Times Square bombing suspect trained in Pakistan's North Waziristan


The US has linked the main suspect in the failed Times Square car bomb attack to a training camp in Pakistan's Taliban-controlled tribal region of Waziristan.

Faisal Shahzad, a naturalized American citizen who is originally from Pakistan, admitted during an interrogation by the FBI that he had trained in a camp in Waziristan. Shahzad was detained at JFK airport late last night while attempting to leave the country, according to the criminal complaint filed by the US attorneys in Manhattan. Shahzad's flight, which was bound for Dubai, was ordered to return to the gate and Shahzad was taken into custody.

"After his arrest, Shahzad stated that he had recently received bomb-making training in Waziristan, Pakistan," the criminal complaint stated. Shahzad also "admitted that he had brought the Pathfinder to Times Square - and attempted to detonate it."

The FBI did not distinguish whether Faisal had trained in North or South Waziristan, but US intelligence contacted by The Long War Journal last night said they believed Faisal trained in a camp in North Waziristan. A Pakistani intelligence official told the Express Tribune that Shahzad may have trained in a terror camp in Kohat, a district in Pakistan's northwestern province of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa. Al Qaeda and the Taliban were known to have operated 157 training camps in the province and the tribal areas as of the summer of 2008.

Further links between Shahzad and Pakistan have emerged over the past 24 hours.

Pakistani authorities have reportedly detained nearly a dozen people associated with Shahzad, most of whom are friends or family members. Among those detained are a friend named Mohammed Rehan, according to The Telegraph, and another named Tauseef, according to the Associated Press. Rehan is said to have been detained at a Karachi mosque that is associated with the al Qaeda and Taliban-linked Jaish-e-Mohammed.

Shahzad returned to the US on Feb. 3 after spending five months in Pakistan. At the time, he claimed he had been visiting his parents and left his wife, Huma Mian, in Pakistan, according to the criminal complaint filed against him. Shahzad and his wife are reported to have two children.

Shahzad's family is well-connected among Pakistan's elite. He is reportedly a son of retired Air Vice Marshall Baharul Haq, a former top officer in the Pakistani Air Force.

The first hint of a link between the failed attack in Times Square and Pakistan emerged just hours after the bomb was discovered. Within 24 hours of the failed attack, two top leaders of the Movement of the Taliban in Pakistan who are currently thought to be sheltering in North Waziristan released tapes claiming credit for the attack and threatening more attacks in the US. But senior US officials initially dismissed the reports and speculated that the attack was carried out by a "lone wolf."

In the early morning of May 2, a person identifying himself as a member of a group calling itself the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan News Channel sent The Long War Journal the location of an audiotape made by Qari Hussain Mehsud, the Pakistani Taliban master trainer of suicide bombers. On the tape, which was uploaded to a YouTube site created by the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan News Channel on April 30, just one day before the attack, Qari Hussain took credit for the failed bombing. Qari Hussain's audiotape was uploaded on April 30, the same day the Taliban news channel was created. On May 2, YouTube quickly removed the audiotape and shut down the site.

Sixteen hours after receiving the initial Taliban contact, The Long War Journal was contacted by a person using a Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan email address who pointed to the location of a new YouTube website with both an audio and a video tape of Hakeemullah Mehsud, the leader of the al Qaeda-linked Movement of the Taliban in Pakistan. In these tapes, Hakeemullah officially broke his months-long silence, denied that he had been killed in a US strike in Pakistan on Jan. 14, and threatened more attacks in the US.

Wes Bruer contributed to this report.



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READER COMMENTS: "Times Square bombing suspect trained in Pakistan's North Waziristan"

Posted by Jimmy at May 5, 2010 12:14 AM ET:

Looks like Pres. Obama's gifts to Pakistan (Billions of dollars of weapons of MASS DESTRUCTION) are going to haunt him and his countrymen for the forseeable future. Thats what you get when you share a bed with the devil. The world has been cautioning the US about Pakistan, but NO...the US knows best! Well, goes to prove that Pakistan is no-one's friend but everyone's enemy.

