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CNN NEWSROOM

Mayor Bloomberg Addresses Media; Arrest Made in Time Square Bombing Attempt

Aired May 4, 2010 - 10:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


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BROOKE BALDWIN, CNN ANCHOR: Top stories now.

A 30-year-old naturalized American citizen of Pakistani descent was arrested overnight in connection with the failed car bombing of New York's Times Square just over this weekend. Police say they arrested Faisal Shahzad late last night at New York's JFK Airport as the suspect boarded a plane bound for Dubai. We will have more on the breaking story. A couple of different correspondents covering that for us in just a moment here.

Meantime there was seemingly more talk than action as an undetermined amount of petroleum continues to ooze from this ruptured well and is some 50 miles off the Louisiana shoreline. Today, a trio of U.S. senators will meet with environmentalist groups as representatives from BP and Transocean hold a closed-door meeting with House Energy committee members. BP does not believe it can effect repairs until next week.

And today Treasury secretary Tim Geithner getting ready to unveil a new tax for Wall Street. As the Obama administration tries to recoup billions and billions of taxpayer dollars to help keep the nation's financial firms afloat during the 2008 economic crash.

Back to our top story here. Less than 48 hours after that car bomb was discovered on a crowded Times Square right around 6:30 Saturday evening. Investigators now have made an arrest in the failed attack. Take a good look at this man. This is 30-year-old Faisal Shahzad, a naturalized U.S. citizen who was born in Pakistan.

Here's what we know. He was taken into custody last night at New York's JFK airport. He was on a plane headed to Pakistan via Dubai. Law enforcement official tells CNN Shahzad had told investigators in the overnight hours of all of the questioning, he says he acted alone. He's also believed to be the person who drove that Nissan Pathfinder full of those explosives into Times Square.

Our crews, of course, have been working through the night to dig up some new information to bring it to you this morning and one of those correspondents is CNN's Jason Carroll. He is outside the federal courthouse in New York where the suspect, Jason, I know is due in court at some point this afternoon, but if we can, Jason, let's just start with the basics here. I mean, a huge break in this case, I imagine is the VIN number on that SUV.

JASON CARROLL, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Without question. I mean, this vehicle really aided investigators in terms of linking this crime with this particular suspect, and we do have an update for you, Brooke, in terms of when we're expected to see this man here at federal court. We are hearing now that his initial court appearance will take place sometime around 2:00.

He's expected to appear in front of U.S. district court Judge Kevin Fox during this initial appearance. Some of the charges will be read and the judge will determine what bail, if any, will be set in this particular case. There have been a lot of questions, you can imagine, Brooke, even early this morning about what type of charges that Shahzad might be looking at and quite frankly, there are a host of charges that he could ultimately be looking at.

Charges such as attempted use of a weapon of mass destruction, attempted murder, possession of an explosive device, another possible charge, interstate transportation of an explosive device. So these are some of the charges that prosecutors will be looking at. It will obviously all depend upon what type of case they're able to build against Shahzad.

Investigators have been questioning him this morning. We are hearing that they questioned him for several hours this morning at JFK. Investigators from the Joint Terrorism Task Force trying to determine if this was a man who acted alone or if he had some help. Again, later today at around 2:00, we're expecting that initial court appearance with Shahzad here at the federal courthouse. Brooke?

BALDWIN: Jason Carroll, as soon as we see those pictures of Faisal Shahzad, I'm sure we'll take them live here on CNN. Good update from you. Thank you.

And also now for people who are just kind of learning about this story, learning about this arrest, we want to give you just a brief timeline, if we can, of the events and how they really unfolded. It really all started 6:30 Saturday night. Times Square, this t-shirt vendor alerted police to a suspicious SUV.

The engine was running. The lights were on and said he saw some smoke. Times Square cleared out over the course of the following few hours. Now fast forward, 2:00 in the morning, Sunday, New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced that there was a homemade bomb in that SUV.

