Pakistani Taliban claim credit for failed NYC Times Square car bombing


TTP-NYC-claim.JPG

Image from an audiotape purportedly from Qari Hussain Mehsud, who takes credit for the failed car bombing in New York City. Qari Hussain is a senior leader and master bomb maker in the Movement of the Taliban in Pakistan. YouTube has removed the audiotape.

A top Pakistani Taliban commander took credit for yesterday's failed car bomb attack in New York City.

Qari Hussain Mehsud, the top bomb maker for the Movement of the Taliban in Pakistan, said he takes "fully responsibility for the recent attack in the USA." Qari Hussain made the claim on an audiotape accompanied by images that was released on a YouTube website that calls itself the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan News Channel.

The tape has yet to be verified, but US intelligence officials contacted by The Long War Journal believe it is legitimate. The Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan News Channel on YouTube was created on April 30. Officials believe it was created to announce the Times Square attack, and Qari Hussain's statement was pre-recorded.

All indications are the tape is legitimate. YouTube has pulled the video and shut down the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan News Channel since this article was published.

qari-hussain.JPG

Qari Hussain Mehsud. Image is from a Pakistani Army wanted poster.

"This attack is a revenge for the great & valuable martyred leaders of mujahideen," Qari Hussain said. He listed Baitullah Mehsud, the former leader of the Pakistani Taliban who was killed in a Predator strike in August 2009, and Abu Omar al Baghdadi, the former leader of al Qaeda Islamic State of Iraq who was killed by Iraqi forces in mid-April. And although he was not mentioned, an image of Abu Ayyub al Masri, the leader of al Qaeda in Iraq, was also displayed in the images accompanying the audiotape.

Qari Hussain also said the failed attack was "revenge for the Global American interference & terrorism in Muslim countries, especially in Pakistan for Lal Masjid operation," a reference to the July 2008 Pakistani military assault on Islamists holed up in the Red Mosque in Islamabad, as well as Predator strikes in Pakistan's tribal areas and the arrest and detention of Pakistani scientist Aifa Siddique.

Qari Hussain warned NATO that it must denounce the US and apologize for "the massacres in Iraq, Yemen, Afghanistan, and Pakistani tribal areas otherwise be prepared for the worst destruction and devastation in their regions."

At the opening of the tape, the failed car bomb was described as a "jaw-breaking blow to Satan USA," however Mayor Michael Bloomberg described the device, which failed to detonate, as "amateurish."

The car bomb was discovered Saturday evening after a street vendor spotted smoke coming from a Nissan Pathfinder SUV and alerted police.

The bomb squad was dispatched to the scene and discovered a crude bomb made of "three canisters of propane like those used for barbecue grills, two five-gallon cans of gasoline, consumer-grade fireworks   and two clocks with batteries," The New York Times reported.

Police currently do not have a suspect. The license plate is not registered to the Nissan, and the vehicle identification number has been removed. Police are also looking at video from surrounding stores to see if they can determine anything about the identity of the bomber.



Advertisement:


READER COMMENTS: "Pakistani Taliban claim credit for failed NYC Times Square car bombing"

Posted by T Ruth at May 2, 2010 10:59 AM ET:

As I have said before

ALL ROADS LEAD TO ISLAMABAD.

Posted by HN at May 2, 2010 11:46 AM ET:

This was a very amateur attempt. I'm sure the CIA will ratchet up the pressure even more on the Pakistani Taliban. I am surprised it was a remote controlled bomb and not a suicide attack.

Posted by JRP at May 2, 2010 12:17 PM ET:

In South Asia there is an unlimited supply of people willing to be suicide bombers. In U.S.A. that is not the case. Therefore, AQ/Taliban need to keep their saboteurs alive to strike again and again. No loss if caught 'cause these people have no useful knowledge about AQ/Taliban leadership whereabouts.

Start thinking "Black Tom Island Explosion" sabotage scenario or 1993 WTC truck bomb scenario whereby AQ/Taliban funnel money to their spies and saboteurs in America to engage in a low-grade, but persistent campaign of terror and sabotage against soft American targets where innocents congregate. BTI was primarily directed against assets primarily of military value, but the nature of the campaign and the way it will be carried out and financed will be the same.

Posted by Elizabeth at May 2, 2010 12:28 PM ET:

"ALL ROADS LEAD TO ISLAMABAD."

Quite a few lead to Tel Aviv, DC, and London as well. To say the least.

Posted by gfgwgc at May 2, 2010 12:30 PM ET:

The "bomb" was a pathetic assemblage of gasoline, propane and fireworks. If the Pakistani Taliban had anything to do with it as they claim they do, then the good news is that their domestic assets either lack the sophistication to build a more effective device or the access to more destructive components or both. Given that the device failed to detonate and the number of CCTV cameras in the area, there will be numerous clues to pursue. The FBI should be able to solve this fairly quickly.

