The Pakistani-born U.S. citizen who tried to set off a car bomb in Times Square was sentenced on Tuesday to life in prison, with no chance of parole. Faisal Shahzad, a 31-year-old former budget analyst from Bridgeport, Conn., pleaded guilty in June to the failed May 1st bombing in Midtown Manhattan. Today he told U.S. District Judge Miriam Cedarbaum that a defeat of the United States is "imminent," Newsday reports (paywall). "Brace yourselves, the war with Muslims has just begun," he added portentously.
Shahzad pleaded guilty to 10 charges, including attempted use of a weapon of mass destruction and attempted terrorism transcending national borders. While pleading guilty, he took the opportunity to explain his motives, saying he wanted to kill Americans because of civilian casualties among Muslims in Afghanistan and Iraq. Judge Cedarbaum asked Shahzad why tourists in Times Square should pay the price for military casualties caused by the U.S. in other places, Shahzad said he "didn't distinguish between a government and its people." Cedarbaum replied, "Including the children?"
Shahzad, who received bomb-making training from the Pakistani Taliban, says he thought his bomb would kill at least 40 people, Reuters reports. But the FBI recently disclosed that had he assembled the bomb correctly, it "would have killed thousands of people." The Wall Street Journal reports that after his sentencing, Shahzad said his sentence "will only be for the limit God has for me in this world. I'm happy with the deal that God has given me."