US working closely with Pak on Times Square bomb case

The US is working closely with Pakistan to unearth the terrorist plot around the Times Square car bomb case, as possible Pakistani links emerge in the probe, the State Department said Wednesday.

Washington: The US is working closely with
Pakistan to unearth the terrorist plot around the Times Square
car bomb case, as possible Pakistani links emerge in the
probe, the State Department said Wednesday.

"We are working closely with the government of Pakistan
regarding the ongoing investigation of the bomb plot in Times
Square," Assistant Secretary of State for Public Affairs P J
Crowley told reporters at his daily press briefing.

Federal authorities have arrested Pakistan-born US
national Faisal Shahzad, 30, on charges of planting a car bomb
in New York City.

Shahzad was arrested at the John F Kennedy airport on
Saturday when he had boarded a flight to Dubai with Islamabad
being his final destination.

He is the reportedly the son of a retired air vice
marshal of Pakistan Air Force and had spent several months in
Pakistan, before coming to the US about two months ago.

"We appreciate Pakistan`s pledge of full cooperation,"
Crowley said referring to the cooperation being received by
the Pakistani authorities in this case.

Crowley, however, refused to divulge details about visa
issued to Shahzad by State Department in the past, before he
received a US passport last year.

Neither did he confirm that authorities in Pakistan have
made any arrest there in connection with the case.

"You know, we value our relationship with Pakistan. We
value the fact that there are many Pakistanis who have come to
this country, have links to Pakistan and have become citizens
of this country. We`re very proud of them. They enrich us as a
society," he said in response to a question.

"We have very close law enforcement and intelligence
relationships, you know, with Pakistan.

"I think you can see at least, circumstantially by the
reporting in the last hour or two that, Pakistan takes this
shared threat seriously and is already taking action in
response to the information that -- or what we`ve seen over
the past four days," he said.

The FBI complaint filed before a New York court said
that Shahzad received a series of phone calls from Pakistan
after purchasing the Nissan Pathfinder used in the attempted

This has led investigators to zero in on the Pakistani
Taliban connection as "a leading theory," a federal law
enforcement official told The Post.

Shahzad has also confessed of being trained in a
terrorist camp in Waziristan.

"There are only a few organizations in Pakistan that
could provide training, and the Pakistani Taliban is... one
that has an axe to grind with us," a US official was quoted as

Pakistani Taliban claims of responsibility for
Saturday night`s attempt, which investigators had played down,
are being reevaluated, said the official, who said that
al-Qaeda involvement "is a leap at this point," the daily

"It is clear that this was a terrorist plot aimed at
murdering Americans in one of the busiest places in our
country," US Attorney General Eric Holder told reporters.

"The arrest of a Pakistani-American who traveled to
his native country for several months before he allegedly
tried to set off a bomb in Times Square over the weekend has
underscored the growing prominence of Pakistan as the staging
ground for attacks against the United States and other Western
countries," the Fox News said.

The news channel said authorities are looking closely
at the possibility that the crudely concocted car bomb that
failed to explode in the heart of New York City on Saturday
was the work of international terrorists.
"And all signs point to Pakistan," it said.

John Bolton, the former US ambassador to the United
Nations, warned that the United States needs to continue
paying close attention to what`s going on inside Pakistan.

"Pakistan is the perfect example of a country that we
need to prevent falling under terrorist control. As much of a
tragedy as that explosion at Times Square might have been, if
Pakistan falls to the Taliban or another radical extremist
group, they would be in control of Pakistan`s very substantial
arsenal of nuclear weapons," Bolton told Fox News.


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