Shahzad’s neighbours always had mixed views about himMay 5th, 2010 - 4:52 pm ICT by ANI
New York, May 5 (ANI): Some of the neighbours of the main accused behind the foiled Times Square bombing, Faisal Shahzad, have described as “just a normal dude”, but others in the area have said that they always had suspicions about him having terrorist leanings.
The New York Daily News quoted George Lamonica, who bought a two-bedroom apartment in Norwalk from Shahzad in 2004, as saying “He was just a normal dude. You wouldn’t have looked at him twice.”
But Dashawn Labelle,a neighbour in Bridgeport, said: “He would be carrying in boxes in the middle of the night. He sometimes wore traditional Islamic robes. He always looked on edge. We knew something weird was going on.”
“I thought he might be connected to terrorism - a lot of us did, because he acted strangely. But we didn’t call police. We should have called,” the NYDN quoted Labelle, as saying further.
Prosecutors say Shahzad spent five months in Pakistan and returned to the U.S. in February with the knowledge and desire to carry out a massive attack on American soil.
Investigators were still piecing together how Shahzad transformed from an American-schooled family man into a would-be terror bomber.
Born in Pakistan, Shahzad is the son of a former top Pakistani air force officer and deputy director general of the civil aviation authority. He attended primary school in Saudi Arabia, documents found outside his foreclosed home in Shelton showed.
He went on to several schools in Pakistan before scoring a U.S. student visa in the late 1990s.
His first stop in the U.S. was the nation’s capital, where he studied marketing at the now-shuttered Southeastern University from 1997 to 1998, according to the documents.
His grades were lackluster. Transcripts show Shahzad received several C’s and D’s, and even an F in a basic statistics class.
Shahzad transferred to the University of Bridgeport in 1998. On his application, he wrote that he had won several Ping-Pong tournaments and also excelled at squash and tennis.
He studied computers at Bridgeport and graduated in 2000 with a degree in computer applications and information systems.
Shahzad was granted a H1-B visa for skilled workers in 2001.
Records show he bounced around between a handful of homes in Bridgeport and Norwalk over the next few years.
Igor Djuric, a broker who showed Shahzad a Shelton home, said he was taken aback when his otherwise reserved client offered an unprompted critique of President Bush.
“He told me he didn’t like President Bush and his Iraq policy. I didn’t even know him. Maybe it was the first time I met him and he mentioned that to me,” Djuric said.
Brenda Thurman, another neighbour, said Shahzad and his wife “were a nice family. They kept to themselves. She was more open than him. We would talk about kids.”
“He said he worked on Wall Street, nine to five. He left every day in a shirt and tie. Other than that he didn’t come out much. He said he didn’t like daylight,” she added.
Shahzad was in fact struggling financially. He took out a 218,400-dollar mortgage on the home, but he couldn’t keep up payments and the house went into foreclosure last fall.
Shahzad also was sued last year by Hoffman Fuel for 793.14 dollars, records show.
“You could sort of tell he was hiding something,” said Lorenzo Patel, 32.
“He had family, but it’s like he was going places alone and keeping odd hours, not like a father should. That house gave me a bad feeling,” Patel added. (ANI)
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