Faisal Shahzad's Money Mystery

Accused New York Times Square bomber Faisel Shahzad, 30, was drowning in debt, raising questions about how he managed to have wads of cash at his disposal to help carry out his alleged plot.

Shahzad made at least a dozen return trips back and forth between the United States and Pakistan in the last 11 years.

Before taking his last trip to Pakistan in June of 2009, Shahzad worked for the Affinion Group of Norwalk, CT as a Junior Analyst.  The position pays an estimated annual salary between $55,000 and $80,000.

Yet, as CBS News first revealed, Shahzad came under scrutiny by the Department of Homeland Security for bringing into the U.S. more than $80,000 in "cash or cash instruments" between 1999 and 2008.

But clearly Shahzad had financial problems. He had a $200,000 mortgage on his 3-bedroom Shelton, CT home that he unsuccessfully tried to sell for three years. Then, in February of 2009, he took out an additional home equity loan for $65,000. But, it appears he never intended to repay that loan. Just the next month, he began defaulting on both loans.

New court records obtained by CBS News show Shahzad appeared to have trouble paying his bills as far back as 2007. On November 3, 2009 the home heating oil company Hoffman Fuel, filed a small claims lawsuit against Shahzad that is still pending. He owes them $793.34. Since November of 2007, Shahzad made only partial payments each month on the heating bill for his 1,300 square foot home, never paying in full.

Special Section: Terrorism in the U.S.

After an 8 month stint in Pakistan, Shahzad came back to the U.S. in February 2010. There is no record he had any job since returning. Yet he drove an Isuzu and paid $1,150 per month to rent an apartment in Bridgeport, CT, never missing a payment.

He clearly had plenty of cash. Shahzad slapped down $1,300 in $100 dollar bills to pay for the used SUV that was found smoking, rigged with explosives, in Times Square last Saturday.

A CBS News analysis estimates he spent at least $2,000 to make the bomb. He reportedly had at least one gun estimated to be worth $400.  On Monday night when he tried to flee, he forked over an estimated $800 in cash to pay for a one-way ticket to Islamabad, Pakistan via Dubai, UAE.

Understanding Shahzad's finances could be instrumental in helping to determine if he acted alone. According to the Associated Press, federal investigators are now trying to locate a money courier they say may have helped funnel cash from overseas to Shahzad.

  • Pia Malbran

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