Times Square bomber gets life in jail

The failed Times Square car bomber was jailed for life today for trying to bring carnage to crowded central New York.





Pakistani immigrant Faisal Shahzad was told by a judge she hoped he spends some of his time behind bars thinking "carefully about whether the Koran wants you to kill lots of people."



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



Instead of exploding, his massive bomb in the back of a sport utility vehicle failed to detonate, attracting the attention of a street vendor, who alerted police. The discovery set off an evacuation of the tourist-laden area and a massive 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."



Earlier, Shahzad offered a lecture of his own for Americans, saying he felt no remorse.



"We are only Muslims ... but if you call us terrorists, we are proud terrorists and we will keep on terrorising you," he said.



At another point, he said: "The defeat of the US is imminent."



Judge Cedarbaum said her sentence was very important "to protect the public from further crimes of this defendant and others who would seek to follow him."



During Shahzad's statement, she cut him off at one point to ask if he had sworn allegiance to the United States when he became an American citizen last year.



"I did swear but I did not mean it," said Shahzad, a former budget analyst from Connecticut who was born in Pakistan.



"So you took a false oath," the judge told him.



Shahzad demonstrated throughout the half-hour proceeding in Manhattan that he had not wavered in the months since he pleaded guilty in June to 10 terrorism and weapons counts, some of which carry mandatory life sentences.



"I want to plead guilty and I'm going to plead guilty a hundred times forward," he said in June.



Today he picked up where he left off.



"If I'm given 1,000 lives I will sacrifice them all for the life of Allah," he said at the start of a statement that lasted several minutes and was interrupted several times by the judge who said she wanted to hear what he had to say about his sentencing. "How can I be judged by a court that does not understand the suffering of my people?"



Shahzad, who last year received explosives training in Pakistan to prepare for his bombing attempt, said attacks on Americans will continue until the United States leaves Muslim lands.



"We do not accept your democracy or your freedom because we already have Sharia law and freedom," Shahzad said.



Shahzad had instructed his lawyer not to speak, and smirked as the judge announced her sentence.



Asked by the judge if he had any final words, Shahzad said, "I'm happy with the deal that God has given me."

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Installation and Service / Security Engineer

£22000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company is part of a Group...

Recruitment Genius: Service Charge Accounts Assistant

£16000 - £18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Are you a a young, dynamic pers...

Cancer Research UK: Corporate Partnerships Volunteer Events Coordinator – London

Voluntary: Cancer Research UK: We’re looking for someone to support our award ...

Ashdown Group: Head of IT - Hertfordshire - £90,000

£70000 - £90000 per annum + bonus + car allowance + benefits: Ashdown Group: H...

Day In a Page

General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband

Chuka Umunna: A virus of racism runs through Ukip

The shadow business secretary on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
Yemen crisis: This exotic war will soon become Europe's problem

Yemen's exotic war will soon affect Europe

Terrorism and boatloads of desperate migrants will be the outcome of the Saudi air campaign, says Patrick Cockburn
Marginal Streets project aims to document voters in the run-up to the General Election

Marginal Streets project documents voters

Independent photographers Joseph Fox and Orlando Gili are uploading two portraits of constituents to their website for each day of the campaign
Game of Thrones: Visit the real-life kingdom of Westeros to see where violent history ends and telly tourism begins

The real-life kingdom of Westeros

Is there something a little uncomfortable about Game of Thrones shooting in Northern Ireland?
How to survive a social-media mauling, by the tough women of Twitter

How to survive a Twitter mauling

Mary Beard, Caroline Criado-Perez, Louise Mensch, Bunny La Roche and Courtney Barrasford reveal how to trounce the trolls
Gallipoli centenary: At dawn, the young remember the young who perished in one of the First World War's bloodiest battles

At dawn, the young remember the young

A century ago, soldiers of the Empire – many no more than boys – spilt on to Gallipoli’s beaches. On this 100th Anzac Day, there are personal, poetic tributes to their sacrifice
Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves

Follow the money as never before

Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves, reports Rupert Cornwell
Samuel West interview: The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents

Samuel West interview

The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents
General Election 2015: Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, on what the leaders' appearances tell us about them
Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

The architect of the HeForShe movement and head of UN Women on the world's failure to combat domestic violence
Public relations as 'art'? Surely not

Confessions of a former PR man

The 'art' of public relations is being celebrated by the V&A museum, triggering some happy memories for DJ Taylor
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef succumbs to his sugar cravings with super-luxurious sweet treats

Bill Granger's luxurious sweet treats

Our chef loves to stop for 30 minutes to catch up on the day's gossip, while nibbling on something sweet
London Marathon 2015: Paula Radcliffe and the mother of all goodbyes

The mother of all goodbyes

Paula Radcliffe's farewell to the London Marathon will be a family affair
Everton vs Manchester United: Steven Naismith demands 'better' if Toffees are to upset the odds against United

Steven Naismith: 'We know we must do better'

The Everton forward explains the reasons behind club's decline this season
Arsenal vs Chelsea: Praise to Arsene Wenger for having the courage of his convictions

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Praise to Wenger for having the courage of his convictions