Published: May 04, 2010 11:09 AM EDT

NEW YORK (AP) - A U.S. citizen from Pakistan accused of driving

a bomb-laden SUV into Times Square and parking it on a street lined

with restaurants and Broadway theaters was to appear in court

Tuesday to face charges for his failed attempt to set off a massive

fireball and kill Americans, federal authorities said.

The suspect, Faisal Shahzad, was taken into custody late Monday

by FBI agents and New York Police Department detectives while

trying to leave the country, according to U.S. Attorney General

Eric Holder and other officials. He was identified by customs

agents at John F. Kennedy International Airport and was stopped

before boarding a flight to Dubai, Holder said early Tuesday in

Washington, D.C.

Shahzad is a naturalized U.S. citizen and had recently returned

from a five-month trip to Pakistan, where he had a wife, according

to law enforcement officials who spoke to The Associated Press on

condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the

investigation into the failed car bombing.

Shahzad was being held in New York overnight and couldn't be

contacted. A phone number at a listed address for Shahzad in

Shelton, Conn., wasn't in service.

The U.S. attorney's office in Manhattan was handling the case

and said Shahzad would appear in court Tuesday, but the charges

were not made public. FBI agents searched the home at a known

address for Shahzad in Bridgeport, Conn., early Tuesday, said

Kimberly Mertz, the special agent in charge for the FBI in

Connecticut. She wouldn't answer questions about the search.

Law enforcement officials say Shahzad bought the SUV, a 1993

Nissan Pathfinder, from a Connecticut man about three weeks ago and

paid cash. The officials spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity

because of the sensitive nature of the case.

The vehicle identification number had been removed from the

Pathfinder's dashboard, but it was stamped on the engine, and

investigators used it to find the owner of record, who told them he

had sold the vehicle to a stranger.

As the SUV buyer came into focus, investigators backed off other

leads, although Holder said U.S. authorities "will not rest until

we have brought everyone responsible to justice," suggesting

additional suspects are being sought.

The SUV was parked on Saturday night on a busy midtown Manhattan

street near a theater showing "The Lion King." The explosive

device inside it had cheap-looking alarm clocks connected to a

16-ounce can filled with fireworks, which were apparently intended

to detonate gas cans and set propane tanks afire in a chain

reaction "to cause mayhem, to create casualties," police

Commissioner Raymond Kelly said.

A metal rifle cabinet placed in the SUV's cargo area was packed

with fertilizer, but NYPD bomb experts believe it was not a type

volatile enough to explode like the ammonium nitrate grade

fertilizer used in previous terrorist bombings.

Police said the SUV bomb could have produced "a significant

fireball" and sprayed shrapnel with enough force to kill

pedestrians and knock out windows.

A vendor alerted a police officer to the parked SUV, which was

smoking. Times Square, clogged with tourists on a warm evening, was

shut down for 10 hours. A bomb squad dismantled the explosive

device, and no one was hurt.

But Holder said Americans should remain vigilant.

"It's clear," he said, "that the intent behind this terrorist

act was to kill Americans."

The Pakistani Taliban appeared to claim responsibility in videos

that surfaced after the weekend scare, monitoring groups said, but

police had no evidence to support the claims.

The SUV was parked near offices of Viacom Inc., which owns

Comedy Central. The network recently aired an episode of the

animated show "South Park" that the group Revolution Muslim had

complained insulted the Prophet Muhammad by depicting him in a bear


The date of the botched bombing, May 1, was International

Workers Day, a traditional date for political demonstrations, and

thousands of people had rallied for immigration reform that day in

New York.