Posted by T Ruth at May 2, 2010 1:24 PM ET:

For nearing 9 years AQ have operated from Paqistan.

A surge of blood and oxygen is required to the amateur brains in Washington to confront this fact.

Posted by Rhyno327 at May 2, 2010 1:32 PM ET:

Who put this "bomb" together? The Muj equivalent of the Keystone Cops?

Posted by Fred at May 2, 2010 2:37 PM ET:

Comparing this to 9/11 clearly Al Qaeda has been degraded by our efforts. To me this says keep the pressure up or ratchet it up a notch or two. The bad guys are flailing about a bit and the more they do the more vulnerable they will become.

On the flip side with Ft Hood, the Christmas day bombing attempt and now this we need audit our security measures. The fact that 2 out of 3 attempts failed due to the lack of bomb making skills is not something to be sanguine about.

Posted by John Abraham at May 2, 2010 3:30 PM ET:

Elizabeth,

I don't think you are aware of events/people behind 9/11, 7/11, Spanish bombings and even threat to Danish cartoonists.

All of them involved people(even though some were US/UK citizens) who traveled to Pakistan for ideological or training purposes.

The plots were conceived by organizations with Pakistani blessings with them. Taliban was nourished by ISI and ISI former DG still defends Al Queda and Taliban.


So Ruth is right on the money.

However recent roads are leading to Yemen as well.

Posted by Max at May 2, 2010 3:36 PM ET:

Too bad, Elizabeth, that your road goes nowhere.

Posted by John Abraham at May 2, 2010 3:40 PM ET:

Given the spate of attacks conceived and their origin in Pakistan, together with the money US pays Pakistan it looks like Jizya.

Jizya is the tax paid to Muslims by non Muslims for protection.

US is paying Pakistan money to be safe from terror attacks.

So I fail to see why the money US pays is not Jizya.

Jizya historically has been used to further the Ummah at the expense of non Muslims.

Posted by Pawn at May 2, 2010 3:41 PM ET:

The bomb can be easily dismissed as "amatuer" by all the armchair ordinance experts but the fact is that only because it failed to detonate can these "amateurish" claims be made. We got very, very lucky and that is all. When one of these "amateur" bombs happens to go off be sure to tell all the victums that it was just a bunch of "amateurs".

If at first you don't succeed, try ,try again. Fortunately our luck also resulted in a lot of pre-forensic evidence. These perps are headed deep underground. Given their apparent connections, I am sure they may lead to some more valuable fish.

Posted by Wilkmaster at May 2, 2010 3:45 PM ET:

My early analysis is that this is a similar attack to the Tiger-Tiger and Glasgow airport attacks, except that it was carried out by someone radicalized by means of the Internet who may have even gotten their bombmaking instructions on the web and tried to fashion a "greatest hits" or field-expedient device. A telling clue is the pressure (rice) cooker. They are common in South Asia and this evidence point to links with Pakistan. A born-and-raised American would be unlikely to use a pressure cooker to magnify the blast. The bomb was hastily constructed and the bomber was no expert, true, but a lot of AQ-allied devices/plots don't go off. The bad news is a bomb-laden car was parked in Times Square on a Saturday night and we got lucky again thanks to alert citizens and LEOs.

Posted by Nic at May 2, 2010 4:00 PM ET:

The most important fact has been over looked by those making comments. The salient factor is: sleeper cells/individuals are in the country, ready to do something when their handlers say "go". The directions of the questions should be: who did it, who controls the bombers, how do the bombers/cell commanders communicate with the command structure outside of the country. Lastly, we come to great immigration debate that is so red hot in current domestic politics because the first question that should be asked is: How did they get into the United States?

Posted by Igor at May 2, 2010 4:11 PM ET:

Extremely amateurish nature of this terrorist attempt which was then PRed by Pakistani Taliban is certainly good news.
But if the perpetrators managed to completely remove VIN numbers (which I think are stamped on the engine etc) then they probably have good contacts among car thieves (wouldn't surprise me at all) or first-hand knowledge on this subject.

Posted by Proud American at May 2, 2010 4:13 PM ET:

You filthy bum. What are you trying to get credit for, a failed bomb attack. Is that all you got? If anybody needs to gloat is Americans whose alert and intelligent mental state keeps them on top. Remember that it is not the authorities that are on the lookout for cockroaches like you
but the citizens as well.

Posted by TomDem55 at May 2, 2010 4:35 PM ET:

Latest on the Time Square VBIED,
1) White guy fled car changed his tshirt in alley it's on tape
2) Looks like it also had fertilizer in it
3) Plates were from a different vehicle
4) Police have already checked the junk yard the plates were from
5) We don't know if this is Islam or some home grown nutjob so speculating is IDLE

Posted by BraddS at May 2, 2010 4:47 PM ET:

Some reports (citation needed) have the perp as being a 40-something white man, so my *guess* is we are dealing with yet another self-radicalized idiot...

