Times Square Would-Be Bomber Vowed Revenge in Video, Al-Arabiya Reports

Faisal Shahzad, who pleaded guilty last month to trying to explode a car bomb in New York’s Times Square, says in a video that he planned the attack as revenge for the U.S. war in Afghanistan, Al-Arabiya television reported.

Shahzad is dressed in traditional tribal clothes and sits with an assault rifle in the video, which was made before the attempted May 1 attack, the Dubai-based Arabic-language television network reported on its website. The network broadcast the tape today.

In the video, Shahzad praises Baitullah Mehsud, the Pakistani Taliban leader killed in a U.S. drone strike in August of last year, and Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the founder of al-Qaeda in Iraq who died at the hands of U.S. led-troops in 2006, as martyrs, Al-Arabiya said.

“The attack on the United States will be a revenge for all the mujahedeen and oppressed Muslims,” Shahzad said in the tape, according to Al-Arabiya. “Eight years have passed since the Afghanistan war and you shall see how the Muslim war has just begun and how Islam will spread across the world.”

Shahzad pleaded guilty on June 21 to 10 terrorism-related charges for the attack, including attempted use of a weapon of mass destruction. He faces a mandatory life term at his sentencing, scheduled for Oct. 5.

Shahzad told U.S. District Judge Miriam Cedarbaum on June 21 that he wanted to plead guilty “a hundred times over,” according to a transcript, “because until the hour the U.S. pulls its forces from Iraq and Afghanistan and stops the drone strikes in Somalia and Yemen and in Pakistan and stops the occupation of Muslim lands and stops killing the Muslims and stops reporting the Muslims to its government, we will be attacking U.S.”

The case is U.S. v. Shahzad, 10-00928, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York (Manhattan).

To contact the reporter on this story: Chris Dolmetsch in New York at cdolmetsch@bloomberg.net.

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