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Times Square bomb plotter defiant as judge sends him to prison for life

A Pakistani immigrant who tried to set off a car bomb in New York was yesterday sentenced to life in prison by a judge who said she hopes he spends some of his time behind bars thinking "carefully about whether the Koran wants you to kill lots of people".

Faisal Shahzad's thirst for bloodshed showed no signs of waning as he and the US District Judge Miriam Goldman Cedarbaum sparred repeatedly over his reasoning for giving up his comfortable life in America to train in Pakistan and carry out a potentially deadly attack in Times Square on 1 May .

Instead of exploding, his bomb in the back of a sport utility vehicle sputtered, attracting the attention of a street vendor, who alerted police. The discovery set off an evacuation of the tourist-laden area and an investigation that resulted in his arrest two days later as he sought to flee the country.

"You appear to be someone who was capable of education and I do hope you will spend some of the time in prison thinking carefully about whether the Koran wants you to kill lots of people," Judge Cedarbaum told Shahzad after she announced his mandatory life sentence, which under federal sentencing rules will keep him behind bars until he dies.

Shahzad, 31, responded that the "Koran gives us the right to defend. And that's all I'm doing".