7:00 a.m., Sunday, Times Square, totally reopened. 3:00 p.m. Sunday police obtained a piece of surveillance video showing a possible suspect in the case. Monday morning, police talked to a man who told the police he sold the SUV on Craigslist for cash. We're hearing $1,800 in cash. It was through him that investigators tracked down their suspect and at 11:45 last night Faisal Shahzad was arrested at JFK International Airport in New York.

He was planning to fly to Dubai and from what we understand continue on to Islamabad, Pakistan. Now, President Obama will be speaking publicly about the case in just about an hour from now. You'll be hearing those comments, of course, live and we'll bring them to you here from CNN. His attorney general has already said a couple of things and I want to go to CNN's White House correspondent Dan Lothian for just a better sense of when, Dan, the president was updated on this key arrest what some time after midnight? Is that what you're hearing?

DAN LOTHIAN, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: That's right. Just to kind of continue that timeline that you were just laying out there. The president was told at 12:05. He was notified by -

BALDWIN: Dan, Dan, forgive me for interrupting you. We'll go back to you in just a moment. We hear that New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg is about to speak. We'll close in.

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MAYOR MICHAEL BLOOMBERG, NEW YORK CITY: -- who was the head of the uniform - highest-ranking uniform officer in the fire department and when the engines show up he's the one that sends them. So be nice to him. We also have Saul -we have Steve Cassidy and Al Hagan from the UFA and the UFOA. So, welcome, guys. Good to see you back there.

Let me start with an update on last night's arrest. First, let me express my gratitude to the NYPD, the FBI, the U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents and all of the other local, state, city and federal authorities who played a role in identifying and apprehending Faisal Shahzad.

They have been on the job around the clock since Saturday night and the fact that they cracked the case so quickly, I think, is a testament to their professionalism and their patriotism and the fact that they worked so well together. But let me stress that this is an ongoing investigation. There is still plenty of work to do, but I have every confidence that the NYPD and the FBI will fully unravel this case and bring the guilty to justice.

There will be a briefing in Washington at 1:00 p.m. and Police Commissioner Kelly is on his way down there right now. So it would be a chance for you to ask questions there or have one of your representatives ask questions. This was an act that was designed to kill innocent civilians and strike fear into the hearts of Americans, and I'm happy to say that it failed on both counts.

We will not be intimidated by those who hate the freedoms that make the city and this country so great. The fact that so many people are out and about in Times Square today or just came from really shows that, and I want to make clear that we will not tolerate any bias or backlash against Pakistani or Muslim New Yorkers.

All of us live in this city, and among any group, there's always a few bad apples, but the people that live in the city are proud of the fact that this is the city that gives everybody from every place in the world an opportunity no matter what religion they practice, no matter where they or their parents came from. It's the city where you can practice your religion and say what you want to say and be in charge of your own destiny and we're going to keep it that way.

People from every corner of the world come and live here in the same buildings and the same neighborhoods and that's what makes this the greatest city on earth. We will continue to doing everything we possibly can to protect New Yorkers from terrorist attacks. We have, as you know, built the most comprehensive and sophisticated counter terrorism operation of any local police force in the world.

Every day 1,000 of our best officers are performing counter terrorism intelligence duties and the Lower Manhattan Security Initiative is the most advanced and comprehensive security effort any place in the world and we're working to bring those same tools to the protection of midtown, and I did want to thank Senator Schumer and Jill Brandt for pledging to seek federal funding for the Midtown Security Project and it's hard to imagine a better investment of Homeland Security dollars.

We have to take every precaution, as you know, because we remain a prime target for terrorists. That's something all New Yorkers understand and it's something that we need Washington to understand as well. We have a very strong partnership with the FBI through the Joint Terrorism Task Force, which for decades has been staffed jointly by the NYPD and the FBI.

Dozens of our officers are working on that task force. So many agencies work together to lead us to this day. The reason I came here was to personally thank the FDNY for the important role that they played. I came here today to meet the members of Engine Company 54, Ladder 4 and Battalion 9, and I would just like to point out near the front door, if you look on the walls you will see a lot of brass plaques.

