning and removed several filled plastic bags.

Sources have told the BBC that Mr Shahzad is the son of retired Air Vice Marshal Bahar-ul-Haque, a former head of Pakistan's Civil Aviation Authority, but this is unconfirmed.

His family is said to come from the northern frontier city of Peshawar, close to the strongholds and training grounds of the Taliban.

Pakistani sources said Mr Shahzad married in Peshawar two years ago and his wife and at least one of their two young children are currently believed to be living in Karachi with relatives.

Earlier reports from Pakistan had said Mr Shahzad's father-in-law and another associate of the suspect have been arrested in the port city of Karachi.

But Pakistani Interior Minister Rehman Malik, who has pledged to assist the US, denied the authorities had made any arrests.

Meanwhile at a news conference at the White House, Mr Obama praised the action of citizens and the authorities in New York as possibly saving hundreds of lives.

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"We know that the aim of those who try to carry out those attacks is to force us to live in fear," he said.

"But as Americans and as a nation, we will not be terrorised. We will not cower in fear. We will not be intimidated."

On Sunday, the Pakistani Taliban said it was responsible for the failed bombing attempt and it threatened suicide attacks on US cities.

But the BBC's Orla Guerin in Islamabad says there is no proof and many experts doubt they have the capacity to strike inside the US.

'Significant fireball'

The car containing a bomb made from fertiliser, fireworks, petrol and propane gas tanks was left in Times Square on Saturday evening.

Police search the home of Faisal Shahzad in Bridgeport, Connecticut (4 May 2010)
Investigators removed items from Faisal Shahzad's Connecticut home

The 1993 Nissan Pathfinder was parked with its engine running and hazard lights flashing.

The bomb was discovered and dismantled before it could explode, after a street-vendor noticed smoke coming from the vehicle and alerted police.

Times Square was packed with tourists and theatregoers when the alarm was raised.

Police evacuated a wide area of the district and closed subway lines, while a controlled explosion was carried out.

Officials said the bomb was crude, but could have sparked a "significant fireball" and sprayed shrapnel with enough force to kill pedestrians and knock out windows.

Diagram of New York car-bomb
US officials released a diagram of the car-bomb

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