POINTING TO PAKISTANI TALIBAN…. A week ago, after the failed car bomb in Times Square, a commander in the Pakistani Taliban claimed responsibility for the unsuccessful terrorism. At first, it didn’t seem especially credible, and law-enforcement officials said there was nothing to substantiate the claim. The NYT reported on Monday that the group “has a reputation for making far-fetched attempts to take credit for attacks.”
Soon after, even Gen. David Petraeus, head of U.S. Central Command, characterized the attempted bomber as a “lone wolf” who may not have had any direct contact with Pakistani militants.
A week later, those initial perceptions have changed considerably. Indeed, what was dismissed as unlikely has now become accepted as probable.
In his first Sunday morning interview, Attorney General Eric Holder revealed that the Pakistani Taliban was behind Faisal Shahzad’s attempted bombing of Times Square last week.
“We’ve now developed evidence that shows that the Pakistani Taliban was behind the attack,” Holder said on “This Week.”
“We know that they helped facilitate it. We know that they probably helped finance it. And that he was working at their direction.”
Also this morning, John Brennan, President Barack Obama’s counterterrorism chief, told Fox News that it “looks as though” Shahaz was “operating on behalf of” the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP).
And with that in mind, U.S. officials’ pressure on Pakistan will escalate and take on an added sense of urgency.
The Obama administration has delivered new and stiff warnings to Pakistan after the failed Times Square car bombing that it must urgently move against the nexus of Islamic militancy in the country’s lawless tribal regions, American and Pakistani officials said.
The American military commander in Afghanistan, Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal, met with the Pakistani military chief, Gen. Ashfaq Parvez Kayani, at his headquarters here on Friday and urged Pakistan to move more quickly in beginning a military offensive against the Pakistani Taliban and Al Qaeda in North Waziristan, Americans and Pakistanis familiar with the visit said. […]
The Pakistani-American man who admitted to the Times Square attack, Faisal Shahzad, 30, told American investigators that he had received training in North Waziristan, the main base for the Pakistani Taliban, Al Qaeda and other militant groups.