This fire department has a custom that one year after somebody dies in the line of duty they put up a brass plaque in memory of that person, but mainly, I think, to tell the young recruits that come into these firehouses that somebody has paid a terrible price, but they are the role models for all of us. Those are people that put their lives in danger and unfortunately, didn't come out and there were 15 from this house who lost their lives on 9/11.

BALDWIN: All right. You've been listening to New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, really initially just expressing gratitude for local, state, federal authorities and responding to this so quickly. He is re-emphasizing the point that New York is very much still a prime terrorism target.

He also mentioned the act failed. The act failed and that New York will not be intimidated and that there will be a briefing in Washington. 1:00, he mentioned the Police Commissioner Kelly owe his way to D.C., I'm sure we'll take that live here on CNN and here what's going on there.

Also Dan Lothian a moment ago confirming we will be hearing from the President with some kind of public comment with regard to this arrest sometime around 11:00 a.m. Eastern. Meantime, let's go out to Bridgeport, Connecticut, and the working-class neighborhood where the suspect, Faisal Shahzad lived, last known address. CNN's Mary Snow, working that angle for us. And Mary, just bring us up to speed as to what exactly is happening there at that home. A whole lot of investigators have been there working all night long.

MARY SNOW, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Brooke, we just got a new look at that home. We were able to see the back of that house and it's a three-story home. The back landings, the view is obscured by blue tarp but clearly you can see federal investigators going in and out of that home. Neighbors say that police were here about 10:00 last night.

Some neighbors were evacuated and they were brought back. They say about 4:00 a.m., and that's when the FBI said that they had obtained a search warrant to go into that home and they deemed the neighborhood safe. I talked to one neighbor who directly lives behind that home who says she was unaware that anyone was living there, that she said she thought it was vacant.

Another neighbor said that he saw a man going in and out occasionally. They exchanged pleasantries, but didn't really know very much about exactly who lived there, and of course, as you can imagine investigators are still on the scene where being kept a bit away from that exact house. Brooke.

BALDWIN: So Mary, it sounds to me, interestingly, in talking to neighbors they don't know much about him. Perhaps he didn't really make his presence known much in that small, middle-class neighborhood. Any indication, are we hearing that he was married? Children? Where he worked?

SNOW: We did hear from a woman in Shelton, Connecticut, which is near Bridgeport who says that Faisal Shahzad lived with his wife and two children up until the time of July, and it was her belief that the home had gone into foreclosure. She said that the wife had sold even some items on Craigslist. She said she had a child who played with one of the children. She's not 100 percent sure where the rest of the family is right now.

BALDWIN: Mary Snow for us in Bridgeport, Connecticut. Mary, appreciate you.

We, of course, are staying on this story. We'll continue having our crews dig and dig for all of the latest information we can get for you. We'll bring in any breaking developments as soon as we have them. You are watching CNN NEWSROOM.

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BALDWIN: At this point in time, the Times Square car bomb investigation, there are still all kinds of questions that really far outweigh the answers and to help us sort through the questions and answers. We want to go to New York City's former Police Commissioner Bill Bratton, who's good enough to join me there, it looks like from New York.

If you can help us connect the dots here, Bill, and be sort of empathetic, I guess, to what's been going for NYPD, really for the last 48 hours here. My question to you initially, are you surprised at the speed at which the authorities found their man?

BILL BRATTON, FMR. L.A. POLICE CHIEF: No, not really. There was, fortunately, an awful lot of information to work with and the coordination efforts between local police and federal government agencies have increased significantly over the last several years. So good news, they were able to put it all together very quickly and also there's a treasure trove of evidence to work with as far as going forward.

BALDWIN: Certainly a treasure trove leaving a lot of evidence behind. He wasn't intending to. I want to read a couple of quotes and I was taking notes while I was listening to Mayor Michael Bloomberg. He said this, that "this particular act was designed to kill innocent civilians and strike fear in the hearts of many and that this act failed." I spoke with other special agents who said no, still this attack was successful. In your view, success or failure?

BRATTON: Success in the sense that it has once again generated interest in this topic and raised fear and awareness, but what I would like to point out is that this is now either the 11th or 12th terrorist attack that was targeting New York City since 9/11. When you add those numbers into other acts around the country, the Detroit plane bomber, it is quite clear that the tactics of the terrorists over the last year have changed.

