Local Pakistani Americans Upset With Terror Plot

September 27, 2013 Updated May 5, 2010 at 11:26 PM EDT

By Kendra Eaglin

September 27, 2013 Updated May 5, 2010 at 11:26 PM EDT

It's the picture recognized around the world. Faisal Shahzad now behind bars, accused of trying to set-off a car bomb in the middle of time square last Saturday.

"Prior to me finding out that he even was Pakistani, I was just hoping that he wasn't Muslim or Pakistani just because of obviously the situations that have happened in the past," said Pakistani American citizen Aziz Chowdhury.

"We were hoping that he was not a Pakistani especially Pakistani and a Muslim person," said Maria Zia who immigrated to the US two years ago.

But Shahzad is from Pakistan. And Major Nidal Hasan charged with 13 counts of premeditated murder and 32 counts of attempted premeditated murder in the Fort Hood shooting last November is said to have ties to Pakistan. Something that doesn't sit well with fellow Pakistani Americans.

"We're just very frustrated that you know, just another guy being caught up in whatever these extremist ideologies are," said Chowdhury.

And Pakistani Americans aren't the only ones outraged, many back in the homeland are also upset.

I actually talked to my friends over there and they were really mad at this," said Zia.

Faizan Haq is the President of the Pakistani American Association of Western New York. Now he worries Americans will lose sight of Pakistan's contributions to the war against terror.

"Over 8700 Pakistani soldiers lost their lives, over 21,000 civilians have lost their lives in the war on terror that did not make the news. What made then news is this bad apple," said Haq.

Authorities closed in on Shahzad just 53 hours after the car bomb was noticed. But questions remain, why was he allowed to board a would be get-away plane eight hours after being placed on a no-fly list?

"This guy should have never been able to get on a plane. The terror watch list had been updated but the airline hadn't checked the terror watch list," said democratic senator of New York Kirsten Gillibrand.

Federal officials immediately enforced a new rule mandating airlines check the list within two hours of receiving updates, instead of 24.
Meanwhile Pakistani Americans left to carry yet another burden of speculation.

"The act of one individual does not categorize us as a race and I hope people can get past it," said Fatima Lodhi also a Pakistani American.

Senator Gillibrand says she's working on new legislation to streamline the way the Transportation Security Administration works with international airlines. She also wants to impose penalties on airlines that don't check the terror watch list on a timely basis.