« | »

Shocker: Shahzad Had A ‘Zeal For Islam’

From the Sherlock Holmesian New York Times:

Pakistani villagers walk past a locked house, owned by the family of New York City’s Times Square bombing suspect Faisal Shahzad, in his native village of Mohib Banda, about 25 kilometers (15 miles) from Peshawar, Pakistan on Wednesday, May 5, 2010.

Money Woes, Long Silences and a Zeal for Islam


[Reporting for articles on the Times Square bomb case was contributed by Peter Baker, Anne Barnard, Nina Bernstein, Alison Leigh Cowan, Adam B. Ellick, Andrea Elliott, Dan Frosch, Kirk Johnson, Mark Landler, Mike McIntire, Sharon Otterman, Ray Rivera, David E. Sanger, Michael S. Schmidt, Daniel E. Slotnik, Adam Ellick and Karen Zraick. – 19 reporters, in all.]

May 5, 2010

Theirs was an arranged marriage: two well-educated children of prominent Pakistani families set up through a mutual friend. He was the quiet one; she was the one who laughed at parties.

At their wedding in Peshawar six years ago, men and women danced separately but also together, “a rarity at that time,” recalled one guest. “It was such a huge gathering that even their family friends from Qatar came.” …

People who knew them, both in Connecticut and in Pakistan, said he had changed in the past year or so, becoming more reserved and more religious as he faced what someone who knows the family well called “their financial troubles.”

Last year, one Pakistani friend said, he even asked his father, Bahar ul-Haq, a retired high-ranking air force pilot in Pakistan, for permission to fight in Afghanistan.

Mr. Haq, now in his 70s, adamantly refused, according to a person familiar with the conversation, saying that he disapproved of the mission and reminding his son that Islam does not permit a man to abandon his wife or children.

This is actually untrue, since jihad is the most important act a Muslim can perform — even more important than doing Hajj. If one is doing jihad, everything is allowed.

As a newlywed, the wedding guest said of Mr. Shahzad by e-mail from Pakistan, “there was no sign of him being extremist or, for that matter, he wasn’t a bit religious.” But in the past couple of years, after changing jobs and fathering two children, Mr. Shahzad “started talking more of Islam.” The guest spoke on the condition he not be identified because of concerns about his safety in the wake of the attempted car bombing.

“The recession had taken a toll on them, I guess,” he wrote in an e-mail message from Pakistan. He said that their money worries became apparent in 2008 or 2009 and that Mr. Shahzad “lost his way during the financial problems.” JPMorgan Chase has since moved to foreclose on the Shelton house, which the couple had abandoned in a hurry, leaving behind clothes and toys.

How come it is never mentioned that the Shahzads skipped out on their mortgage and fled to another country? Instead, we are are made to feel sorry for them for the bank foreclosing on their house.

After all, Mr. Shahzad didn’t lose his job or fall behind on his mortgage payments for any particular reason — except that he was probably planning to move to Pakistan to begin his jihad. He quit his job, he wasn’t fired or laid off. 

Indeed, the records show that the Shahzads had tried ‘to flip’ the house for a lot more money than it had originally cost them. And then, when the market went down, they simply tried to sell it for what it had cost them. And when that didn’t work, they simply skipped out — leaving the house a total mess.

So where’s the sympathy for the Chase Manhattan Bank, who are now out more than $200,000 forgiving of bad mortgage to a man with dual citizenship and who knows how many passports? A mortgage they were probably forced to give by the government.

Mr. Shahzad, now 30, appeared to be tracing a familiar arc of frustration, increasing religiosity and, finally, violence

All of a sudden it’s a "familiar arc"? Exactly what did Mr. Shahzad have to be frustrated about?

Huma Mian married Mr. Shahzad soon after earning an accounting degree in 2004, and moved to Connecticut, where he was pursuing an M.B.A. at the University of Bridgeport and, on an H-1B visa for highly skilled workers, was working as an operation analyst at Elizabeth Arden, managing and analyzing accounts receivable, according to a résumé obtained by MSNBC.

“I was always surprised, with her having to buy milk for the baby and everything else, how they afforded this on one income,” recalled Brenda J. Thurman, a neighbor in Shelton

From their shopping habits and numerous trips back to Pakistan, it would appear that they never really suffered from lack of money.

Ms. Thurman said that Ms. Mian left for a couple of months in late 2008 or early 2009, and that Mr. Shahzad told her she was going to Pakistan to have their second child. Within a few months of her return, they packed up and left again last summer

How, why or where Mr. Shahzad became radicalized remains unclear. Dr. Saud Anwar, the founder of a Pakistani-American association in Connecticut, said… he had been in touch with a university classmate of Mr. Shahzad’s, a man of Pakistani descent who told Dr. Anwar he did not want to be interviewed by reporters. The classmate said he had remained friends with the couple and had noticed something different about Mr. Shahzad about a year ago.

“His personality had changed — he had become more introverted,” Dr. Anwar said the classmate told him. “He had a stronger religious identity, where he felt more strongly and more opinionated about things.”

Mr. Ahmad, the friend from Mohib Banda, speculated that the transformation was rooted in Karachi. An associate of Mr. Shahzad’s was arrested in a mosque believed to have ties with a militant group in Karachi early Tuesday, Pakistani intelligence officials said.

“The question is who has put Faisal in this path?” Mr. Ahmad asked. “The Faisal with the beard that you see, he was not the old Faisal. He was like you, like me, handsome, liberal and an active person.”

According to Pakistan’s information minister, Mr. Shahzad traveled to Pakistan 13 times in the past seven years

Another family friend in Pakistan, Kifayat Ali, called Mr. Shahzad “emotional” and said that he used to carry a dagger around with him as a boy. He speculated that Mr. Shahzad had become enraged by the United States’ military actions, fueled by the Pakistani press blaring conspiracy theories and anti-American vitriol

To their credit, the New York Times are the first in our watchdog news media to mention that Mr. Shahzad may have been motivated by his “zeal for Islam.”

Of course it is preposterous that it took them so long to come to the obvious conclusion.

This article was posted by Steve on Thursday, May 6th, 2010. Comments are currently closed.

3 Responses to “Shocker: Shahzad Had A ‘Zeal For Islam’”

  1. proreason says:

    “Kifayat Ali, called Mr. Shahzad “emotional” and said that he used to carry a dagger around with him as a boy”

    now we know what happened to Rage Boy.

    Of course, there are about 100 million others who are just as mad that the western world is so much more successful than the Muslim world. It must be just dumb luck. There can be no other explanation since God is on the side of the Muslims.

  2. GetBackJack says:

    Wait wait wait … who says Shahzad has got a hard on for Islam? The New York Times? The Obama Administration? An anonymous Facebook account?


    He likely does. But …

    But the NYT, the alphabet agencies and the AP are state run media, and should not be believed under any circumstances.

  3. Right of the People says:

    “The Faisal with the beard that you see, he was not the old Faisal. He was like you, like me, handsome, liberal and an active person.”

    There’s the answer right there in that sentence, he was a LIBERAL. That says it all.

    What do you want to bet their credit cards were maxed out by Jihad Barbie? That’s what made ol’ Faisal go postal, the evil Great Satan made him go into hock and that is against the teachings in the Koran, praise Allah.

« Front Page | To Top
« | »