The pace of activity is accelerating and rather than seemingly going for a repeat of the 9/11 catastrophe in terms of a huge event, Al Qaeda and its supporters and those that they inspire seem to now be focusing on these lone wolf types of incidents, that they will take what they can get.

Whether it's a car bomb in Times Square, a subway bombing, smaller incidents that keep alive the idea that we are under attack, and keeps Al Qaeda very much in the forefront of the news.

BALDWIN: So, Bill, you mentioned Al Qaeda. We still, and I want to be clear, we cannot link this individual to any terrorist organization just yet. We're digging and I'm sure investigators are looking into that as they comb through the evidence from this car, from this home in Bridgeport, Connecticut, but do you believe - and this is just pure speculation, but do you believe he was part of a greater network?

BRATTON: Relative to my belief at this time, I'd be willing to speculate that we will find that he is either inspired by, assisted by or directed by terrorism interests outside our country. In terms of it has all of those elements. What we are seeing is even though Al Qaeda, because of the organization of the entity, the United States has been very successful over the last several years, killing off a lot of the elitists as they emerge. They're still able to inspire through their web site access, through their various networks for people around the world. So whether or not this is an Al Qaeda-led, directed or inspired event, I think we will probably find that it does have that type of connectivity.

BALDWIN: He says he worked alone. I know investigators are trying to figure out if he's telling the truth. Bill Bratton, former New York Police commissioner, good of you to join me. Thank you.

BRATTON: Good to be with you.

BALDWIN: Thank you.

We are going to get a little bit, I'm hearing - we're getting more information now on the suspect and Jeanne Meserve is in Washington. She's been talking to her sources. And Jeanne, just fill me in. The floor is yours. What are you hearing?

JEANNE MESERVE, CNN HOMELAND SECURITY CORRESPONDENT: Sure, Brooke. You know, we've reported that this individual, Faisal Shahzad was taken into custody onboard an aircraft at JFK in New York, and there's been some question about whether that was intentional or not.

I had talked to a law enforcement earlier this morning who said it was not, that it was a near miss, but others have expressed the opinion that this might have been part of an intentional effort by law enforcement to monitor him and to see if he got on that plane, who he talked to if anyone, who he made contact with. And that perhaps it was something that was done by design.

Well, I just talked to another federal law enforcement source who says emphatically that there was no plan to let Shahzad get on that plane so the authorities could do surveillance. Absolutely not, this source says. He says that Shahzad was en route to the airport when he made contact with Emirates, the airline in question, either confirming a reservation or making a new booking.

This source says that there was surveillance going on, he was being followed but it was quite likely that the people in the follow vehicles didn't know exactly where he was going. He got into a car and started driving. They didn't know his destination was JFK until perhaps quite late in the journey and even if and when they figured that out they wouldn't have known what airline he was taking, and they wouldn't have known what flights, but Emirates had information.

Emirates had realized that someone had contacted them at the last minute and this was something unusual. I'm told by this source that the airline went through its usual processes and then notified the U.S. that Shahzad had shown up in their booking system at the last minute. That triggered a mobilization to try to keep him on the plane, but that takes time. It took too much time.

He got on the plane successfully. As we know later he was taken off. So it was a close call apparently, Brooke.

BALDWIN: So just to make sure I'm hearing what you're saying.

This was not at all a plan to keep him on the plane to perhaps tap into his cell phone and see who would be making those last-minute phone calls. This was sort of the 11th hour, thank goodness, they got him when they did and really we owe a debt of gratitude to the airline for keeping him onboard the plane and being vigilant.

MESERVE: I can't comment about tapping into his cell phone. Nobody has talked to me about that whatsoever. It becomes apparent from this law enforcement's rendition of events that apparently they didn't have the capability to monitor what was on his phone while he was in his car because otherwise they would have realized he was making this reservation. They didn't.

They just knew he was driving somewhere. They followed him to the destination, and yes, it was - thank goodness the airlines notified them and that customs and border protection was able to make the move when they did.