Posted by BraddS at May 2, 2010 5:13 PM ET:

The source for the 40-year old white male description is the 5/2/2010 online edition of the New York Times.

Posted by steve m. at May 2, 2010 5:46 PM ET:

Elizabeth? I am thinking that is not your real name?

Posted by John Abraham at May 2, 2010 6:16 PM ET:

Tom and Brad,


I guess it is early to draw conclusions.

But a white man does not necessarily mean not Islamic extremist.

We have many white people in Islamic extremist hall of fame.


Does not have to be self-radicalized if he traveled outside US or had contact with local extremists.

I guess people here are also responding to TTP owning the attacks.


Posted by BraddS at May 2, 2010 6:29 PM ET:

So was it the same idiot who then called 911 a few hours later to try and salvage some terror value out of his failed car-bomb plot?

Posted by Render at May 2, 2010 6:48 PM ET:

Skin color has zero to do with it.

The TTP Youtube video was released prior to the attempted attack and clearly pre-recorded. Hence prior knowledge by the TTP.

He may very have been "self-radicalized" but he was without a doubt connected directly to the TTP.

=

Nissan Pathfinders do indeed have multiple VIN number locations. Where those additional spots are located on the vehicle depends on what year the vehicle was made. Later models also have GPS and LoJack (dealer option).

The vehicle itself may offer few clues beyond the bomb parts and DNA.

===

Elizabeth should probably come back and attempt to explain that comment in a way that does not leave her looking like a terrorist supporter and Jew hater.

ALL
IP'S
LOGGED,
R

Posted by Jack Janzen at May 2, 2010 7:05 PM ET:

Although like the Christmas underwear bomber we lucked out this time; these folks will try again and will learn from their failure.

Posted by wrench at May 2, 2010 7:18 PM ET:

I'll bet they can't id the car by vin. That # is stamped everywhere on modern cars.Has to be in at least a dozen places.

Posted by Yucca at May 2, 2010 7:29 PM ET:

If we want to eradicate terrorism, we need to look closer into the teachings of the Quran.
Members of these dormant cells, who are ready to commit such horrendous crimes against "infidels", are in fact considered believers by Islamic standards.

Posted by Zeissa at May 2, 2010 7:34 PM ET:

Elizabeth sounds more like a terrorist sympathizer and jew hater than a terrorist supporter to me. Not that there is a great difference of course.

Posted by Spooky at May 2, 2010 7:48 PM ET:

I will reserve judgement until the bomber himself is caught. While I'd love to believe TTP is that capable (despite the hackneyed job it was compared to 9/11) and thus jump on their claim, I can't rule out the possibility that these guys are trying to steal credit.

Granted, this notion is unlikely, but as someone who has long feared local elements taking advantage of islamofascist terrorism for their own ends (perhaps they are self-radicalized islamofascist sympathizers, perhaps an unrelated movement), I won't make a call on this.

So either all roads lead to Pakistan or all roads lead to the internet (for the likes who were radicalized online).

I do hope it is the TTP though. But all other possibilities have to be exhausted in my view, especially if it is a sympathizer acting alone or is from a local group.

Posted by kp at May 2, 2010 8:18 PM ET:

Interesting that the claim should come from Qari Hussain Mehsud and not say Hakimullah Mehsud. Again another opportunity missed by the TTP to show he is alive and in charge.

One should also note that the the release is a sequence of images plus an audiotape glued together it's not a full video production. Is that because of a rush job or, as I've commented on before, has their media production unit been taken out or are they having problems getting videos out of Waziristan?. Or is this just a generic claim?

One thing I'm not clear on is: Is there any evidence in the tape that they knew the target in advance (do they mention a (failed) car bomb in Times Square rather than the flowery "jaw-breaking blow"). If not then this looks rather like another pre-prepared statement for when they either do try to land a blow or to claim credit for someone's else work. They've done it before (for the Binghampton, NY immigration office shooting) so unless it's shown to be TTP I'd be skeptical.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Binghamton_shootings

Bloomberg is skeptical too and has said so.
http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5itsDp0q9iCis4GiZD4BVdDHeRv7gD9FF1C9O1

I'm still not bought into the TTP being behind this. It wasn't a suicide attack. But whoever it was behind it he didn't test his device beforehand. So we don't have some great bomb maker here and you'd think QAM would be embarrassed about that. He could have run amok with a knife or a gun or driven the car into the crowd and caused more casualties. Remember the 7/21 follow up attack in London was lead by a guy weak on math so he messed up the formulation of the main charge (chipati flour/peroxide) so it didn't explode. The Christmas Day bomber detonator failed to work (and I doubt 3oz of PETN is enough to knock down an airliner ... think about the liquids restriction). If they're down to this quality of solo attacker we don't have much to be afraid of so don't give them the propaganda win of a claim unless they can prove it.

