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Pak Taliban behind failed New York attack: US

The US said it has evidence that the Pakistani Taliban was behind last week`s failed attempt to detonate a car bomb at Times Square.



Washington: US Sunday said it has evidence
that the Pakistani Taliban was behind last week`s failed
attempt to detonate a car bomb at Times Square in New York and
that terror suspect Faisal Shahzad was "working at their
direction".

The evidence has given new direction to the fight
against terrorism, as investigations into the Times Square
incident has revealed that the Pakistani Taliban has the "aim"
and "capability" in carrying out attacks against the United
States.

"We`ve now developed evidence that shows that the
Pakistani Taliban was behind the attack," US Attorney General
Eric Holder told ABC television`s Sunday current affairs talk
show "This Week."

"We know that they (Pakistani Taliban) helped
facilitate it. We know that they probably helped finance it,
and that he (Shahzad) was working at their direction," he
said.

30-year-old Shahzad, a Pakistani who became a
naturalised US citizen, was arrested on Monday last for
attempting to detonate the car bomb in New York.

The FBI has said that Shahzad, son of a former
Pakistani Air Force officer, has admitted to attending a
terrorist training camp in Pakistan`s restive Waziristan
tribal region.

"I think the investigation is proceeding at a good
pace. We have developed, I think, a good amount of information
in a relatively short period of time, but we will be
continuing to work on it," Holder said.

US officials have been maintaining that Pakistani
Taliban could be behind the failed attempt.

A video purportedly released by the Pakistani Taliban
had claimed responsibility for the attacks, but the outfit
rejected it immediately.

He said the Times Square incident has revealed that
the Pakistani Taliban has both the aim and the capability to
attack the US.

"I`m not sure that we didn`t think they had that
ability. We didn`t think that necessarily was their aim. We
certainly have seen with the Shahzad incident that they have
not only the aim, but the capability of doing that.

And that`s why they have taken on, I think, a new
significance in our anti-terror fight," he said.

In a separate interview, President Barack Obama`s
Homeland and Counter-terrorism adviser John Brennan also said
US authorities believe that the Pakistani Taliban was behind
the failed attempt.

"It looks like he (Shahzad) was working on behalf of
the TTP, the Pakistani Taliban," Brennan said. "This group is
closely allied with Al Qaeda. This is something that we`re
taking very seriously."

Holder said there is nothing in the investigation
which suggests that the Pakistani Government was aware of the
Taliban efforts.

"We don`t have any indication that the Pakistani
government was aware of his plans or the attack that was
planned by the Pakistani Taliban. We don`t have any indication
of that," he said.

"I can really say is that the investigation is ongoing
and we are examining overseas connections that he might have,
as well as any people he might have worked with here in the
United States. But the investigation`s ongoing in both those
spheres," Holder said when asked if there was a cell that
Shahzad was working at their direction.

He said the US is satisfied with the cooperation from
Pakistan with regard to investigations in the Times Square
accident.

"Well, in connection with the Shahzad investigation,
they (Pakistan) had been (Cooperating), I think, extremely
aggressive, they`ve been cooperative with us, and I think we
have been satisfied with the work that they have done," he
said.

"We want to make sure that kind of cooperation
continues. To the extent that it does not, we will, as
Secretary Clinton indicated, take the appropriate steps. But
as of now, with regard to Shahzad, I think we`re satisfied
with the level of cooperation we`ve received," Holder said
when asked about the remarks of Clinton on CBS news.

Responding to a question, Holder said it is difficult
to keep track of all the people coming from Pakistan every
year.

"It is a difficult job. We have to try to use the
various intelligence sources that we have, try to look for
telltale signs for who we should be concerned about," he said.

"The vast majority of people who go to Pakistan and
come from Pakistan to the United States are well intentioned.

They have relatives. They have cultural ties to both
countries. So we have to really try to focus and make sure
that our attention is directed at those people who would do
our nation harm," the Attorney General said.

"I think the investigation is proceeding at a good
pace. We have developed, I think, a good amount of information
in a relatively short period of time, but we will be
continuing to work on it," he said.

Holder conceded that here was a time when the FBI and
law enforcement lost track of Shahzad after the attempted
incident, before he got on the plane.

"Well, we lost contact with him for just a bit of
time, but I think what people have to understand is that we
had a layered approach so that at the end of the day I think
we were always confident that he would be picked up, and the
question was only where he would be picked up and when he
would be picked up," he said.

"Surveillance was conducted, but we wanted to have
him at a fairly good distance so that we could observe him and
see if he would make contact with other people who were
connected to the plot. Contact was lost for a relatively short
period of time," Holder said.

PTI

From Zee News

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