According to the account I heard earlier this morning, the jetway had already been retracted from the side of the jet when they realized he was onboard, they reconnected obviously, so he could be taken into custody.

BALDWIN: Got him just in the nick of time. Jeanne Meserve. Appreciate that update.

The suspect was booked on Emirates Airlines through to Islamabad, Pakistan, with a stop in Dubai and a federal law enforcement source tells as CNN, as Jeanne Meserve just reported, he almost got away. I want to go now to CNN's Stan Grant. And Stan, the U.S. government did contact the government of the UAW, right?

STAN GRANT, CNN CORRESPONDENT: That's right, Brooke. There has been some discussion about Faisal Shahzad and whether, in fact, he'd been to Dubai before. Emirates says they don't have any record of that. There are other reports that, in fact, he may have passed through here before. Perhaps he was using a different passport and Emirates are looking into that. As you heard from Jeanne there, alarm bells were rang with Emirates security.

Now, Faisal Shahzad, as we heard was onboard the plane and then he was taken off along with two other people. Those people are now believed that have had no connection to this and they have been allowed to leave and en route to Dubai and then on to Pakistan, but Emirates are saying that the security measures were able to identify this person as a suspect passenger and then they were able to kick it into gear and be able to take him off the plane.

Of course, the plane was thoroughly searched and all the luggage as well. Emirates operates an enormous airline, airport here in Dubai. It's the biggest airport hub in the middle East and North Africa. About 6,000 flights a week, over 100 different airlines, 200 different destinations. So a very, very busy airport. People coming and going and you usually fly in from here to go on to Pakistan or Afghanistan. I've made those trips in the past on reporting trips to both of those countries, and I can tell you that the planes are always very full and mostly Pakistanis and, of course, the security is very rigorous as well, Brooke?

BALDWIN: Stan, let me ask you this, in talking with the airline and the security, why was he flagged? Why the alarm bells? Was it because he was on some sort of list or is it because simply he made the reservations at the last minute?

GRANT: We have put those questions to Emirates and they're not going into that. Obviously, this involves their security procedures. They don't want to raise any red flags and obviously don't want to give away some of the methods and procedures that they use to try to identify people. Suffice to say that they did have procedures in place and they were able to identify this individual onboard the plane.

Two others, those two others have been allowed to leave. An interesting point here, though, Brooke, once again it identifies Dubai with this murky world of terror. Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab who is a man believed to have tried to brought down that Northwest Airlines flight on Christmas day. He was living in Dubai and going to school just earlier this year.

A senior official from Hamas was killed in his hotel room here in Dubai, believed to have been an Israeli security Mossad hit. So once again, this shines a light on Dubai and it's role, though, inadvertently, perhaps, in the world of terror, Brooke.

BALDWIN: But we still do not have any definitive information as to his perhaps living in Dubai or any kind of relation and I think his documentation, was there some address to Karachi. So I'm sure you're drilling down on the perhaps Dubai connection with Shahzad.

Stan Grant for us, thank you.

I want to get to a quick check now of the Dow this morning. We are actually seeing quite a drop. Right now it is down roughly 115 points. Now, it looks like 140 points sitting at right around 11,000. Stay right here.

CNN NEWSROOM rolls on.

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BALDWIN: Well, it's meant to take you off the hook for about, oh, $90 billion. This hour, Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner is detailing a plan to bill Wall Street - bill Wall Street -- for last year's bailouts. CNN's Christine Romans joins me now to break down the plan. Christine, good morning to you.

CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: Good morning.

BALDWIN: Good morning. What will he be saying today? What can we expect? ROMANS: He's speaking right now to the Senate Finance Committee, and he's reiterating to them the Obama administration's proposal that taxpayers not be on the hook for any of that so-called T.A.R.P. money that's still left over to be paid. Any of those costs that it is the very people who caused the crisis who should have to pay for the crisis and that's the financial secretary -- the financial sector. $205 billion has been repaid to taxpayers from the bailout money, but there's still a big chunk of money that is expected to be an overall loss.