In other news the SUV has 100lbs of "fertilizer" in it but apparently the wrong sort of fertilizer (i.e. not ammonium nitrate). Seriously this seems amazingly rushed by a guy who didn't know what he was doing. Or didn't watch Mythbusters episode on propane tank rockets last week. Even if the car caught fire the propane tanks won't explode they'll vent instead unless they changed out the vent valve. Even with the vent valve blocked it took 8 minutes of a very hot fire to get them to explode. So in this device they're an auxiliary charge so without something else detonating (the fertilizer) they wouldn't be a problem.

http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5jFOVhFy6si7fR4CQDL8xaOHVHbHwD9FF15O00

The car didn't even burn so it retains all of it evidentiary value: the "fertilizer" must have a source; the propane tanks will have serials and perhaps prints; the clocks used for timing will be traceable; there will be DNA and fingerprints in the SUV unless they were very careful; there will be a multiple VINs (I suspect they took the one off the dash). And as others have pointed out there is lots of CCTV in the area.

Police have identified the SUVs owner in Texas (i.e. they're read the other VINs). The vehicle was not reported stolen (odd as it takes a day to drive from TX to NYC). Owner is not in custody and may not be connected to the attack.

http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/breaking-news/new-york-police-identify-texas-owner-of-suv-in-failed-times-square-bombing/story-fn3dxity-1225861454341

The plates came fro Kramers Used Auto Parts in Stratford, Connecticut. Stolen or passed on, I presume? Another dot to connect.

Posted by Guptan Veemboor at May 2, 2010 8:33 PM ET:

This is the first time I have heard someone taking claim for a failed attempt. The general tendency is to tom tom any achievements and hide all failures. To top it it is the expert in bomb making who is claiming the credit. If it is this type of bombs what he can make one need not be very much concerned.

Posted by Bob at May 2, 2010 8:37 PM ET:

This doesn't seem like the M/O of a homegrown extremist like McVeigh.

Posted by Gerry at May 2, 2010 8:41 PM ET:

Three 5 gal propane tanks with gasoline to be set off by fire crackers. If the propane tanks or at least one were turned on before hand, the sparks from the fireworks should have done the trick.

Only the remote device would cause a problem. Yet there was smoke. So my guess is the perp forgot/ or didn't open the propane tanks. Yet the fire crackers did go off by remote control.

I suspect the perp hoped the fumes from the gasoline would have done the job. Very lucky for the intended victims.

Amaturish? Maybe, but the next guy will learn from the incident and be a little more carefull. Not a good thing.

Its actually a large bomb that would do significant damage if it had detonated.

I wonder how amaturist the athorities would have thought if it did. Simplicity is the way of the terrorists.

Posted by Fred at May 2, 2010 8:44 PM ET:

Elizabeth need not be a terrorist sympathizer nor a Jew hater but merely a University educated left winger.

Posted by C.H. at May 2, 2010 11:49 PM ET:

BBC is reporting the the NYPD and Bloomberg have ruled out an "Islamist link" to this attempted attack...I'm having a very hard time believing this. Remember, these US government officials denying the TTP or AQ is responsible claimed that Hakimullah Mehsud had been dead for 3 months. Just because a white man was spotted doesn't mean anything...David Headley being just one example.

Also, its interesting how Hakimullah threatens an attack "within one month" in the video and this bomb is found almost a month later. Has our government become so PC that they are not taking this into account?

Posted by Render at May 3, 2010 12:02 AM ET:

KP - Excellent comment (as usual from you).

A couple (few) of points though 

The tape was released on a Youtube channel created less then 24 hours before the attack. Qari Meshud (QHM) was probably aware of the impending attack and city, but not the target itself or the method. Compartmentalization is the name of their game and QSM would likely have been told just what he needed to know in order to slap together a quickie video. I am surprised they didn't wait for the results of the attack before they released the tape. But perhaps the results were irrelevant to the attempt itself? Or they just inshalla'd that it would work 

I agree that their (the Pak based al-Q/Talib) video making capabilities seem to have been degraded by quite a bit over the last few years or so and I think that those who watch that stuff closely (SITE, the Jawa's, Internet Haganah etc) would agree. I think it's pretty clear that many of their other capabilities in the international terrorism field have been degraded across the board, bomb making expertise in particular. They ran out of real professionals a long time ago 

The secondary VIN numbers on most modern vehicles are usually hard stamped directly into the metal of the body. Those can also be removed, but not without a fair amount of effort, quality power tools, and knowledge of where they are located. Nissan engines have a separate serial number hard stamped into the front of the block that can be matched to the original vehicle VIN, but engines do get swapped from time to time (the higher output pick-up and SUV engines are a fairly common swap among the import-modder crowd).

http://www.google.com/search?q=pathfinder+engine+swap&rls=com.microsoft:en-us&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8&startIndex=&startPage=1

I could be wrong about this, but my own unpublished research shows that the vast majority of the Islamic terrorist bombing attempts and attacks, even outside of the recognized combat zones, are not suicide bombs. The suicide bombs are more accurate (for obvious reasons) and therefore more damaging in human costs and so tend to draw a lot more headlines.

