Say it ain’t so.
U.S. and Pakistani investigators are giving increased credence to links between Times Square bombing suspect Faisal Shahzad and the Pakistan Taliban, with one senior Pakistani official saying Mr. Shahzad received instruction from the Islamist group’s suicide-bomb trainer.
If the links are verified, it would mark a stark shift in how the Pakistan Taliban—an affiliate of the Taliban in Afghanistan—and related jihadist groups in Pakistan pursue their goals. Until now, they have focused on attacks within Pakistan and in India, not the U.S.
For the past several months, Pakistan’s military has waged a battle against the Pakistan Taliban and a related group, Jaish-e-Mohammed, in the Pakistani tribal region of South Waziristan, which borders Afghanistan. The Pakistan Taliban’s leadership has been heavily targeted by missile strikes from Central Intelligence Agency pilotless drones.
Pakistani investigators also are probing Mr. Shahzad’s possible connections with Jaish-e-Muhammad, an outlawed Islamist militant group, after the arrest Tuesday of Tohaid Ahmed and Mohammed Rehan in Karachi. A senior Pakistani government official said the two men were believed to have links to Jaish. Mr. Ahmed had been in email contact with Mr. Shahzad; Mr. Rehan took Mr. Shahzad to South Waziristan, the official said.
There, Mr. Shahzad received training in explosives in a camp run by Qari Hussain, the official said. Mr. Hussain is a senior commander with Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan, the Pakistan Taliban’s formal name, and trains suicide bombers, the official said. Mr. Hussain is also a cousin of Hakimullah Mehsud, the Pakistan Taliban’s chief. The 30-year-old Mr. Shahzad has admitted to investigators that he received training from militants in Waziristan, U.S. officials said.
After several trips to Pakistan, Mr. Shahzad came back to the U.S. with significant amounts of declared cash, law enforcement officials said. “That’s not that unusual, for immigrants to move with lots of cash,” he said. “There just wasn’t anything in his [immigration file] that raised any red flags.”
Mr. Hussain claimed responsibility for the attempted attack in a weekend audio message. His message followed a video of Mr. Mehsud, the Pakistan Taliban leader, in which he warned of a wave of attacks on the U.S. “Our fighters are already in the United States,” Mr. Mehsud said.
U.S. and British intelligence officials estimate that about 100 Westerners have in recent years taken advantage of lengthy trips to the region to complete training at jihadi camps in Pakistan and returned to their home countries, according to Bruce Hoffman, a terrorism expert at Georgetown University. That figure includes Najibullah Zazi and David Headley, who recently pleaded guilty in the U.S. in terror cases, and numerous British terror plotters. It also includes Mr. Shahzad, who told border officials in February 2010, upon returning to New York City, that he had been visiting his ailing father in Pakistan.
Full coverage: http://www.foxnews.com/topics/times-square-bomb.htm
Agents raiding his Bridgeport home found components for the bomb device, including firecrackers and the boxes for the alarm clocks. They also reportedly found a hand-drawn map of potential targets, including the 4, 5, and 6 trains and the Staten Island ferry. There was also evidence of his ties to Pakistan, including a Karachi ID and residency papers.
I’ve said this before and it bears repeating: Pakistan is, for all intent and purposes, a terrorist state. It has harbored Al Qaeda and Taliban cells, allowed them to re-group and train within it’s borders, has terrorist representatives in its own government, and moles within its intelligence service.
Pakistan not only won’t but can’t elliminate terrorist organizations on their soil. They won’t crack down because they are afraid of a constituency of muslim terrorists who can and would wreak havok across the country. More specifically; the Inter-Service Intelligence (ISI) has Taliban moles on its payroll, and cells run back across the Afghan border after re-grouping, thanks to the Pakistan regime. Any resurgence of the Taliban in Afghanistan can be directly attributed to terrorist groups operating carte blanche in Pakistan; abetted by a large portion of the Pakistani government, Army, and ISI.
Add Pakistan to the ‘axis of evil’.
And the State Department continues to hand out visas like candy.