So, what the administration is doing it wants to propose what's called a financial crisis responsibility fee. The bailout tax, as it is known. It would last at least ten years and raise up to $90 billion. Any company with over $50 billion in assets would be subject to this, and the Treasury Department and the White House say they expect the ten largest firms to pay over 60 percent of this.

The idea again, is that the very industry that got us into this mess will be the industry that got us out. Now, critics, Brooke, say hey wait a minute, some of those very big companies have already repaid their bailout money with interest. Others say that there could be some -- some companies that never even took bailout money that will end up paying for it and that it's basically punishing the banks, punishing the banks to pay for unrecouped losses in the auto sector and in other parts of the economy, including in mortgage and foreclosure rescue.

But this is something that the White House and the Treasury Department feel very strongly about. It's not part, per se, a financial regulatory reform. The Treasury secretary is make the case before the Senate Finance Committee, Brooke, that this is something that needs to be an initiative that needs to be passed and adopted because it will be good for taxpayers. Brooke?

BALDWIN: All right. Good for taxpayers, indeed. Christine Romans, thank you.

We are not going too far from our top story, that being the attempted bombing of New York's Times Square. An arrest has been made, the investigation going in a new direction. We'll have the latest.

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BALDWIN: With all that oil in the Gulf of Mexico, you might be wondering if that Gulf shrimp you love to eat is actually okay to eat. Here's what we're hearing right now from health experts. They say, yes it is. Shrimp, crab, oysters, fish and so on and so forth. And a fisheries official in Louisiana says any areas without oil in them will not be harvested. So, the bigger fear here is the slick will ooze its way inland and then of course, threaten sea life there.

Still to come here, we are talking about this failed bombing of Times Square. We're getting new pictures and new details and new information into this suspect Faisal Shahzad, the suspect arrested. We'll have the latest on the investigation-excuse me, Faisal Shahzad, 30-year-old Pakistani-born, naturalized in the U.S. Who is he? Might he be connected to a greater terrorist organization? He says he acted alone. More on our top story coming up.

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BALDWIN: Less than 48 hours after a car bomb was discovered on crowded Times Square Saturday evening, investigators have made an arrest in that failed attack. Take a good look at this guy. Police say this man, here he is, 30-year-old Faisal Shahzad, a naturalized U.S. citizen who was born in Pakistan. He is expected in a federal courthouse a couple of hours from now.

He was taken into custody last night at New York's JFK airport. In fact, we have been learning he was on a plane bound for Pakistan via Dubai, and a federal law enforcement source is telling CNN that it was not some sort of ruse to allow him on the plane, to sit in his seat at the last minute. In fact, this was a close call, folks. He was really that close to leaving country.

A law enforcement official tells CNN Shahzad has told investigators he acted alone. He's also believed to be the person who drove that Nissan Pathfinder full of explosives into Times Square Saturday evening.

CNN continues in just a minute.

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BALDWIN: There is still about 210,000 gallons of oil spilling into the Gulf Coast each and every day. Plan A, to shut it off, didn't exactly work. That blowout preventer not activating. So now time for Plan B, the dome. But that, they say, is still days away. CNN's Brian Todd has more.

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BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: I'm Brian Todd in Port Fourchon, Louisiana, where we have access to something we've never seen before because they haven't really tried it before. This large, box-like structure right here is called the pollution containment chamber. That so-called dome that we've been talking about for the last few days.

It is under construction here, and they've been working on it for about a week, 24/7, trying to get it ready to be lowered down on top of the leaking pipe on the bottom of the Gulf of Mexico and trying to channel that into that dome, channel the leaking oil into that dome where it will then shoot up into pipes that will go into container ships and get it out of there.

They think they can capture up to 85 percent of the oil coming from that pipe. Now, on the timetable of this, they think they can get this ready by Wednesday at the latest, finish the construction. Then they've got to do quality control checks and they're going to take it on to a ship and lower it down, and they believe they can get it down there by the end of this week. That's kind of an ambitious timetable, but they'll at least try to do that.

So, this is the latest attempt at trying to contain the oil and this slick, and try to head off the massive amounts of outflow coming out of the wellhead right now.

