« | »

Faisal Shahzad Didn’t Like George Bush

From Connecticut’s Stamford Advocate:

What made Faisal Shahzad change his life?

Michael P. Mayko, Staff Writer
Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Faisal Shahzad was never one to draw attention to himself.

An average student in college, an average employee in the workplace, an average neighbor in suburbia.

Shahzad parlayed this into jobs crunching data for corporate America’s elite like Elizabeth Arden, which enabled him to buy a single-family home for his wife and children in suburban Shelton.

But quicker than the rise came the fall. Last June, Shahzad stopped making payments on his $218,400 mortgage, quit his job at Affinion Group in Norwalk and moved his family back to Pakistan.

Then it happened — on May Day, a national workers’ holiday in Pakistan and often a celebration for socialism, communism and anarchy elsewhere.

On this May 1, the Pakistani-born Shahzad, who only returned to the U.S. in February, loaded his recently purchased Nissan Pathfinder with explosives and drove it to the meeting place of the world — New York’s Times Square.

From that moment on, Shahzad, left the world of anonymity and stepped into one of worldwide attention.

What caused him to change?

There are many possibilities for such a dramatic radical change, maintains James Monahan, a clinical psychologist and associate professor of criminal justice at the University of New Haven.

"Maybe he was the runt of the litter; the child who couldn’t meet his parents’ expectations," said Monahan.

His father, Bahar ul-Haq, is a retired Pakistani Air Force official. He was able to provide an upper middle-class lifestyle for his family, sending his boys to school in the U.S.

Nothing in Shahzad’s early years captured the attention of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

In 1998, they granted Shahzad a student visa which allowed him to attend Southeastern University in Washington, D.C., which lost its accreditation last year. In 2000, he transferred to the University of Bridgeport where he studied computer science and engineering.

On May 13, 2001, ul-Haq sat with his wife in the second row of folding chairs at UB’s 91st commencement. His parents spoke to a Connecticut Post reporter about traveling to Germany the next week to see another son graduate. As Shahzad passed through the receiving line for his bachelor of arts diploma in computer science, his father excitedly told the reporter, "that’s him."

Still Shahzad caught no one’s attention at UB.

William Greenspan, who served as Shahzad’s academic adviser at the school, remembers him "as rather unremarkable … he didn’t do anything to stand out."

Greenspan never noticed Shahzad standing among or conversing with the other students who regularly congregate in Mandeville Hall.

"He would come once a term to register for classes and then go on his way," the professor said. "Always very polite but a very forgettable character until today."

In April 2002, ICE granted another three-year visa to Shahzad allowing him to begin graduate studies at UB as well as work in the area.

Still professors noticed no change in Shahzad’s personality or academics.

"He didn’t impress me as being overly good or overly bad," said Ward Thrasher, UB’s assistant dean at the school of business where he is the director of the MBA program. "He didn’t stand out one way or the other."

In many ways he sounds like our young President. Except that he had some skills and eventually, a job.

While working on his master’s, Shahzad entered the corporate world beginning as an accountant at Elizabeth Arden, 200 First Stamford Place, Stamford. A spokesman for the beauty supply company said he worked there until June 15, 2006, when he resigned to take a position elsewhere.

From Arden, Shahzad went to Affinion Group, at 100 Connecticut Ave. in Norwalk, where he worked as a financial analyst. The global company provides marketing solutions as well as identity theft and data breach resolutions for its clients.

What an interesting company for him to choose. A company that guards against ‘identity theft.’

[T]heco-worker who sat next to him said Shahzad left abruptly last summer. That came just weeks after the ICE granted Shahzad’s U.S. citizenship during an April 17, 2009, ceremony at the federal courthouse in Bridgeport.

Two months later, Shahzad was gone.

"He just left. He supposedly had some family hospitalization issues. Overseas. He didn’t even quit, he just sort of left and didn’t return."

American dream begins to fade

Until then, Shahzad had been living the good life in America.

He bought a condominium in Norwalk. Then the home in Shelton.

The broker who sold Shahzad the first and then tried to help him sell the second was shocked when he saw the alleged terrorist’s picture in the news.

"If you met him, you’d remember nothing about him," said the broker when contacted at her Trumbull office. "He just blended with everybody."

But another real estate broker, Igo Djuric, who showed Shahzad the Shelton home, remembers one thing that stood out.

Djuric said in an interview with The Wall Street Journal that Shahzad was openly critical of President George W. Bush and the Iraqi war.

"I didn’t take it for anything since a lot of people didn’t like Bush," the broker said, "but he was a little bit strong about expressing it."

In July 2004, Shahzad moved into the Shelton home.

Four years later, he married Huma Asif Mian, a Colorado woman.

"They always kept to the themselves," said Devon Reid, a teenage next-door neighbor.

Reid could not recall Shahzad discussing politics or religion. He would see Shahzad sitting on the front steps playing with his 3-year-old daughter.

Often the only visitors were family members.

In February 2009, Shahzad obtained a $65,000 equity loan.

Monahan suggests perhaps Shahzad needed the extra money to pay off a lifestyle he could not otherwise support.

By June, Shahzad stopped paying the mortgage and other bills. He began selling off the furnishings. He packed his family and left behind a second floor filled with toys, clothing and DVDs.

According to reports from his Shelton neighbors, it was his wife who was left to close the house and sell their things.

"Maybe he was starting to see the hopes of living the good life in America die and he began feeling like a failure," said Monahan. "Maybe he wanted the satisfaction of going out with a bang."

