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Surveillance images appear to show suspect buying fireworks

By the CNN Wire Staff
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Terror suspect taped buying fireworks
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Surveillance pictures: Shahzad apparently shopped at Pennsylvania store March 8
  • Fireworks matched those in botched bombing attempt, FBI said, according to store
  • Store owner: It's our feeling that he thought he was buying a higher explosive
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New York (CNN) -- Surveillance images from a Pennsylvania fireworks company appear to show terrorism suspect Faisal Shahzad buying fireworks more than a month before the botched bombing attempt in New York's Times Square.

Bruce Zoldan, owner of Ohio-based Phantom Fireworks, told CNN that when he showed the video this week to federal agents, they told him, "That's our man."

The company gave the FBI the images, copies of which have been obtained by CNN.

Phantom Fireworks' Vice President William Weamer said the images appear to have been shot March 8 at one of the company's stores in Matamoras, Pennsylvania. Weamer said the FBI told them the driver's license displayed by the man at the store matches Shahzad's.

Official: Times Square suspect had Taliban ties

The FBI also told him that the fireworks match those found in Shahzad's Pathfinder and in his Connecticut home, he said.

Those include M-88s, 152 of which were seized from Shahzad's home and car, according to the FBI.

On the time-lapse images, Shahzad is seen driving a dark-colored SUV into the store's parking lot. Next, he can be seen walking into the store and signing a purchaser-verification form. In Pennsylvania, fireworks customers must provide identification.

For reasons that are unclear, the man signed Shahzad's name in reverse, according to the company.

The man, wearing blue jeans and a khaki jacket, next entered the aisles, where he spent about an hour shopping, the store said. During that time, he was the sole customer. A clerk offered to help, the store said, but he declined.

The man eventually put several items on the counter and checked out.

The store provided CNN with a copy of a $95.28 receipt for a cash sale dated March 8, 2010. After the purchases were placed in white plastic bags, the customer walked out.

"Shahzad was very cool, inquisitive and relaxed," Zoldan said.

In court papers, the FBI said M-88s were strapped to gas cans and propane tanks in Shahzad's car in an apparent effort to ignite the homemade bomb. It failed.

"It's our feeling that he bought them based on the notion that it was a higher explosive," Zoldan said. By law, he added, M-88s contain only 50 milligrams of pyrotechnic compound, equivalent to a sixth of an adult aspirin.

In court papers, the FBI said it traced a cell call made by Shahzad to the same store on April 25, nearly a week before the attempted bombing in Times Square.

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