A wise man once said: "All Terrorism roads lead to Pakistan". Guess, Pres. Obama is learning it the hard way. Come to think of it...he does have a panchant to distance allies and court rogue states.

Posted by yash at May 5, 2010 1:41 AM ET:

all the top terrorist leaders have been apprehended from Pakistan and not Afghanistan. Still America flaunts Pak as a bulwark against terrorism and gives it money. American taxpayers money is being used to fund terrorism... when will Americans start questioning this stupid policy of their Government

thanks
yash

Posted by yashy at May 5, 2010 1:42 AM ET:

all the top terrorist leaders have been apprehended from Pakistan and not Afghanistan. Still America flaunts Pak as a bulwark against terrorism and gives it money. American taxpayers money is being used to fund terrorism... when will Americans start questioning this stupid policy of their Government

thanks
yash

Posted by captainjohann at May 5, 2010 2:51 AM ET:

At last USA media is having guts to call a spade a spade instead of " SOMEWHERE IN AFPAK BORDER' he got his training.

Posted by Chris at May 5, 2010 3:14 AM ET:

Sorry but i'm confused about some things.
I thougt that you need a kind of "quaranty paper" from a "person of trust" to get into a training camp in this area. If not then why are this camps not full of our agents?
What i mean is needed this kind of quaranty out of his family connections in the area or out of connections in the us. Just an internet connection is not enough out of my view because it could be also easily our agents.

And why should you burn a naturalised us terrorist with this kind of attack? Is it known if he intended to leave the country in a planned way? Or was it because of the failed attack and the following intensive manhunt?

Posted by T Ruth at May 5, 2010 4:36 AM ET:

Pakistan,

YOU'RE EITHER IN WAZIRISTAN OR, YOU'RE WITHOUT WAZIRISTAN...

FOR THE WORLD IS WISENING UP TO WAZIRISTAN.

TIME OUT!

Posted by Charley at May 5, 2010 6:09 AM ET:

I have a couple of questions - are we going to bomb the terror enclaves in Karachi, Punjab and Quetta before the next successful big terror event, or after like we did after 9/11? If DHS has not requested Pentagon to turn off the spigot at the source, I wonder why not. If they have, I wonder who in the administration has been opposing it. We know VP Biden has been in favor of more aggressive action.

Posted by Lorenz Gude at May 5, 2010 8:35 AM ET:

The terrorists emailing this blog with the location of video and audio files on the Times Square attack before it occurred is an interesting backhanded compliment to the excellent reporting done by the Long War Journal. It is also a peek into how the new web based media environment is supplanting the industrial age environment of newspapers, radio and TV. It would be interesting to know which, if any, of those outlets were alerted by the terrorists. I don't know if say Fox or the NY Times got an email too but I think either might be sharp enough to handle it well. But this is the age of networks and we have a networked insurgency interacting with a counterinsurgency oriented web site. The middleman was at least partly cut out.

I also think it worth commenting that law enforcement evidently caught the perpetrator because his name was linked to the car purchase in time to nab him at the airport. The trace was computer fast and the redundancy in computer systems got the information through in time despite the airline failing to update in anything approaching real time. That is, if current reporting is accurate - :-) There is a political blame game going on right now over whether the security agencies or the airline were at fault. In any case, there is clearly a lesson to be learned - like maybe urgent additions to the no fly list get positively pushed out to airlines. But most of all America and New York were lucky because the attack was incompetent. And second, the law enforcement people and systems involved worked well. We know how the investigation started - a street vendor alerted a policeman on a horse and ended when federal border police backstopping the airline got word to the pilot and made the arrest. That is a lot of layers to actually get through effectively - and they managed it. The counterinsurgency is getting pretty well networked too - and we have clearly advanced since the days siloed bureaucratic turf wars paralyzed our ability to respond to more nimble terrorist networks.

