Tuesday, May 4, 2010

FP morning brief 5/4

Suspect arrested for Times Square bombing attempt

Top news: Faisal Shahzad, a 30-year-old U.S. citizen from Pakistan, was arrested on Monday night in connection with the failed bombing attempt in New York's Times Square on Saturday. Shahzad, who had recently bought the SUV that was found filled with gasoline and fertilizer, was apprehended on board a plane about to leave for Dubai from Kennedy airport.

The investigation of the incident has now been transferred to the international terrorism branch of the Joint Terrorism Task Force to look into whether any international terrorist organization was involved. The Connecticut resident who was married with two children, had recently returned from a trip home to Pakistan.

While the Pakistani Taliban appeared to take responsibility for the attempted bombing over the weekend, authorities are not ready to say whether Shahzad was connected with any terrorist group or acted alone. Pakistan's Interior Minister Rehman Malik says his government has not yet been asked to cooperate in the investigation but is willing to help.

Attorney General Eric Holder did say, "It’s clear that the intent behind this terrorist act was to kill Americans.”

Nukes: The United States announced the size of its nuclear arsenal at the U.N. yesterday: 5,113 warheads.

  • Thailand's red-shirt protesters say they have accepted Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva's offer to hold new elections on Nov. 14, potentially bringing their months long standoff with the government to an end.
  • Japanese Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama says at least some of a controversial U.S. marine base will probably remain on the island of Okinawa, despite previous pledges to move the whole thing.
  • North Korean leader Kim Jong Il reportedly toured an industrial zone and met with Chinese leaders on his low-profile visit to China.
Middle East
  • Protesters hung banners on the Acropolis to protests the Greek government's new austerity measures.
  • Ireland's airspace has reopened after a six-hour shutdown caused by volcanic ash from Iceland.
  • Spain has taken in a second former inmate from Guantanamo Bay.
  • California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger has dropped his support for offshore drilling in response to the Gulf of Mexico oil spill.
  • Cuban President Raul Castro fired his transportation and sugar ministers in the country's latest political shakeup.
  • Argentina has charged its former dictator with an additional 49 murders.
  • Darfur's largest rebel group has broken off peace talks with the Sudanese government.
  • The Somali Islamist militants to seized the pirate stronghold of Haradhere over the weekend say they will put an end to the practice.
  • The ice cap on Uganda's highest peak has split due to global warming.
-By Joshua Keating
foreignpolicy.com/r/2668GR0/I94X/7X8G/UYOS/IYICF/QR/h" style="margin-bottom: 10px" frontuid="47369" >

Yana Paskova/Getty Images

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