Indian-American Bharara to lead prosecution of Faisal Shahzad

India-born US Federal Attorney Preet Bharara, spearheading the prosecution of 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, now has another high-profile terrorism case in his hands.

Updated: May 05, 2010, 16:30 PM IST

New York: India-born US Federal Attorney
Preet Bharara, spearheading the prosecution of 9/11 mastermind
Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, now has another high-profile terrorism
case in his hands -- the Times Square bombing plot involving
Pakistani-American Faisal Shahzad.

The job of delivering a conviction on 30-year-old
Shahzad will fall on Harvard and Columbia-educated `legal
eagle` Bharara, who is one of the 93 US Attorneys appointed by
the US President Barack Obama in May 2009.

Following Shahzad`s dramatic arrest over the botched
Times Square bombing plot on Saturday last, 41-year-old
Bharara said yesterday that "the dedicated agents, detectives,
and prosecutors in this case will continue to follow every
lead and use every tool to keep the people of New York City
safe."

He also vowed that "we will not rest until every
terrorist, whether homegrown or foreign-based, is neutralised
and held to account."

Bharara heads the US Attorney`s office for the Southern
District in New York, which covers Manhattan, where the
botched bombing took place, and John F Kennedy International
Airport, where terror suspect Shahzad was arrested at the last
minute as he attempted to flee the United States to Pakistan.

Under Bharara there are over 200 lawyers who handle some
of America`s most prominent cases, like trial of Khalid Sheikh
Mohammed and the prosecution of Bernard L Madoff for his
multi-billion-dollar Ponzi scheme.

He is also currently handling the prosecution against
the Galleon Group, one of America`s largest insider trading
scam where the defendants include Sri Lankan Raj Rajaratnam
and Indian-Americans Anil Kumar and Rajiv Goel.

Previously an assistant attorney in the Southern
District, Bharara made his name as the Senate staffer who
helped drive Attorney General Alberto Gonzalez from office by
uncovering and investigating the Bush Administration`s firing
of eight prosecutors for allegedly political purposes.

Bharara was born in Ferozepur, Punjab, and his parents
immigrated to the United States in 1970 when he was an infant.

He grew up in New Jersey and graduated from Harvard in 1990
and Columbia Law School in 1993.

"As a naturalised American citizen from India, Mr
Bharara also brings a diversity of background to the post,"
the New York Times said after the US Senate confirmed him as
the United States attorney in Manhattan.

His father, a Sikh, and his mother, who was Hindu, were
born in what is now Pakistan, before the partition.

His wife`s father, a Muslim, had moved from the Indian
side to Pakistan during partition.

PTI