The fact that the Pathfinder was a scrapped vehicle and the plates were stolen from a used auto parts business says we may be looking for somebody who works in the auto salvage or repair business or possibly even an employee of that very company. Auto salvage companies and wholesalers do transfer scrap vehicles and parts all around the country on a regular basis. So that Pathfinder may not have been have been driven from Texas to New York under its own power. As a scrapped vehicle it may even have needed repairs just to get it drivable. The photo that shows the clock also shows window ice scraping tools which points to that vehicle having been driven during this winter in Connecticut or New York.

The propane tanks may be traceable to the point of last sale, but probably not much further if they were bought with cash.

Mayor Bloomberg's less then confidence inspiring comments notwithstanding I am re-assured by the speed with which Law Enforcement has moved on this so far, both on the scene and in tracking down the vehicle/plates origin.

All my years in the auto parts industry are finally worth something more then a weekly pay check 

 and depending on the year of make (looks like mid-90's from the pictures I saw in WSJ) I probably needed the driving lights off of that Pathfinder as they are the same model rock magnets used on my Ford Lightning.

PARTS
IS
PARTS,
R

Posted by Render at May 3, 2010 12:07 AM ET:

Fred: These days there really isn't much of a difference, is there?

OVER
HEATING,
R

Posted by Bing at May 3, 2010 12:22 AM ET:

Just a suggestion to everyone. Lets not give to much detailed info on things like VINs and bombs etc.

We already know some of the bad guys visit this site. No need to make this easy for them.

Carry on...

Posted by kp at May 3, 2010 2:49 AM ET:

On the bomb and VIN info: all this stuff is open source. I doubt the jihadis will learn anything that's not out there here. The issue here is that even if that info is in the open they don't seem to be learning from it.

The comment about bringing down the WTC with the car bomb is off the mark. That was never going to happen. They wished it would but they couldn't take out enough support for that to happen. I suspect they even got lucky on 9/11 (i.e. they didn't predict that). Don't give them too much credit.

Some (including the WSJ below) have pointed out that Viacom headquarters is close to Times Square but the bomb placement (at the narrowing point of 7th Ave) seems to show some tactical awareness.

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704608104575220603913685916.html?mod=WSJ_WSJ_US_News_3

http://dotcommonsense.blog-city.com/nyc_car_bomb_scare.htm

As Wilkmaster points out this attack is similar to the 2007 Tiger Tiger bomb plot which preceded the Glasgow Airport attack. A similar bomb design which apparently lacked an oxidizer (so had not way to explode) but did have a cellphone remote detonation system rather than a timer. They both failed to explode (or even ignite). I presume these (bad) designs are circulating in jihadi internet forums.

The same bombers then went on to the 2007 Glasgow International Airport attack several days later in which they drove an SUV carrying propane tanks they set on fire into the airport. Again no explosion and some minor damage. One attacker died of his wounds the other was captured.

Even The Register between it's polemical rants has a decent analysis of the 2007 bombing and the Christmas Day attempt. The string of recent bombers in the West have two things in common: they run solo (or with minimal support) and their devices don't work well even when they're made by people who are potentially smart (an engineer and a doctor in the 2007 London attacks). I'm sure the folks in Iraq or Afghanistan or Pakistan would love to have people so incompetent making their car bombs.

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2007/07/02/terror_idiocy_outbreak/

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2010/01/08/mutallab_comment/

Propane tanks can explode but it takes a lot of effort to get it right. Getting the right air mix really counts as I think happened in this case in a garage.