Posted by T Ruth at May 5, 2010 8:44 AM ET:

Jimmy,
Many people are frustrated with Obama's Afghan Policy. As for the Pak policy, it may as well not exist. I for one don't get it, even if there is one.

Now here's an interesting article about the US's military being concerned about the CIC's policy

http://www.sfexaminer.com/world/U_S_-military-growing-concerned-with-Obama_s-Afghan-policy-92723004.html

And another about McChrystal talking about the solar system. I really wonder where he finds time for this

http://blogs.wsj.com/indiarealtime/2010/05/04/gen-mcchrystal-on-india-pakistan-and-gravitational-pull/

It really is a bit worrying.

Lets hope that the silver lining around the TSq event will be that the AfPak war policy buttons are RESET. This time with taking the Waziristan-bull if not the Paqistani-bull by the horns.

THE WORLD IS WISENING UP TO WAZIRISTAN.

I really question whether the White House can afford to continue its policy towards this PSYCHOPATHIC COUNTRY with not just benign neglect but with BENEVOLENT NEGLECT.

For the time being i feel that even Obama doesn't understand the risks associated with that.

Posted by Mike at May 5, 2010 9:46 AM ET:

Jimmy, T Ruth:

Just because you don't see Obama's Pakistan strategy doesn't mean it doesn't exist. In fact, that you don't see it may mean that his strategy is quite sound, in fact. Secrecy can be important in these matters. Fact is, Pakistan has committed its armed forces in what appears to be a long-term series of operations against insurgents in its tribal agencies. While it has so far picked and chosen along predictable lines which groups to take on, it is certainly true that they have never committed resources on this scale to an effort like this. And the Pakistani public, by and large, supports the effort, as they have borne the brunt of terrorist violence spawned by these groups. Do you think a heavy, publicly visible American hand in these operations would be a positive thing for the political stability of Pakistan, specifically support for fighting the Taliban?

Also, as any reader of Long War Journal should know, Obama has significantly expanded the campaign of drone attacks against high value targets. Yes, we would like to broaden that. I'm sure Obama would like to broaden it to other areas where we could do damage to terrorist networks and training. But there is always a trade-off with Pakistan. I like the movement I've seen so far, from both the US and Pakistani sides, since Obama has been in office. You can put on your political blinders, but that's the only way you could possibly ignore the progress that has been made in that arena in the last year and a half.

Posted by Jimmy at May 5, 2010 9:57 AM ET:

T Ruth,

Absolutely right. You see, no military strategy will work in Afghanistan until Pakistan is left off the hook. Pakistan adds fuel to the fire. What you see in Afghanistan are just the flames and smoke. Successive US Generals and Presidents have ignored advise about cruel human rights violations and genocidal tendencies of Pakistan's Army, ISI. Time is not yet lost. Turn the sanctions screw on Pakistan and you will see how it closes its terror factories. Pakistan must be diplomatically, financially, militarily, covertly, overtly isolated. Only then will its military come to its senses. Unless the US and EU understand this simple fact...sorry, terrorism will continue reaching their shores.

Furthermore, Pakistan has skillfully deceived the US into believing (and Obama seems over anxious to please the Pakistanis) that India should be pressured into conceding the demands of Pakistan and only then will they act against terror. That is such a flawed argument. Not only does it hurt India, a friend of the US, it is turning the public opinion in India against the US. All the while Pakistan keeps its Jihadis well fed and armed, thanks to billions of dollars from the US itself!!

Posted by Guptan Veemboor at May 5, 2010 10:41 AM ET:

Until and unless the Pakistani bull is taken by the horn and dealt with this type of acts will continue. Trying to eliminate the terrorists on a piecemeal basis will not do. It is to be removed completely whether patronised by ISI military combine as strategic assets or not. Now the LeT has gone global. This person Shahzad was trained in Wazirisstan. Next one may be trained in the heart of Punjab. But US has not the will to confront Pakistan and these things will continue. Of course after few more attacks like us in India people will get accustomed to it and take it in their stride.