In October, Chase Home Finance LLC filed a foreclosure proceeding against the house in Milford Superior Court. A hearing is scheduled for Monday.

Abroad and back to Bridgeport

Documents obtained by federal investigators indicate Shahzad left the U.S. on June 2, 2009, for Dubai and then traveled to his homeland of Pakistan

Despite his eight months away, once again Shahzad was allowed entry into the U.S.

But this time on a one-way ticket on Feb. 3, 2010.

Shahzad told immigration officials he has been in Pakistan visiting his parents for the past five months. He indicated that he would be living in a motel in Connecticut while he looked for a job and a permanent place to live

You see? Mr. Shahzad was just another hard working immigrant wanting to live the American Dream.

This article was posted by Steve on Wednesday, May 5th, 2010. Comments are currently closed.

6 Responses to “Faisal Shahzad Didn’t Like George Bush”

  1. AcornsRNutz says:

    If a conservative did it, its becasue he hates obama and America. If a lib or muslim does it, its becasue bush made him so mad he had no choice. Either way, its bushs fault.

    And I wonder if the only reason he was stopped is the commies in this country didn’t want mayday to be taken from them andd replaced as an annversary of an huge disaster. This article is the first time I have heard a media outlet in this country confess what mayday really means

  2. proreason says:

    At last, the article has the answer to the mystery that has been perplexing the world. No, it’s not his opposition to Health Care or his hatred of Bushhitler. And it’s not even the illegal confiscation of his hard-earned home by predatory lenders.

    He was the “runt of the litter”.

    Insights like that are why you will never be “a clinical psychologist and associate professor of criminal justice at the University of New Haven.”

    Racists like you just can’t see the big picture.

  3. Mithrandir says:

    Where is Bill Clinton, to wag his tainted cigar in the face of everyone else about political demonization?

    Wasn’t it the left, for 8 years, that drummed up hatred of Bush? See what happens!?

    Look what the left wing did, LOOK AT IT!

  4. Rusty Shackleford says:

    This is why I love S & L and AT and listening to Rush and getting reports from Hannity, etc. Indeed, when you think about it, it’s not hard to put the pieces together even with all the bad reporting out there. Such sites as this provide the necessary clarity that the Lame Stream Media fails to give us repeatedly due to their misguided agenda of not offending anyone, as if that would change the radical terrorists agenda on the face of it.

    No, here at S & L, and other sites, the logical tendency is to call a spade a spade; A duck a duck if all the waterfowl characteristics are met and a terrorist a terrorist.

    So if this clown was successful, what then? Would he have come out of the woodwork and proclaim his monumental victory for jeeee-haaad? Hoping to get some recognition amongst his smelly friends? Back in dirt-ville, was he a more prominent figure than as an analyst in the heart of New England and he felt his life in the USA wasn’t affording him the royal treatment he felt he was entitled to? Or was it nothing more than after a few years of marriage and being the “typical suburban male” that he became disillusioned with mowing the grass on Saturday, Soccer games with the kids, barbecues in the afternoon and the PTA?

    Who knows? Who cares? Analysis not required. He tried to set off a BOMB in NYC.

    Shoot, even Holder is quoted as calling this loser a terrorist. How about that? The guy who wants to mirandize battlefield captors in Afghanistan. Hm. Has he been watching Beck too much? I wonder.

    The left seriously does need to wake up and realize that any muslim in this country at any time could just decide to have themselves a party and accumulate enough explosives or fabricate a bomb for whatever reason and express their anger in that way.

    See, by and large, Americans while frustrated will still adhere to some rule of common decency while a person from the middle east will more likely express their frustration violently. All you have to do it see how it is over there versus how it normally is over here.

    They go for a big finish.

    And the one thing that angers me the most is how our vaunted media really wanted it to be a right-wing conservative tea-party member. I could not imagine the fervor if that was the case but note how sublime they have gone now after rattling the mere possibility of it being a conservative and bringing that pitch to rattle the rafters.

    They are complicit in destroying this nation and I’ve done all I can do by not listening to them on the radio and/or TV and not buying their butt-wipe off the rack at the “news-stand”.

    And finally, how is it that the “journalists” have come to the collective belief that everything the US does is bad? (I know the answer but it’s just a bloody damn shame that somehow being proud to be an American is some sort of sin against nature)

    Incidentally, this piece on American Thinker is flatly clear: http://www.americanthinker.com/2010/05/in_england_a_victory_for_freed.html

    And also this: http://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2010/05/a_pakistaniamerican_on_the_tim.html

  5. ThreeBus says:

    I’m sick of Bush being every spoiled brats punching bag.
    He was a good president and thats that.

    • canary says:

      Shahzad can’t blame Bush for droning Pakistan. We already knew Osama Bin Laden was simply passing back & forth across the border, but the minute Obama took office, he started bombing the border into Pakistan, and that’s when John Kerry went over and sealed the money deal to compensate and make Pakistan happy. Pakistan is doing their own droning and taking credit for everything anyways, Not to long ago, Bush’s old advisers & McCain said Obama was making a mistake in droning Pakistan, but Obama wants that feather in his cap.
      All, I know is that we get to blame everything on Obama now.
      My son’s history teacher actually is teaching how Obama has put us into a recession, and all sorts of things Obama is doing wrong. I think people are starting to see things, but Obama is like Michael Jackson or a celebrity that has so many yes people around him, that he does what he wants, and gets what he wants. It’s just sickening that the liberals support him, no matter what he does.

« Front Page | To Top
« | »