Top Obama administration officials say the Pakistani Taliban was behind the attempted bombing in New York’s Times Square. Attorney General Eric Holder said new evidence shows the Pakistani-American arrested in the case did not act alone.
“We have now developed evidence that shows the Pakistani Taliban was behind the attack,” he said. Holder said the investigation into the matter is continuing. But he says it is now clear Faisal Shahzad got support from the group, which has ties to al-Qaida. “We know that they helped facilitate it. We know they probably helped finance it and that he was working at their direction,” he said.
The attorney general told ABC television’s This Week program that there is no reason to believe Pakistan’s government was aware of the plot, and he stressed Pakistani officials are cooperating completely with American investigators. “In connection with the Shahzad investigation, they have been acting extremely aggressively; they have been cooperative with us. And I think we have been satisfied with the work that they have done,” he said. Shahzad was arrested last Monday (May 3rd), as he tried to leave the United States. He has been charged with trying to set off a crude car bomb last Saturday (May 1st) near one of the busiest intersections in New York City. Initially, Obama administration officials downplayed the idea he was involved with terrorists abroad, but they say the case has evolved. President Barack Obama’s top counter-terrorism advisor, John Brennan says investigators were able to take information provided by Shahzad and follow the leads. “And working with our partners internationally, we have a much better understanding now of what was at play here that led him to try to carry out this attack in Times Square,” he said.
Brennan noted that Shahzad is continuing to cooperate with authorities. The White House deputy national security advisor say investigators hope to find out more in the days ahead, noting the inquiry is at a sensitive stage. “We are trying to stay ahead of this curve. But we have been able to find out things that we did not know in the immediate aftermath of this attempted attack,” he said.
Brennan spoke on the CBS television program Face the Nation.
Paula Wolfson issued this report from Washington for VOA News