Posted by Stu at May 5, 2010 11:09 AM ET:

Just an observation about the subtlely of words used by the media. On virually all the mainstream networks and print media, the Times Square bombing is described as the "Times Square bombing plot." A few outlets, such as Fox News, describle it as an "attempted bombing," not a "bomb plot."

Ask yourself, why the difference? The word "plot" implies that the crime is not an actual bombing but an intention to bomb. Yet in fact, a deadly explosion was only a few firecrackers away from death and terror. Once again, the left-wing apologists characterize Muslum terrorists as merely "plotters." This is total nonsense! What took place in Times Square was a bombing that failed to detonate. Of course there was a plot behind it. But is not the crime of building and igniting a bomb--that for some technical reason did not detonate--the same crime as killing people in the center of New York? The bomber did not change his mind at the last moment. It was a bombing! Luck and the bravery of New York City emergency professionals prevented a major attack. I'm starting to believe that our politial/media leaders are either, at best, sympathetic to the murderers that are trying to kill Americans and destroy our country, or at worst, suicidal morons.

Words really matter here. We may not be lucky the next time. Any journalist reading this take note. Your complicity in supporting killers is seen and understood by many like myself.

Posted by hillbilly at May 5, 2010 11:37 AM ET:


Killing of khwaja makes no sense at all and then failed attempt at time squares?....an illiterate taliban
can do a better job than university graduate who has been trained in wazirstan in bomb making techniques ?....this guy shezad is such a fool that he will leave behind a clear trail ?......i smell rat here.........i hope pak army will not come under pressure and launch an offensive in north waziristan.

Posted by Spooky at May 5, 2010 11:46 AM ET:

Bush is guilty of the same thing guys. Rather than hee and haw for political points, we should see what's next down the pipe.

In other news, the marriot bombers got aquitted today due to lack of evidence. Damned ISI.

Posted by Solomon2 at May 5, 2010 12:19 PM ET:

"At last USA media is having guts to call a spade a spade"

Are you sure? Or are they emphasizing the fact that he's just an ordinary American - one of us - and as an ordinary American he was intent on committing mas murder?

I have a suspicion that if in his photos he dressed in a turban and thobe the media reaction would be quite different, more of the it's-America's-fault-the-3rd-world-hates-us sort.

Posted by kp at May 5, 2010 12:38 PM ET:

@Lorenz: "I also think it worth commenting that law enforcement evidently caught the perpetrator because his name was linked to the car purchase in time to nab him at the airport."

It's worth pointing out the details of this.

The SUV sale was anonymous in supermarket parking lot for cash with no bill of sale and the vehicle wasn't registered. They didn't get him through they SUV directly. But they did find the previous owner from the VIN found out about the Craiglist deal and from that got his email (it didn't use a disposable one) and his cell phone number from multiple calls to her. That was disposable cash only non-name phone but on pulling the calls for that they found calls back to Pakistan and to the fireworks sellers too. The seller gave a description and worked with an artist to get a picture.

He left a significant number of items in the SUV too: car keys for the SUV and his other car; house/duplex keys (later used to enter his house); and some documentation for the fireworks.

Later the police come back to the seller with a "six-pack" and she identifies the buyers photo.
I presume from the passport photo (now they know this is the person not a red herring).

http://www.ethiopianreview.com/news/96864

http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2010/05/05/national/main6461970.shtml

There is a small gap in a trail here but I suspect that he left fingerprints at the scene and as his fingerprints are on file with the FBI (all immigrant prints are) that might have made the connection to his name and provided a photo. Another possibility is the connection to his black Isuzu Rodeo that he left in the supermarket parking lot after buying the SUV. Was it still there?

