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Friends say financial woes changed Shahzad

May 06, 2010 21:32 IST

Pakistani-American terror suspect Faisal Shahzad was a liberal person until he was struck by financial woes in the past few years, his friends say, following which he appears to have lost the way.

The economic recession had left Shahzad, an MBA, in debts and friends say a change was noticed one year ago. Shahzad's resume describes him as "result-oriented" and a "good team player".

He was keen on working in a "high-energy and challenging business environment that will promote professional and personal growth while adding significant value to my employer".

The New York Times reported that Shahzad, son of a retire Air Vice Marshal with the Pakistan Air Force, was in an arranged marriage that had taken place in Pakistan six years ago.

"When they returned to the United States, his colleagues at the cosmetics maker Elizabeth Arden celebrated with a small office party," the daily said, adding that he put his wife's picture at the work table in office.

But in the last few years, beset by financial troubles, he was a changed man, friends remarked. He even asked once if he could fight in Afghanistan. "The recession had taken a toll on them, I guess," a friend of Shahzad told NYT.

He said that their money worries became apparent in 2008 or 2009 and that Shahzad "lost his way during the financial problems". "JP Morgan Chase has since moved to foreclose on the Shelton house, which the couple had abandoned in a hurry, leaving behind clothes and toys," the daily said.

Faiz Ahmad, a friend from Shahzad family's ancestral village, Mohib Banda describes seeing him "completely quiet on the sofa, like someone who has some worries, and undergoing some internal change".

"So he was sitting silent, silent. And silence in itself is a question," he said. It is not clear when Shahzad became radicalised but one classmate noted the change one year ago.

"His personality had changed he had become more introverted," he said. "He had a stronger religious identity, where he felt more strongly and more opinionated about things".

"The question is who has put Faisal in this path?" Ahmad from Mohib Banda said. "The Faisal with the beard that you see, he was not the old Faisal. He was like you, like me, handsome, liberal and an active person".

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