Faisal Shahzad, the American citizenas the only suspect in the attempted car bombing of Times Square, apparently got spooked by media reports and was trying to flee the country, sources told CBS News.
Shahzad's flight to Dubai had already pushed back from the gate at New York's JFK International Airport and was forced to return, a law enforcement source told CBS News correspondent Bob Orr. Shahzad (who, investigators believe, was traveling alone) was also booked on a connecting flight to Pakistan.
Federal law enforcement officials told CBS News that.
Database information indicates shortly after Shahzad became a naturalized American citizen in April 2009, he traveled to the United Arab Emirates, CBS News has also learned.
Shahzad previously departed the United States on June 2, 2009 aboard Emirates Flight 204 for Dubai, and last entered the U.S. on Feb. 3, 2010 aboard Emirates Flight 201.
His travels raise questions about possible ties to international terrorists, said Orr, but officials still have not established any firm links to al Qaeda or any other terror group.
The law enforcement official told Orr that Shahzad has known connections in Pakistan, but the nature of those connections - whether they are family, friends or individuals associated with any of the Asian nation's terrorist groups - remains unclear.
The New York Times reports his age as 30 years old.
At least two videos have surfaced showing leaders of the Pakistani Taliban claiming responsibility for the attempted bombing. Those claims were initially dismissed, but a Pakistani government official tells CBS News' Farhan Bokhari that U.S. intelligence officials have been in contact with their Pakistani counterparts as part of the ongoing investigation.
Sources tell Bokhari that if Shahzad does have solid links to terror groups in Pakistan's most populous province, as his name seems to suggest, that will present the American-allied government withas to whether they can afford a new front in their fight against extremists.
According to Orr's source, the FBI and New York police "were onto this guy early." The break in the case apparently came from communications surrounding the sale of the SUV.
The source tells CBS News Shahzad was thought to have been at his apartment in Connecticut Monday night when details began leaking in the media that the FBI was looking for a Pakistani American. This apparently unnerved him and prompted him to try and run, although it is still unclear when he purchased his ticket to Pakistan via Dubai.
Police were still searching Shahzad's apartment in Connecticut early Tuesday morning.