Another oddity is he left his Pakistani passport behind at his house rather than carrying it with him. It seems strange to leave it behind. I presume he was not planning on heading to Pakistan on the return trip: as a dual citizen you enter and exit each country you have citizenship with on their own travel documents.

The one thing he succeeded in doing was slipping the FBI surveillance (how did that happen?) and headed to JFK airport booking his one way flight with no luggage on the day of the flight to Dubai. The latter set of a flag at the airline and they warned the customs folks but they didn't find him on their no-fly list. The ICE folks have a better updated. The aircraft, contrary to many report, had not left the gate (but had closed the doors) when the FBI arrived. In fact the aircraft capture perhaps turned out to be a win for the FBI as he was carrying a 9mm handgun and multiple clips on his way to JFK so being in a sterile environment made it easier to take him without a fight.

http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-31727_162-20004132-10391695.html

http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-31727_162-20004080-10391695.html

Despite some comments that "he almost got away" the system actually worked. Like all good security systems there are multiple layers so when one layer fails another one can catch the failure. Even if the Emirates flight got in the air it's a long way to Dubai and he wasn't going anywhere. He would only have got away if he had a 13 hour lead from the FBI but otherwise they would have arrested him in Dubai and after Dubai refused entry he would have been promptly retuned to the USA.

The other comment is that this guy was no Mohammad Atta. He had an IT degree (not a CS degree) and a MBA with a 2.7GPA. He messed up a lot in this operation leaving a huge number of clues behind and, perhaps worse for them, it wasn't a suicide attack. One is curious how the TTP (or JeT or whoever) decided to go with this guy. How did he make contact? Why did they take him on? Did he impress them? Is this the best they have? It might give some credence to the drone campaign degrading the ability of AQ and the Taliban to train for and execute "external operations".

As CBS points out 53 hours and 20 minute from attempted car bombing to arrest. That only happens on the TV.

Posted by Neo at May 5, 2010 1:51 PM ET:

Kp said:

"One is curious how the TTP (or JeT or whoever) decided to go with this guy. How did he make contact? Why did they take him on? Did he impress them? Is this the best they have? It might give some credence to the drone campaign degrading the ability of AQ and the Taliban to train for and execute "external operations"."

TTP might have liked his pedigree, son of a prominent air force officer. They may well have expected more out of him when they started the whole process. It sounds like this guy was going through a personal and financial implosion. Disorganized thinking is one of the symptoms of major depression.

Posted by T Ruth at May 5, 2010 2:20 PM ET:

Mike,

I understand where you're coming from and wish i could take it all to heart and fall to sleep soundly, blanketed in the knowledge that there is a safe and sound strategy. But i can't.

Recognizing the need for secrecy, even that you may know stuff i don't, plz allow me to make some observations:

M: 'Just because you don't see Obama's Pakistan strategy doesn't mean it doesn't exist. In fact, that you don't see it may mean that his strategy is quite sound, in fact. Secrecy can be important in these matters.'

T: One thing i wish the CIC had kept secret was his withdrawl date, even the beginning thereof.

The strategy calls for Pakistan to be working in tandem with its ally to clear and hold its side of the border. When Gates visited Islamabad some time ago and Pakistan announced under his nose that further operations were on hold for 12-18 months, it became crystal-clear that Obama had announced his long-awaited strategy without even a basic agreement with his ally.

Never mind, the money was already on the table, making the trade-off rather looking like an effoff.

Now anyone who has even negotiated for a second-hand Pathfinder knows that you don't put all your money down in advance of unspecified delivery.

Obama's trip to Afghanistan, coming a full year and however many months after assuming office was an unmitigated disaster. He spent 25 minutes with Karzai, a man with whom he shares a difficult relationship. And who had been left undignified by the months of public dressing-down by his administration. It is logical that you spend more time laboring with one that you don't share a great equation.
-----
M: " Fact is, Pakistan has committed its armed forces in what appears to be a long-term series of operations against insurgents in its tribal agencies."

