The Many Thankful Screw-ups of Broadway Bomber Faisal Shahzad

The Many Thankful Screw-ups of Broadway Bomber Faisal Shahzad

There are a slew of new details today on klutzy failed car-bomber Faisal Shahzad's many missteps. Each one is deserving of a separate prayer of thanks that our latest attacker may have held an MBA, but apparently fell well short of the threshold for a Boy Scout preparedness badge.

First there was that bane of suburban dads everywhere, the old keys-left-in-the-car headache. The Post reports that Shahzad planted an escape vehicle -- a white Isuzu -- near Times Square to help make his getaway after he triggered his faulty bomb load in the Nissan Pathfinder he left idling on West 45th Street Saturday evening. But then he acted more like your everyday Connecticut commuter than a pro-Taliban terror-monger when he left the Isuzu keys behind in the ready-to-blow Pathfinder. He had to take Metro North home to Bridgeport.

We already knew that he bought the wrong kind of fertilizer to boost the payload in his hoped-for blast. The Pakistani immigrant went for the sugar nitrate bags, as opposed to premium-strength ammonium nitrate, the choice of bomb-makers from Oklahoma City to Kandahar province. Now the Times reports that he also bought the wrong kind of firecrackers as his trigger device. Despite a full half hour prowling the aisles of a firecracker supermarket in Matamoras, Pa., Shahzad wound up with a bag of M-88 Silver Salutes. These give a nice bang but are purposely designed not to ignite each other into one big, head-shearing explosion while being handled by the usual smiling idiots who buy these things. "He certainly didn't know what he was doing with the igniter part," Bruce Zoldan, owner of Phantom Fireworks, where Shahzad shopped sometime in late March, tells the Times's Cara Buckley.

Then there's the pistol/rifle that Shahzad also picked up in March at a sweet little gun shop in his former town of Shelton, Ct. For a mere $400 cash, he bought what Times reporters Michael Wilson and William Rashbaum describe as "fearsome looking, a carbine hybrid of a pistol and a long gun with a mouthful of a name -- the Kel-Tec Sub Rifle 2000." As instruments of destruction go, this one is on the mild side: It looks like a machine gun, but it shoots only single rounds, unlike the rapid-fire weapons used by the terror squads that mowed down some 160 innocents in Mumbai in 2008. "Why not just get a pistol if someone wants a handgun round?" one quizzical law enforcement official told the Times.

By the time Shahzad gets done confessing, we're likely to learn about more such goofs on the road to his big Broadway flop, for which we can thank our lucky stars while hoping we've got a few left over for next time some wacko tries to light up the Great White Way.

trobbins@villagevoice.com


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