Two weeks after being arrested for allegedly placing a car bomb in Times Square on May 1, suspect Faisal Shahzad finally appeared in court. The federal courtroom was emptied for a security sweep and reporters were eager for their first glimpse of him. However, as the NY Times reports, "The tension and drama that led up to the brief proceeding, including a sweep of the packed fifth-floor courtroom that cleared mobs of reporters and spectators so the room could be secured, far overshadowed the substance of the nine-minute hearing."
Shahzad, with a full beard, without handcuffs, and in grey sweats, did not enter a plea to the five charges against him— use of weapons of mass destruction; acts of terrorism transcending national boundaries; use of a destructive device in connection with a crime of violence; transporting and receiving explosives; and damaging and destroying property by means of fire and explosives. He said only one word, "Yes," when the judge asked if an affidavit about his finances was correct and his lawyer asked that he receive Halal meals. The U.S. Attorney's office confirmed that Shahzad waived his right to a speedy court appearance (Shahzad has been cooperating with authorities since his arrest).
His next court date is June 1. Last night, the LA Times reported that a Pakistani army officer was arrested and that he and Shahzad had met in Pakistan and communicated by cellphone while Shahzad was in the U.S.