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When an old friend goes wrong

By Claes Bell · Bankrate.com
Friday, May 14, 2010
Posted: 1 pm ET

Have you ever sold a car and felt like you were saying goodbye to an old friend? And what if that old friend went off and joined al-Qaida? That must be an approximation of how 19-year-old Connecticut college student Peggy Colas must feel. The New York Post reported that Colas unwittingly sold her 1993 Nissan Pathfinder to alleged terrorist Faisal Shahzad, who rigged it with an improvised explosive and parked it in Times Square.

Nissan Pathfinder from Times Square bomb plot
Nissan Pathfinder from Times Square bomb plot. Courtesy of Reuters.

Colas sold the SUV to Shahzad for $1,300 in hundred dollar bills ($100 above the Kelley Blue Book value) only to find out later, when she was contacted by authorities searching for the wannabe bomber, that it had been used in an attempted terrorist attack.

Colas probably thought she had done all the right things. According to The New York Times, the car was in fairly good condition. It had only 141,000 miles (pretty low for a car that old), and she had recently repaired the alternator, gas pump, distributor and front tires.

It just makes you wonder how many "old friends" bought in private party sales every year end up being pressed into a life of crime by their new owners. It's enough to make you pause before placing that Craigslist ad.

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