I'm Brian Todd, CNN, in Port Fourchon, Louisiana.

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BALDWIN: Now, the massive oil slick in the Gulf now being felt in California. That accident is causing California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger to pull his support for offshore drilling. He had been backing a plan that would net the state an extra $100 million a year.

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GOV. ARNOLD SCHWARZNEGGER (R), CALIFORNIA: You turn on the television and see this enormous disaster, and you say to yourself why would we want to take that risk? And so, the risk is much greater than the money's worth.

If I had a choice between the $100 million and what I see in the Gulf of Mexico, I'd rather just figure out how to make up for that $100 million.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BALDWIN: That plan had included drilling 30 new wells off the coast of Santa Barbara.

We will have an update on our top story here in just a moment. This late-breaking arrest of 30-year-old Faisal Shahzad, the suspect in the New York car bombing plot.

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BALDWIN: We're getting some new information and new sound in our top story about the Times Square bomber arrest. The suspect, 30-year- old Faisal Shahzad. Authorities, they say cell phone calls helped lead to his arrest. He is a naturalized U.S. citizen from Pakistan. Documentation that was on him when they apprehended him led back to an address in Karachi, Pakistan. He was arrested around midnight at JFK Airport. He was taken off of this flight to Dubai.

You're looking at pictures of the plane. In fact, we're learning from our homeland security correspondent, Jeanne Meserve, that in fact, this was just in the nick of time. Authorities were able to grab him off that plane and catch him and arrest him. It certainly was no plot, no plan, to keep him on there for an extended period of time. And the reason that he was flagged was because of the vigilance on behalf of the Emirates airline, because of this last-minute booking reservation, they were able to flag authorities, and they got on that plane. Word was that the taxiway had been removed from the plane. It was that close.

I also want to emphasize, though, that two other people onboard that plane were taken off that plane if addition to Shahzad, but they have been cleared. They have released. They had nothing to do with this. The suspect will appear in New York federal court some time around 2:00 p.m. Eastern this afternoon. We are still not clear yet as far as what kind of charges he may be facing, but Shahzad is believed to be the man who purchased and drove that SUV that he drove into Times Square, busy Times Square, Saturday evening around 6:30 Eastern. He was attempting, perhaps, to bomb Times Square and that failed.

Investigators now are searching this house in Connecticut in connection with the case. We should emphasize, Shahzad said in his overnight questioning, that he says he acted alone. But authorities, you can imagine, are looking into whether or not he perhaps is part of a greater organization, whether or not he had help.

We have reporters around the world following all angles of the story, including our own Mary Snow, who's been on the ground for us in Bridgeport, Connecticut. She in fact spoke with a neighbor of Faisal Shahzad. Let's listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

VOICE OF SHAHZAD'S NEIGHBOR: He was a very private person, kept to himself and liked to come out at night and wear all black and go jogging. His family, his wife didn't speak much English. His daughter played with my daughter. His oldest daughter played with my daughter. I never suspected anything that he -- I never thought he would do something like this.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BALDWIN: CNN NEWSROOM, back in a moment.

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BALDWIN: We are learning more and more about last night's arrest upon 30-year-old Pakistani national in connection to the failed car bombing in New York's Times Square from -- that all stemmed, really, 48 hours ago Saturday evening.

Retired ATF agent Jim Cavanaugh, good enough to join me live from Nashville to sort of break down the story. And Jim, I know you've been following our coverage. I know you have quite an extensive background with the ATF in multiple investigations. In listening to this and hearing bits and pieces come out about Faisal Shahzad, were there any red flags?

JIM CAVANAUGH, RETIRED ATF AGENT: It's very interesting, Brooke, the way this has developed. One of the most important things that investigators will be looking at is did Faisal -- did he decide to do this once he was here in America from some incentive like maybe the "South Park" issue or other cause, or was he dispatched here from Pakistan, from his home a couple of years ago to come and do this? That will be one of the interesting aspects of the case, and the investigators interviewed him last night at the airport. So, they'll be far ahead of us in knowing exactly what's motivating him and what he's doing this for. He's told them he's acted alone. Well, they'll take that with a grain of salt. It's possible, it's possible he acted alone. But it's possible there are accomplices as well.

