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Times Square Suspect's World 'Flipped Upside Down' Last Summer

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Times Square Suspect's World 'Flipped Upside Down' Last Summer

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Times Square Suspect's World 'Flipped Upside Down' Last Summer

Shahzad's home in Shelton, Conn., was foreclosed on. (Daniel Barry/Getty Images) hide caption

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Shahzad's home in Shelton, Conn., was foreclosed on. (Daniel Barry/Getty Images)

Sometime last summer, NPR's Robert Smith reports, Faisal Shahzad's life took a dramatic turn. He went from "newly minted U.S. citizen" with a seemingly perfect American-style life, to a man with a foreclosed home who took his family to Pakistan and abandoned them there. Just why his life came apart isn't clear just yet. But it looks like he'd lost his job and was having serious financial problems.

On Morning Edition, Robert looked into the life of the man arrested in connection with Saturday's attempt to set off a car bomb in New York City's Times Square. As you'll hear, Robert found that Shahzad seems to fit a pattern of terrorism suspects who become radicalized after a trip to their homelands. Shahzad, 30, was born in Pakistan:

Times Square Suspect's World 'Flipped Upside Down' Last Summer

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Also on Morning Edition, NPR's Dina Temple-Raston told host Renee Montagne that until this weekend, Shahzad had not raised any "red flags" with authorities. And, Dina says, he left behind a long trail of clues. Still, investigators did briefly lose track of him on Monday before apprehending Shahzad as the Dubai-bound plane he was on at New York's JFK Airport was preparing to take off:

Times Square Suspect's World 'Flipped Upside Down' Last Summer

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Other stories of note this morning about the attempted bombing and Shahzad include:

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The New York Times — "Lapses Allowed Suspect To Board Plane": "Though Mr. Shahzad was stopped before he could fly away, there were at least two significant lapses in the security response of the government and the airline that allowed him to come close to making his escape, officials of the Department of Homeland Security, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and other agencies said on Tuesday. First, an F.B.I. surveillance team that had found Mr. Shahzad in Connecticut lost track of him. ... In addition, the airline he was flying, Emirates, failed to act on an electronic message at midday on Monday notifying all carriers to check the no-fly list for an important added name, the officials said."

From a related story by The Washington Post "At 10:40 p.m. (Monday), 20 minutes before takeoff, the airline sent a 'last look' passenger manifest to Customs and Border Protection, and the suspect hit 'as a possible match,' an official said. Agents reached the plane just after the door had been closed."

The Wall Street Journal — Manhattan Businesses Step Up Security: "As law-enforcement officials look ahead to further securing New York City in the days to come, the thwarting of the latest terrorist plot appears to rest on a combination of good police work and good fortune. Some Midtown companies and city landmarks, though, are not taking their chances. They have begun stepping up private security. Colliers International, a real-estate company that manages about 100 buildings in New York City, has ordered security guards at its high-profile buildings to conduct hourly tours of building perimeters to watch for unattended packages and commercial vehicles parked on sidewalks."

Hartford Courant — Shahzad "Blended In": "For almost a decade, Faisal Shahzad's life in Connecticut was mundane. He earned a business degree from the University of Bridgeport, started a family and bought a three-bedroom home in the suburbs."

— CBS News — No Signs Yet Of Wider Plot: "Sources tell CBS News there is no evidence Shahzad was part of a broader plot. But investigators are very interested in Shahzad's recent stay in Pakistan — he was there for several months — and the FBI wants to find out who else he had contact with, reports CBS News Justice correspondent Bob Orr."