Shahzad: American dream or nightmare bomber? By Jerry Mazza

By Jerry Mazza
Featured Writer
Dandelion Salad
crossposted at Online Journal
May 14, 2010

Here he is, Faisal Shahzad, in Time Magazine’s 11-photo essay. Actually, his smiling face bookends the essay, photo seven being him with his lovely wife and infant, the rest: shots of the Pathfinder being taken away, a schematic of its interior bomb, an alarm clock used in it, his pristine all-American house, the cops examining the back porch, examining non-explosive fertilizer and fireworks in his garage, a close-up of the Pennsylvania fireworks purportedly purchased on a new cell-phone. You could say it’s a portrait of an American dream turned nightmare.

The thing is here’s a guy who came here at age 18 on a student visa in 1998 (pre-War on Terror) and got a computer science degree in the University of Bridgeport in Connecticut, followed by an M.B.A, which got him a job with a financial company in nearby Stamford. Not exactly Osama bin Forgotten. By 2009, Shahzad became an American citizen like his wife. He bought their one family dream-house in April in the “picture book” American suburb of Shelton, replete with picket fences, front porch colonials, kids scuttling to school buses and “golden retrievers” posing on well-trimmed front yards. Shahzad’s smiling wife wore “traditional clothes.”

Furthermore, his family background in Pashto, Pakistan, is elite. He speaks Pashto, a rare asset, and his father is a retired senior air force officer Baharu ul-Haq, a connection to spare Shahzad hassles from local law-enforcement. As Time Magazine (5/17/10) reports, “If you are traveling in Waziristan, and you are stopped, the fact that you are an air-force vice marshal’s son can offer you protection.” I mean, he’s got it all, here and in Pakistan at the family house, till June 2009. Then he quits his job, the Shelton house goes into foreclosure and debts hit the fan.

The couple now with two children, move to Sheridan Street in Bridgeport, a neighborhood surrounded by factories, “working class and working poor people,” and sagging homes with metal fences, graffiti, people who “keep to themselves,” probably not to get mugged.

Later that summer, Shahzad goes home to Pakistan with wife and kids. There, the US government claims, he joins a military training camp, yet I don’t see a picture of him in any military gear, glaring as he holds up a Kalashnikov. His family stays in Pakistan as he flies stateside in February. His one-way ticket record will provide the one way American officials became “suspicious” of Shahzad’s actions. He was yanked aside at the airport for a second screening and answered questions about where he was when abroad. Still, he’s allowed to re-enter the US as the drones begin falling big-time in Pakistan, taking a far larger number of innocent than Taliban or Al Qaeda Pakistani lives.

So, did it all turn him, like Army Major Nidal Malik Hasan in Fort Hood, Texas, (whatever happened to him?) and shoe, underwear, or subway bombers. Or was he hand-picked as a patsy, and brought along as one more straw-man to drop on the fires of war at home and abroad. And was his mission to fail but frighten, a new scenario that spares the blowback of blood, with a proviso to escape, and then stopped at the last minute? Or had his days in the American dream turned into the final nightmare, imprisonment, a call for denial of any of his civil rights, a reclassification from American citizen to enemy combatant by Department of Justice Chief, Eric Holder, and a title of “Broadway Bomber” from Time. And whatever happened to “the person of interest” white guy on the famous YouTube clip who took off his black shirt, revealing his red one beneath, as he paused for a few seconds before the humming, illegally parked, soon-to-be-smoking Pathfinder, then vanished? And lastly, whatever happened to the truth?

Once again, regrettably, only the shadow government knows, like Michael Chertoff, former head of Homeland Security, consultant-peddler of airport scanning machines, who said on MSNBC, “Unfortunately this is the kind of perfect mole for the terrorists. And this why they’re recruiting people who . . . have clean records, are American citizens, have lived in America, because they want to take advantage of that cleanliness as a way of evading our defenses.”

You mean guys like yourself, Mike, in charge of the Criminal Division in the Justice Department on 9/11, essentially responsible for the 9/11 NON-investigation. You let hundreds of “Israeli” spies who were arrested prior to and on 9/11 go back home to Israel. You were also a judge in the prosecutions of suspects in the first terrorist attack on the WTC in 1993. You purportedly hold dual citizenship with the US and Israel. Your family is one of the founding families of the state of “Israel” and your mother was one of the first ever agents of the Mossad, Israel’s spy agency. Your father and uncle are ordained rabbis and teachers of the Talmud. Were and are you really the man to be protecting us from our enemies, whoever they may be?

Jerry Mazza is a freelance writer, life-long resident of New York City. His book “State Of Shock – Poems from 9/11 on” is available at, and

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