New York: Faisal Shahzad, the Pakistani-
American accused of trying to blow up a car bomb in the heart
of Times Square here, may have been poring through the
Internet since 2006 to gather information on jihad.
FoxNews.com reported that it has uncovered several
dozens of postings by a man named Faisal Shahzad on radical
Islamist Salafist websites devoted to a variety of different
jihadist sects. The person also visited a website of
the Deobandi school of thought in India.
Experts suspect this is the same Faisal Shahzad whom
authorities have charged with plotting to explode a massive
car bomb in New York on Saturday. If so, then he has been
educating himself on the Internet for years on the legitimacy
of holy war, FoxNews said on its website.
Shahzad visited numerous websites devoted to ideological
discussion of Islamism and Shariah law.
His apparent online posts date back to at least 2006
three years before the Times Square suspect became a
naturalised American citizen, the report said.
"If the person on these websites is indeed the suspected
bomber, the postings show that he was intellectually thinking
about engaging in jihadism for a few years," said Dr Walid
Phares, director of the Future Terrorism Project at the
Foundation for Defense of Democracies.
Islamist Salafists are extreme radical militants who
are calling for the establishment of a Taliban-like regime in
the Muslim world, and who seek to replace secular laws around
the world with Muslim Shariah law.
"Individuals do not become jihadists overnight or
because of one major crisis or event, as some social
scientists proclaim," Phares said. "They become jihadists over
time, after a gradual change, consciously in a stable
An FBI spokesman said any possible online postings by
Shahzad would be investigated.
An intelligence source initially provided Fox News
with a link to what was believed to be an online posting by
the Times Square suspect.
Using details from that post, FoxNews.com found
several dozen more on radical Islamic jihadist sites devoted
to a range of Salafist sects. These other postings shared
either the same IP address in Pakistan or e-mail address
or partial e-mail address.
In many of his posts, the man intelligence officials
believe is the Times Square bomber appears to be an eager and
inquisitive student, and he frequently engaged in discussions
revolving around the ideological argument at the heart of
different schools of jihadist thought.
For example, he questioned the ideology behind a fatwa
issued by the Deobandi school of thought in India.
In other posts, also uncovered by FoxNews.com, a user
who also appears to be Shahzad inquired about how to obtain
work visas in Italy and Canada.