Times Square Suspect Faisal Shahzad Appears in Court

Charged with five terror-related counts, Shahzad is assigned a public defender.

May 18, 2010 — -- Times Square bombing suspect Faisal Shahzad appeared in a Manhattan federal courtroom Tuesday afternoon to hear the charges against him and to be assigned a public defender in an arraignment that lasted less than 10 minutes.

Federal marshals loomed over the 30-year-old Pakistani-American as he sat in a gray shirt and pants and stared at Judge James C. Francis IV.

Shahzad uttered a faint "yes" when the judge asked if his affidavit of financial insufficiency was correct, meaning that Shahzad could not afford private counsel. Judge Francis then appointed public defender Julia Gatto to represent him. Shahzad's only request of the judge was that he be provided with halal meals – food that follows Islamic dietary restrictions.

When the five felony counts against him were read, Shahzad did not enter a formal plea. He is charged with attempted use of a weapon of mass destruction, using a destructive device, attempted terrorism, transporting explosives and attempting to destroy property with explosives.

Shahzad, who was led out of the fifth-floor courtroom in handcuffs, is now in the custody of the federal Bureau of Prisons. His next court appearance is set for June 1.

Until now, Shahzad had been in the custody of law enforcement since his arrest May 3rd. During that time prosecutors said Shahzad "provided valuable intelligence from which further investigative action has been taken." According to officials, he has been talking with federal agents almost since the moment of his arrest.

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Authorities tell ABC News Shahzad has provided a variety of motives for his mission -- that he was angry over friends killed in Pakistan by CIA missile strikes, that his personal life was in crisis -- even making a claim, according to one source, that he acted under duress-and agreed to carry out the attack only because he feared harm would come to his family back in Pakistan if he did not.

Authorities are skeptical of that, but also point out that he did not plan to take his own life, he ran away from the scene, and he made a series of bumbling errors that prevented the bomb from going off and allowed authorities to track him down.

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