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NY bomb plot: Shahzad admits to Pak links

Faisal Shahzad, held for the Times Square bomb plot, has admitted to training in Pakistan.



New York: Faisal Shahzad, son of a retired
Pakistani Air Vice Marshal, has admitted to attending a
terrorist training camp in restive Waziristan before his
failed bid to explode a car bomb at the Times Square here.

30-year-old Shahzad, a naturalised American citizen,
would be charged with an act of terrorism, even as seven
people were detained in Pakistan for alleged links to him.

A day after arresting him from the New York`s John F
Kennedy Airport when he was trying to flee the country, the
Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) said Shahzad confessed
he had attempted to detonate a bomb at Times Square.

Shahzad also told the FBI that he received bomb-making
training at a terror camp in Waziristan, a lawless tribal
region where the Pakistani Taliban and other militant groups
operate with near impunity.

Pakistani chief military spokesman Maj Gen Athar Abbas
said in Islamabad that Shahzad comes from a "well to-do"
family and that his father was a former air force officer.

Asked about the claims by Pakistani Taliban that it was
behind the failed plot, Abbas said "anybody can claim
anything. But one has to see the reach, the capability of the
organisation and whether it is capable of conducting such
kinds of acts so far away in another country."

He said none of the agencies have so far confirmed any
arrests though many people have been questioned in this
connection.

Shahzad`s training in Waziristan raised the possibility
of a coordinated international plot for an attack.

In a 10-page complaint filed yesterday before the Court
of Judge Nathaniel Fox, Southern District of New York, the FBI
alleged Shahzad travelled from Connecticut to New York on a
sports-utility vehicle (SUV) that was laden with a bomb.

US Attorney General Eric Holder said Shahzad would be
charged with an act of terrorism and that he is cooperating
with investigators and providing useful details.

He would be charged with an act of terrorism
transcending national borders, attempted use of a weapon of
mass destruction, use of a destructive device during the
commission of another crime, as well as assorted explosives
charges, he said.

"After the arrest Shahzad admitted that he had
attempted to detonate a bomb in Times Square. He also admitted
that he had recently received bomb-making training in
Waziristan, Pakistan," the FBI said.

Meanwhile, authorities in Pakistan detained seven men
from different parts of the country for their alleged links
with Shahzad.

A top police official in Punjab province said that
at least seven suspects had been taken into custody in Lahore,
Rawalpindi, Faisalabad and Karachi and shifted to an
undisclosed location for interrogation.

He did not confirm whether the detained suspects had
links to the Taliban or al Qaeda.

"I can only confirm the detentions at the moment. The
intelligence agencies are in contact with US authorities about
this matter," the officer said.

His parents live in Peshawar while his ancestral home is
in the Pubbi area of Khyber-Pakhtoonkhwa province.

According to other sources, a person identified as
Tauseef Ahmed was one of the detainees in Karachi. Ahmed had
made several contacts with Faisal in the last few weeks and
had even gone to the US sometime back on his invitation, they
said.

The other person picked up was related to Faisal who
originally belonged to the North West Frontier Province
(NWFP), they said.

A television news channel reported that Tauseef`s wife
had claimed that her husband was innocent and being made a
scapegoat.

The US federal complaint said Shahzad, who gained US
citizenship in April last year, returned from Pakistan on
February 3. He had arrived on a one-way ticket.

During an immigration inspection, Shahzad told
officials that he had been in Pakistan for at least five
months to visit his parents.

He indicated that he intended to stay in a motel in
Connecticut while he looked for a place to live and a job.
Shahzad further advised his wife to remain behind in Pakistan,
the FBI told the court.

In addition, Shahzad admitted that he had brought the
Pathfinder to Times Square and attempted to detonate it.

Shahzad also noted that he had driven a particular car
to the airport on May 3, 2010 and stated that the car
contained a gun, the FBI said, adding the gun was recovered
from his car.

"Shahzad, after receiving bomb-making training in
Waziristan, Pakistan travelled to the US, transported a sports
utility vehicle to the vicinity of 45th Street and Seventh
Avenue in Manhattan, New York, and attempted to detonate
explosive and incendiary devices located inside the sports
utility vehicle," the complaint stated.

Following his arrest, the FBI said Shahzad used a
pre-paid cellular telephone, which has not been used since
April 28, both to call a fireworks store and to receive a
series of calls from Pakistan following his purchase of Nissan
Pathfinder.

PTI

From Zee News

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