http://www.kltv.com/Global/story.asp?S=10868444&nav=menu117_2_3_2

@Gerry: "Three 5 gal propane tanks with gasoline to be set off by fire crackers. If the propane tanks or at least one were turned on before hand, the sparks from the fireworks should have done the trick". It probably wouldn't. The reason you add propane tanks to a blast bomb is to add extra energy. The blast bomb ruptures the tanks. To get a fuel/air bomb to work you need to get the gas/oxygen mixture just right (the stoichiometric mix). It's a very narrow band to get maximum energy for the gas you have otherwise you end up either oxygen rich or fuel rich. Most "fuel-air" bombs are really "fuel+oxidizer" in one molecule (usually an epoxide) so when you detonate them the mix is guaranteed and the vapor cloud is dispersed over a wide area. It turned out that doing it "the obvious way" by dispersing fuel in the air really doesn't work well because there isn't enough oxygen in the air. A quick estimate can be done from high school chemistry: 1 mole of propane requires 5 moles of oxygen to completely combust. A mole of gas is about 22.4 liters at room temp and pressure. Air is only about 20% oxygen so you need 5 times as much so about 100 liters for 1 mole of oxygen. But you need 5 moles for 1 mole of propane so you need 500 liters of air to combust 1 mole of propane. A model of propane is about 44g. Or in US units you need about 17 cubic feet of air to fully combust 1.5oz of propane. If you scale it up for a 20lb (about 10kg) propane tank needs about 4000 cubic feet of air to combust. So you have to mix the contents of a tank of propane in 16x16x16 feet cube of air to get it to go bang perfectly. It's difficult to do right. Just venting the gas in the car won't do it. Sorry to get geeky about this but propane tanks without explosive to rupture them just don't work well as explosives.

The comment about this being a first for the Taliban directly threatening the US is not true. HM's father, Baitullah Meshud, directly threatened the Whitehouse in 2009 after the Lahore police academy attack. He said "Soon we will launch an attack in Washington that will amaze everyone in the world". We are still waiting for that but perhaps that will be the follow up? A gun attack in Washington?

http://www.newsweek.com/id/192061

The more one reads about these recent bombing attempts the more one thinks AQ in Yemen had a better idea in radicalizing a shooter rather than a bomber. The problem is getting someone who is going to die in the attack reduces the number of candidates willing to go through with the attack.

The downside of all of this is the attackers are still out there. If they are TTP influenced and follow the UK 2007 bombing model they will try again and it may be a suicide model either with bombs (which won't work) or firearms (which will only work if they have some training. If they're clean skins (which seems likely) then the chance they've had training outside the country is low. So I rate their chances about the same as a gunnut who goes postal. Perhaps the same number as a typical suicide bombing (10ish per person).

The public reaction to these bombing is nicely outlines in a Wikipedia article as one of amusement (black humor) around the idea of "who would try to bring a religious war to Glasgow" a city of tough men with tensions between Catholics and Protestants. A much better reaction than the one we are seeing today in the US media.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2007_Glasgow_International_Airport_attack#Public_reaction

Regarding the not using suicide attacks "outside of battle zones": I think if I tot up all the Islamist attacks outside of obvious combat zones it still seems to me that most of them (especially the major ones) are suicide attacks (excluding first WTC and Madrid) but I'd have to try to enumerate them all to be sure.

It seems the TTP and HM would like to be the next AQ and UBL? I wonder if his video "silence" was part of a plan to retaliate against the US: keeping a low profile to get this attack organized before we got to him with a drone. Or perhaps has he moved out of the FATA? A sense if this direct attempt at an attack in the USA really is linked to the TTP we will be pushing for an offensive in North Waziristan in the very near future and moving might be on his mind.

Posted by Ahmad Tariq at May 3, 2010 8:29 AM ET:

I think this attempted attack is probably expected by the U.S. Govt specially after increased U.S. drone attacks on Pakistani Taliban in areas of FATA.

Moreso, I think drone attacks are probably not serving the purpose, despite how much support is given that not many civilians are killed in such attacks. The point being is that at some point in time, the U.S. might just have to get into FATA to clear things up. How long will the U.S. keep using drones? I mean if the Pakistani Taliban have been successful in an attempted attack in NYC despite the drone attacks then I think the U.S. is going wrong somewhere in its strategy.

Any comments are welcome.

Posted by Fred at May 3, 2010 8:37 AM ET:

Render, you make a good point. However, would blatant terrorist sympathizes or Jew haters have any credibility in US politics let alone in an administration?

Posted by T Ruth at May 3, 2010 9:25 AM ET:

US embassy alert for terror attack in Delhi &
US embassy warns of terror attack threat in Delhi

are titles of news reports (linked below) that had been circulating for the last 2 weeks.
The US apparently had some intel about possible, even probable, attacks in New Delhi in particular relating to shopping areas at the weekend.

One wonders if the source of this intel was deliberately misleading to New Delhi rather than New York?

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/delhi/US-embassy-alert-for-terror-attack-in-Delhi/articleshow/5841471.cms

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/south_asia/8655749.stm

Posted by Render at May 3, 2010 10:39 AM ET:

Fred: Was that sarcasm?

EVER
THUS,
R

Posted by Jeff at May 3, 2010 12:29 PM ET:

I believe that bloggers and commenters will figure this out before the Feds.

Good points Kp, Render, and Wilkmaster.

Posted by Fred at May 3, 2010 12:57 PM ET:

Render, not at all.

My point is that members of this forum make the mistake in trying to paint Elizabeth as a sympathizer or a Jew hater for as dangerous as these types are they are far less numerous and influential than left wingers( remember politically correct = don't say anything against the left).

