The chief suspect in the attempted bombing of New York's Times Square tried to flee the United States with a one-way ticket to Islamabad, an Emirates Airlines official said on Wednesday.
"We have been informed that he had a one-way ticket for Islamabad via Dubai," Boutros Boutros, Emirates deputy president and head of communications, told Al Arabiya.
Pakistani-American suspect Faisal Shahzad was arrested and taken into custody on Monday in New York as he was trying to board an Emirates Airlines bound for Dubai from New York's John F. Kennedy Airport.
U.S. authorities meanwhile were still questioning Shahzad, who they say admitted trying to bomb New York's Times Square and receiving training in a Taliban and al-Qaeda stronghold in Pakistan.
Prosecutors have charged Shahzad with attempting to use a weapon of mass destruction and trying to kill and maim people within the United States as well as other offenses.
He faces a life sentence if he is convicted.
New York Police Commissioner Ray Kelly said late on Tuesday that Shahzad was cooperating with investigators and had waived his Miranda rights, which grant him the right to a lawyer and full U.S. constitutional legal rights.
"He's giving us significant information," Kelly told a New York television station. "We want to learn as much as we can about him, we want to learn about the training, who gave the training, where did it happen."
Kelly said it was the 11th thwarted attack on New York City since hijacked airliners destroyed the World Trade Center's twin towers on Sept. 11, 2001 killing more than 2,600 people.
President Barack Obama said the investigation would seek to determine whether Shahzad had any connection with foreign extremist groups.
Shahzad was arrested late on Monday after he was taken off an Emirates plane that was about to depart for Dubai. Hours later, several of his relatives were arrested in Pakistan, security sources said.
We want to learn as much as we can about him, we want to learn about the training, who gave the training, where did it happen
New York Police Commissioner Ray Kelly
The no-fly list failed to keep Shahzad off the plane. He boarded the jetliner bound for the UAE before federal authorities pulled him back. Although under surveillance since midafternoon, he had managed to elude investigators and head to the airport.
The night's events, gradually coming to light, underscored the flaws in the nation's aviation security system, which despite its technologies, lists and information sharing, often comes down to someone making a right call.
As federal agents closed in, Shahzad was aboard Emirates Flight 202. He reserved a ticket on the way to John F. Kennedy International Airport, paid cash on arrival and walked through security without being stopped.
By the time Customs and Border Protection officials spotted Shahzad's name on the passenger list and recognized him as the bombing suspect they were looking for, he was in his seat and the plane was preparing to leave the gate. They knew to look for him because of updates to the no-fly list made earlier in the day.
At the last minute, the pilot was notified, the jetliner's door was opened and Shahzad was taken into custody.
Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano wouldn't talk about it, other than to say Customs officials prevented the plane from taking off. White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said the security system has fallback procedures in place for times like this, and they worked.
Gibbs blamed the airline but emphasized a more positive bottom line: U.S. authorities did get Shahzad on the no-fly list and he never took off.
"There's a series of built-in redundancies, this being one of them," Gibbs said. "If there's a mistake by a carrier, it can be double-checked."
We have been informed that he had a one-way ticket for Islamabad via Dubai
Boutros Boutros, Emirates Airlines
The Taliban in Pakistan have claimed responsibility for the attempted bombing, saying it was planned to avenge the killing in April of al-Qaeda's two top leaders in Iraq as well as U.S. interference in Muslim countries.
While some U.S. officials were skeptical about the claim, Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi told CBS News he believed the failed attack was a retaliation for the United States targeting Taliban followers.
"This is a blow back. This is a reaction. This is retaliation," he said. "Let's not be naive. They're not going to sort of sit and welcome you to eliminate them. They're going to fight back. And we have to be ready for this fight."
If links are found between the attempted bombing and Pakistan's Taliban, Islamabad could come under renewed U.S. pressure to open risky new fronts against Islamic militants.
Shahzad told authorities he acted alone, but officials say he recently spent five months in Pakistan and Kelly said Shahzad has a wife and two children living in Peshawar.
A former financial analyst who lived and worked in Connecticut, Shahzad was accused of driving a crude homemade bomb of gasoline, propane gas, fireworks and fertilizer into Times Square on Saturday evening.
The bomb was in a sports utility vehicle that prosecutors said Shahzad bought three weeks ago in Connecticut for $1,300 cash after it was advertised online. The Nissan Pathfinder was found in Times Square with a license plate from another car.
Street vendors selling T-shirts and handbags alerted police to the smoking vehicle that had been parked awkwardly with the engine running and the hazard lights on. Thousands of people were evacuated from Times Square.