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Terror trail runs through Pakistan, again

May 18, 2010 22:39 IST

Faisal Shahzad came to the United States 11 years ago on a student visa. He became a US citizen last year after marrying Huma Mian, who was born in Colorado.

Reports said it was an arranged marriage six years ago; both are from prominent families in Pakistan. Mian, who completed an accounting degree, moved to Connecticut where Shahzad was studying for his MBA and working in a cosmetics company. They bought a house for $273,000 in Shelton and things seemed to go well. In July 2009, he quit his job as a financial analyst. The financial problems had its toll and they had to leave their house for foreclosure; no buyers turned up.

They moved back to Pakistan, just three months after Shahzad taking US citizenship. Why he left the job when he was not fired is a mystery.

Mian and her two children, daughter Saba, 4, and son Rayyan, 2, were sent to Pakistan to live with her parents. Reports said Mian and Shahzad had marital problems.

After living in Pakistan for five months, Shahazad returned in February and rented an apartment in Bridgeport. There was not even basic furniture or amenities at the apartment, it was later found.

Everyone says he was a normal person. Nobody knows when the change occurred. It seems the financial problems affected his thinking. Recent reports said that he had asked his father, Bahar ul-Haq, a retired high-ranking air force pilot in Pakistan, for permission to fight in Afghanistan. His father disapproved.

The bombing plan was in the pipeline for quite some time, it seems. Seven weeks ago, Shahzad went to the Phantom Fireworks store in Matamoras, Pennsylvania, to buy explosives. But they were not very useful, the store owner later said.
Shahzad is the youngest of four children; Mian is the eldest of four. Her father, Mohammad Asif Mian, earned two master's degrees at the Colorado School of Mines in Golden in the 1980s, and has written four books.

The Pakistani government had recorded 13 visits by Shahzad to Pakistan after he first moved to the United States. A New York Times report said he is believed to be originally from Kashmir.

George Joseph in New York