So while there are not any terrorist sympathizers in the Obama administration there are many left wingers and as you correctly point out, when it comes to battling Al Qaeda what is the difference?

Posted by BraddS at May 3, 2010 2:15 PM ET:

Fred, you are so right. Just listen to NPR (or American Public Media as they like to call themselves now) if you need a reality check. I am so sorry for all the $$ I ever donated to them...

Posted by Ahmad Tariq at May 3, 2010 2:39 PM ET:

Whatever Elizabeth typed is probably in some way correct for the reason that there is always a reaction to an action. Currently there seems to be a mix of negotiations and military force on Afghan Taliban, and I guess that is probably a better way to come to a solution, because military force will take you nowhere. Even statistics show that military force alone has resolved too few conflicts in the past. Even if you shun those statistics, the 'big' influential capitals of the world need to realize that they have to have an exit strategy... and I believe if the U.S. has to end terrorism totally then it should try getting into FATA themselves rather than using inexpensive proxies such as the Pakistani Army, as the Pakistani Army will always have its national interests in view when conducting military operations because remember these are operations either against foreignors or Pakistani nationals who have gotten together to commit terrorism around the world. Either the U.S. will mess up this region or will clear it.

Posted by Ignatz at May 3, 2010 3:53 PM ET:

This smells like a false-flag operation. As this story unfolds (if it does), I'm going to watch for evidence of this scenario, as a working hypothesis.

1. Western intelligence services (guess who) are running a network of nitwits in the US who at least had enough gumption to pile a bunch of flammable junk in the back seat of a junk-heap car.

2. Western intelligence services (same suspects) are running a network in the Tribal Areas where real Taliban are made to believe that they have a home-grown "cell" at work in the US. The real Taliban of course try to take credit for an attack. Actually, the "attack" is substantially below the Taliban's well-established production values for car bombs, OR,

3. Western intelligence services (nevermind) have cut-and-pasted a Taliban claim of responsibility for their locally-run network with a store-bought computer software.

Joe-Bob says: cui bono?

Posted by kp at May 3, 2010 4:05 PM ET:

A nice followup in the Washington post on possible international connections (there clearly isn't a consensus yet either way ... all you need to find something to say there is). Fingerprints recovered from the SUV. They also point out that everyone and his dog has been "threatening revenge" for taking out the AIQ leaders so even if it is international it might not be TTP.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/05/03/AR2010050300847_3.html

Another report says they're looking for another man who was running north up Broadway after the incident.

http://www.globe-democrat.com/news/2010/may/03/2-sought-in-nyc-car-bomb-case/

Posted by Max at May 3, 2010 5:26 PM ET:

@ Ahmad Tariq: First you'd have to get the American people behind it, even as support wanes over our military presence in Afghanistan. In order to do that, we'd need a spectacular attack as successful as WTC. So, maybe (if this a coordinated and not isolated attack), that's the point behind these smaller scale, mostly unsuccessful attacks. They're harassment, similar to many attacks on ISAF in Afghanistan.

A side note, please no one forget that while radical Islamic enemies do exist, we have other enemies as well, who could attack separately, facilitate, fund, or coordinate with the Islamic factions. Some are radicals of other forms, individuals, organizations, and States.

Posted by M. Muthuswamy at May 3, 2010 6:35 PM ET:

Mr. Ahmad

You haven't defined what the national interests of Pakistan are!

Could it be that Pakistan's primary "national interest" is one of expanding Islam's sphere of influence by hook or crook?

If that is the case, doesn't Pakistan as a state is invariably leading itself toward a major conflagration with outside powers?

Here is an excerpt from a fresh analysis:

"Pakistan's broad-based commitment to jihad is reflected in the contents of its school syllabus. The motto of the Pakistani army is "faith, piety and jihad in the path of Allah." In the 1980s Brigadier S.K. Malik of the Pakistani army produced an authoritative military manual on jihad called The Quranic Concept of War. It is a required reading of Pakistan's military officers.

Malik writes: "the Holy Prophet's operations  are an integral and inseparable part of the divine message revealed to us in the Holy Quran  The war he planned and carried out was total to the infinite degree. It was waged on all fronts: internal and external, political and diplomatic, spiritual and psychological, economic and military  The Quranic military strategy thus enjoins us to prepare ourselves for war to the utmost in order to strike terror into the heart of the enemy, known or hidden  Terror struck into the hearts of the enemy is not only a means; it is the end in itself."

The above theological thrust has not only ensured military domination of the civilian sphere, but also drove the military to commandeer all instruments and disproportionate share of the resources of the state in order to impose a violent jihad on unbelievers."