T: I don't know. Coming 9 yrs into the war, i really don't know.

From what i glean, they have 30,000 troops in S Waziristan and 10,000 in N Waziriztan (out of a million-man army!!??). And this is in their own home country. They haven't exactly had to ferry them across the world in a complex logistical mobilisation.

They had committed a darned sight more to repressing their own people in 1971 in East Pakistan. The US found itself on the wrong side of history but never mind in later decades it managed to turn a blind eye to Pakistan becoming a nuclear state.

That brings me to Pakistan's own strategy based on its 'national interests'. Since Muthuswamy enunciates it much more eloquently than i, i'd refer you to his recent analysis which i actually find quite deep....
http://frontpagemag.com/2010/04/28/the-pakistani-third-reich/
------
M: And the Pakistani public, by and large, supports the effort, as they have borne the brunt of terrorist violence spawned by these groups.

T: Needless to say that it is their collective state and society that created it. It is not something imposed on them from an unfriendly country or alien.

They want to save their own skins but they also want to control their neighbors through they're own monsters--unfortunately they're not playing with sony-robots.
-------
M: Do you think a heavy, publicly visible American hand in these operations would be a positive thing for the political stability of Pakistan, specifically support for fighting the Taliban?

T: Do you seriously think that the Pak Army needs national public support to fight their internal enemy? What, are they an elected army?

Anyway is the taliban not an enemy of their state, their people?

I believe in titration of political power and that includes money. Do you think that chucking heavy fistfuls of dollars is going to buy you that support? Thats one thing i believe the American public would be one on--the US is being milked. Not a lot of inspiring creativity here, secret strategies or not. Unless there is a deal here that disables their nuclear arsenal that i'm not aware of and i wouldn't trust the Paks anyway.
-----
M: I'm sure Obama would like to broaden it to other areas where we could do damage to terrorist networks and training.

T: What are we waiting for? An invitation?
-------
M: But there is always a trade-off with Pakistan.

T; Which is what? Why isn't it the other way round? after all the US is the greater power. Yet you have them incredulously running little circles around America and the 42 other nations that comprise ISAF.
-------
Finally, i'm not even sure that Pakistan cobbled together as it was is any more politically viable than the USSR was. I feel very poor in making that analogy, ltd as it is. The soviets were a formidable super-power compared to this poxy little country, populous as it may be. And the common foe is supposed to be a rag-tag army of medievials with zero technology. How did we ever get here? What percentageof the disrupt-destroy-dismantle mission has been completed in 9 yrs? in the last 1.5? Will be in the next 1.5? What happens after?

I'm sorry my friend only one with blinders would not sit up, take stock and set some reset buttons.

Spooky is right, its not about winning political points. One sees something, one says it. If one doesn't see something, it doesn't mean the other is blind.

My apologies for a long answer--you made some good points, but to say we're doing good in this war in Pakistan, is not good enough. Not when Waziristan has become the Dark Side of the Earth.

Posted by omar at May 5, 2010 4:05 PM ET:

