By JAMES BARRON
Published: May 4, 2010
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Airplanes had figured in his life in the United States: A small jet had been sketched over the Bridgeport skyline on the cover of a University of Bridgeport booklet for foreign students that he had kept for years but was found in the trash outside his former home in Shelton, Conn. Mr. Shahzad apparently went back and forth to Pakistan often, making his last trip in February, according to a Pakistani intelligence official who said he had left on an Emirates flight from Islamabad, the capital.
The official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said Mr. Shahzad had traveled with three passports, two from Pakistan and one from the United States. It was not immediately clear where he had traveled during his last visit or whether he had flown to Pakistan directly from the United States, or had made stops along the way.
According to federal law enforcement officials, Mr. Shahzad entered the United States on an F-1 student visa in January 1999. At that time, one official said, the authorities ran a criminal background check but found no derogatory information.
Based on documents discarded outside the house in Shelton, where he lived until earlier this year, and found by The Times, Mr. Shahzad appears to have attended a university program in Pakistan that was affiliated with the University of Bridgeport starting in 1997. A résumé said he was studying for a bachelor of science degree with “specialization in finance.” He said he spoke Urdu, English and Pashto and liked to work on computers, play sports and “talk to people from different backgrounds.”
He also attended Southeastern University in Washington, where a transcript for the spring of 1998 showed that he earned D’s in English composition and microeconomics, B’s in Introduction to Accounting and Introduction to Humanities, and a C in statistics. In 2000, he transferred to the University of Bridgeport, where he received a bachelor’s degree in computer science and engineering.
For a while, Mr. Shahzad apparently worked as an accountant for a firm that placed temporary employees. Among the discarded documents was a time card from Elizabeth Arden, the cosmetics maker, indicating that he had worked at its Stamford office in 2001. Officials at Elizabeth Arden refused to comment.
The documents also included a copy of what was apparently an old Pakistani passport — it expired in February 2000 and listed Mr. Shahzad’s occupation as “student” — and a United States student visa that expired at the end of 2002.
On university documents Mr. Shahzad appears to have filled out and signed, he lists his birthplace as Karachi, but a senior Pakistani official said on Tuesday that he was born in Kashmir, a politically unstable area.
In January 2002, the authorities said, Mr. Shahzad got an H1-B visa for skilled workers. Mr. Shahzad married an American citizen named Huma Mian, and was granted a green card in January 2006. He was naturalized in a ceremony in Bridgeport on April 17 of last year before a federal magistrate, Holly B. Fitzsimmons, probably with dozens of others.
According to one official account, a couple of months later, on June 2, 2009, Mr. Shahzad left the United States on Emirates Flight 204 bound for Dubai. He returned eight months later, on Feb. 3, 2010, arriving on an Emirates flight from Dubai. But another official account said he left the United States for Pakistan in April 2009 and returned in August.
In September 2009, Mr. Shahzad was sent a letter notifying him that he was being sued over a $218,400 loan from a mortgage arm of Chase bank. The mortgage covered the single-family home with an assessed value of $242,690 on Long Hill Avenue in Shelton. The bank took Mr. Shahzad and his wife, Ms. Mian, to court. One or both appeared before the court last fall and filed affidavits about their debts that were entered in the court record as recently as last month.
Debbie Bussolari, a dental technician who lives across the street, said the couple “didn’t live here very long, and then it was vacant again.” She said the police had been called several times to break up teenage parties that took place there after the Shahzads left.