More details here:

http://frontpagemag.com/2010/04/28/the-pakistani-third-reich/

Posted by Bill Baar at May 3, 2010 9:16 PM ET:

I'm expecting the anti-war case to be made soon enough that we're getting this attempt as just response to Obama's escalation of the drone war. Once the one-off amateur frame falls apart. I hope I read some discussion of that here because I don't think it's without merit. It's coming and I'd like to see how it's refuted.

Posted by Render at May 4, 2010 12:06 AM ET:

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/36892505/ns/us_news-security/

The question of where the road leads just became irrelevent.

"A U.S. citizen of Pakistani descent, Shahzad Faisal, was arrested Monday night on Long Island, Williams reported. WNBC's Jonathan Dienst reported that Faisal was picked up at JFK airport."

===

Pakistan, as a nation-state, and Pakistani's as individuals, have no moral or legal standing to complain about Israel. Pakistan has already ethnically cleansed itself of the vast majority of Pakistani Jews.

Magen Shalome, Karachi's last synagogue, was demolished in the 1980s to make way for a shopping plaza.

5,000
YEARS
OF
HATE,
R

Posted by kalpak dabir at May 4, 2010 1:21 AM ET:

Now that it is confirmed that the perpetrator was of Pakistani descent, will the US be giving some more aid/ ransom to Pakistan?

Posted by rickshaw_boy at May 4, 2010 9:36 AM ET:

Imam :He brought peace to Afghanistan~~

he should be praised!

Posted by steve m. at May 4, 2010 2:21 PM ET:

Ignatz, Still watching for us?

Posted by Ignatz at May 6, 2010 12:14 AM ET:

I posted on May 3. Here is a followup on my hypothesis by another author with whom I've had no contact to my knowledge:

There is something phony about this whole Times Square bomber thing. I agree w/Gordon Duff in this case:
http://www.veteranstoday.com/2010/05/02/gordon-du...

GORDON DUFF: TIMES SQUARE BOMB HOAX, ISRAELI INTEL GROUP SHOWS IT'S HAND

May 2, 2010 posted by Gordon Duff Β· 81 Comments
Share

ISRAELIS BLAME TALIBAN GROUP, ONE THEY HAVE BEEN WORKING WITH FOR YEARS

By Gordon Duff STAFF WRITER Senior Editor

Who would have believed it? Only days after a warning of an Israeli "false flag" bombing against the US "in the works" a massive car bomb is discovered in Time Square! Better yet, though no intelligence organization in the world could discover anyone claiming responsibility for this embarrassing failure, SITE Intelligence, a group rumored as the "voice of the Mossad" has placed the blame on the Pakistani Taliban.

This is the same group that has come up with numerous bin Laden "audio" tapes, seemingly, though tiny and nearly totally unstaffed, whenever it is convenient for Israel to point a finger at someone, magically Site Intelligence, run by former IDF soldier Rita Katz, whose father was executed as a spy by Saddam Hussein, makes another "unbelievable" intelligence find.

Site Intelligence finds are not only timely for Israel, when the world is focused on claims they have been planning a 'dirty bomb' attack to send the US to war against Iran, but always tend to support mysterious organizations run from the caves of the Afghanistan/Pakistan border region.

SMOKING GUN?

After the demise of Iraq, victim of falsified intelligence, now eliminated as an Israeli competitor, all eyes turned to Pakistan, Islam's only nuclear state. To establish footholds to destabilize Pakistan, a pro-Indian/Israeli government under President Karzai was installed in Kabul.

After 9 years, no evidence of any terrorist activity involved in 9/11 has been found in Afghanistan. The great "net" meant to catch Osama bin Laden and armies of Al Qaeda terrorists came up empty. Instead, we are told from reliable sources that Arab nations friendly to the US released criminals, transporting them to Afghanistan.

These "foreign fighters" actually little more than "extras" in a massive global theatre, kept the small US forces engaged for years, all without any purpose other than to establish that a terrorist organization must have been in Afghanistan because there certainly was one after 2002.

(snip)

ONGOING INVESTIGATION/FOX "ISRAELI ASSET" NEWS ATTACKS OBAMA

With New York police discounting the Pakistan connection to the bombing immediately, Fox News has unleashed an attack on the Obama administration in a well orchestrated manner, accusing democrats of "failing to protect the American people."

With both Site Intelligence and Fox News tied directly to Israel and the signature and timing of this attack showing clear Israeli fingerprints, Fox may be right.

America may be unable to protect itself from a nation still seen by most Americans as a close ally. No other nation has the capability of such an attack or the influence to orchestrate the news, an act already in motion.

If any finger is pointing anywhere, Fox News is telling us "Israel did it."

Posted by Render64 at May 6, 2010 11:37 PM ET:

Cut and pasting Jew hate from a noted anti-Semite and 9/11 truther is not going to help your credibility, with anything.

http://thisainthell.us/blog/?p=14372

RED
DOT,
R