Islamic supremacism is not that different from Christian evangelism, Hindu revivalism or those Japanese rightwingers who go around in loudspeaker vans appealing to the emperor to restore Japanese honor and for everyone else to prepare to commit hara kiri. The real difference is at the top of the heap. The people running India, Japan and the USA may be cynical, manipulative, greedy, whatever (after all, the CIA financed Islamic revivalism for decades), but they seem to have a vague grip on reality (and what human can hope for more than that?). Their worldview accommodates science and change. The same is true even of the Iranian Mullahs and the Saudi Royal family.
> But in Pakistan and Afghanistan, the lunatics took over the asylum. Maybe it was the reverse selection procedures of the Pak army (selecting the dumbest people to become generals), maybe it was a result of the original millenarian fever that erupted at partition (look up millenarian on wikipedia btw and you will not find partition listed there as an example, just goes to show that even our advanced culture has its blind spots), maybe it was just one of those things that happen in history, but for the last 30 years, THE STATE in Pakistan has been an active participant in this lunacy and the ideology has taken hold. Sons of air marshals are dreaming of setting off bombs in public places. That just takes the biscuit. I dont know what to say.
> On a purely western and academic left wing blog, where no contrary opinion can sneak in, I would actually blame the CIA and orientalism and colonialism (not necessarily in that order) and go to sleep a happy man, but even in that echo chamber things are starting to fall apart. Where will this go next, Allah alone knows for sure, we can only hazard a guess.
> My guess: When the only tool you have is a hammer, everything is a nail. So I expect the state department to pass out more money to GHQ, I expect the CIA to fund some new insane lunatic fringe to counter their last lunatic fringe, I expect the pentagon to ask for more money for weapons and a good hard "shock and awe campaign", I expect professors in san francisco to blame colonialism, and I expect Islamists to blow themselves up with even greater devotion. In short, more of the same. Not really. I am just not in a good mood. I will try more serious predictions next time.

Posted by kp at May 5, 2010 5:17 PM ET:

@Neo: Very good point on his background. I could see the TTP loving that for Pakistani propaganda purposes.

I'm not sure about the major depression though. Major depression pretty much inhibits the ability to do much in an organized manner. Looking at the rough timeline of FS leaving his job (or getting thrown out), giving up his house, moving his family out of the USA, going to Pakistan and contacting the Taliban there, training in Pakistan, returning, getting the bomb plot together.

One might point out that lack of smarts is also correlated with disordered thinking. But I could see this as an episode of L&O:CI where Goren is trying to resolve the contradiction of such a disorganized criminal in what is usually a more organized terrorist world.

The disorganization also seems to go along with the lone bomber theory. I can't imagine that this guy

Of course this will keep the conspiracy theorist happy too: he couldn't have been that stupid.

@Omar I think perhaps the CIA has learnt that outsourcing doesn't work so well. I note that the completely home-grown drone campaign does in fact seem to be working.

@Stu: "Ask yourself, why the difference? The word "plot" implies that the crime is not an actual bombing but an intention to bomb. Yet in fact, a deadly explosion was only a few firecrackers away from death and terror. Once"

The data in the open now is that FS didn't know that when people say "fertilizer" they really mean "pure ammonium nitrate". It seems that he had a hundred or so pounds of "tomato fertilizer" that couldn't go bang. So there would be an interesting question of is the device actually a bomb in a legal sense. It can't go bang. Did FS intend the bomb to go bang and kill a lot of people. Of course, but that's a different crime. As they say IANAL but I'm sure the federal prosecutors will be looking it will.

Of course the feds did this recently in a sting operation where they provided a fake car bomb to a suspect which he drove to a federal building and then called a phone number to "detonate" it. Intent and belief is what counts.

The NY Times also has a good little piece of the mistakes made by FS.

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/05/05/nyregion/05about.html

And a similar Bloomsberg piece in SFGate which is memorable for two ideas. The first shot at a conspiracy theory: "Shahzad may have been "purposefully hapless" so that his possible accomplices could see how the New York police responded to terrorist threats". I'm sure you get a lot of info from seeing how quickly the police can capture a dumb terrorist: the real trick is to leverage surprise and leave them stunned. And that from former federal prosecutor in Brooklyn. And he second is the comparison to the TV show "24".

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/g/a/2010/05/04/bloomberg1376-L1XE190YHQ0X-3.DTL

Posted by C.H. at May 5, 2010 5:47 PM ET:

I cannot believe how misguided some of my fellow commentators are in berating Pakistan and its citizens. The guy who released the video claiming responsibility for the Times Square attack was Hakimullah Mehsud, who has DECLARED WAR on the state of Pakistan. We cannot look at this from an "us versus them" mentality. When I hear westerners go up in arms because this plot goes back to Pakistan, they sound almost as if they have been completely oblivious to the scores of suicide bombings that have rocked every single one of Pakistan's major cities on numerous occasions these last few years. Benazir Bhutto, top generals, police chiefs, ISI commanders, and thousands of citizens have been slaughered by suicide bombers. Musharraf, Zardari, and some of their ministers have all narrowly escaped suicide attacks.