BALDWIN: Walk me through, Jim. If you're an investigator in this case, and he really left behind this treasure trove of evidence between the car, the components of the bomb, bits and pieces in his home in Connecticut. What would you be looking at, and how can that help you determine if, in fact, he was acting alone or if he was part of a greater organization?

CAVANAUGH: The one good thing for investigators, Brooke, this guy didn't leave a trail of bread crumbs, he left a trail of bread trucks. They were able to get on him within 48 hours. And staying one step ahead of him you'll know when the media crescendo comes up, that this case is likely to be solved with the videotape and the car.

He will have three choices. Fight, flight, or hunker down and hide. And he chose flight. The way the case is going to go now, and if you're commanding the case, the way you're trying to drive it is basically on about four fronts. One front is the interview of him, neighbors, associates, trying to glean all of this information from those kind of facts. The second is to exploit the electronics, his Internet, computer, cell phone, any kind of BlackBerry devices or iPhones, they'll try to sweep all of that stuff for past contact and conspiracies

And then, of course, the CSI-type investigation going on in Bridgeport, Connecticut with ATF, FBI, NYPD, the Bridgeport police. And they're going to go in there in those Tyvek suits and really try to sweep that for DNA fingerprints, bomb components and they're likely to find lots and lots of stuff there that's going to match the device in the car in Times Square. So -- then they'll prefer the charges as well.

BALDWIN: Jim, what about the man himself, though? Let's say you're sitting in a room and you're trying to question him, and we know he was questioned overnight -- and he's saying he's acted alone. How do you, as an investigator, get him to talk?

CAVANAUGH: Well, you'll go at him real easy. He's a young man. He's 30 years old. He's in the biggest event of his life. He's fleeing. So he is scared, he's apprehensive. This is a seminal event for anyone.

The fact that he did talk, that's a credit to the agents and police who interviewed him, but they're going to take it easy with him. They'll say, come on, we've caught you. You need to tell us the facts and you need to tell us what happened. He's likely to tell all the truth or he could tell just the part of the truth he thinks you know.

:So, if he has associates, accomplices here, one or two, or people in Pakistan that are egging him on or sending him money or encouraging the act, he may not want to give them up. They could be close familial ties, so there could be like-minded conspirators involved, either here or abroad.

BALDWIN: Sure. They'll try to get him to talk, try to glean as much information from him and out of the the bread trucks, I believe you said, instead of bread crumbs that he left behind.

Jim Cavanaugh, thank you.

I want to just quickly here -- we're getting some new information from the court records that show that he, the suspect, in the failed Times Square bombing actually defaulted on a $200,000 mortgage on his Connecticut home and that property is in foreclosure. Records obtained by the Associated Press shows that Chase Home Finance, LLC actually sued Faisal Shahzad back in September to foreclose on the home in Shelton, Connecticut.

Authorities say they arrested Shahzad at New York's JFK airport Monday night on a plane -- on a Emirates plane headed to Pakistan via Dubai. The foreclosure records show Shahzad took out the mortgage on the property in 2004, and he co-owned the home with a woman named Huma Miyad (ph). Foreclosure case pending in Milford superior court. A message was left Tuesday with an attorney for Chase's law firm. The records show Shahzad and Miyad didn't have any lawyers for the case.

We'll continue to look into that for you. Meantime, want to tell you about three events related to the Times Square bombing event we're keeping an eye on as the day progresses. Again, fast-moving story, and we're keeping an eye on every single angle for you. Starting with the president. He'll be weighing in just a couple of minutes from now. Comments live on CNN around 11:05 Eastern time.

And we heard the mayor of New York mention this, New York police commissioner Ray Kelly could be speaking at 1:00 Eastern. Could be some more meaty details in that investigation. I believe that is happening in Washington, as well.

Just after 2:00 p.m. Eastern, the suspect, Faisal Shazad, appears in federal court in New York. Stay right here.

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