This bomb in NYC didn't even go off...just another instance of how lucky Americans have been these last 8 years. The car bomb was dismantled and Americans can go back to fretting about their daily lives. Meanwhile, Mehsud's goons and "fedyeen" are sucessful sometimes on a daily basis INSIDE of Pakistan, mass murdering Pakistanis in mosques, markets, government buildings, and Army cantonments.

Posted by ArneFufkin at May 5, 2010 6:26 PM ET:

@Omar: "On a purely western and academic left wing blog, where no contrary opinion can sneak in ..."

Are you referring to LWJ??

Posted by Marlin at May 5, 2010 6:33 PM ET:

This is interesting. It would seem that drones did in Faisal Shahzad in New York just like they do the Taliban in Pakistan.

A retired National Security Agency (NSA) source, speaking on the condition of anonymity, says signals intelligence was a key factor in catching Times Square bomber Faisal Shahzad.

Working with the FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force, NSA agents apparently tracked Shahzad's movements by locating signals from his cell phone, possibly via a drone. This is ironic because in a video posted at the Long War Journal, the Taliban claims that the Times Square bombing was revenge for recent drone attacks in Pakistan.

Curiously, at 6:21 pm EST on Tuesday, WCBS-2 TV in New York reported that Army intelligence aircraft had led to the suspect's arrest. "In the end, it was secret Army intelligence planes that did him in. Armed with his cell phone number, they circled the skies over the New York area, intercepting a call to Emirates Airlines reservations, before scrambling to catch him at John F. Kennedy International Airport," reported Marcia Kramer.

But then the article was quickly taken down.

PajamasMedia: SIGINT Spy Drone Key to Capturing Shahzad?

Posted by John Abraham at May 5, 2010 7:32 PM ET:

C.H.,

Don't expect any sympathy for TTP/AQ attacks in Pakistan since Pakistani army nurtured all these terrorists who turned against the state.

The motto of Pakistani army "piety and holy war in the path of Allah" is at work in Pakistan's case.


Think also from Mehsud's(or a sincere Muslim's) point of view.

Allah gave Sharia (via Mohammad) so that people will follow the right and divine path. Pakistani state obviously permits many activities that blatantly violate Sharia. (see Lal Majid "terrorists'" campaign against prostitution, dancers, bars etc).

Even theater is not allowed if that exposes a female in an obscene way. (refer to interpretation below)

In light of these it is only fair for sincere(non-hypocrite) Muslims to ask that Sharia be implemented.

Let Pakistan ban all activities(including cultural) deemed immoral by Sharia and then let's see if TTP, JEM and/or AQ still want to attack Pakistan.

Now who is to decide what constitutes Sharia. I guess it is better if that job is left to Koranic scholars who are well trained in Arabic so they can interpret Koran as it was originally meant.

Lets also supply these scholars with some historical knowledge of Saudi Arabia so they can interpret Sharia in light of 7th century Arabia (place and time of revelation of Koran)

Posted by Charley at May 5, 2010 8:05 PM ET:

CH,

I don't think berating Pakistan is misplaced just because they are also suffering bombings. The point is they have been indulging in terror for decades and are facing some blowback. But they have not really changed their ways, or they would have eliminated the terror networks they know and support.

By your logic suicide bombers should get sympathy, because after all, they suffer too.

Posted by DANNY at May 5, 2010 8:19 PM ET:

I cannot believe that Omar just said what he said. " Islamic supremacism is not that different from Christian evangelism" Sorry but that is so not true, I had to defend. I know that this Blog's comments is not the place for this kind of debate? but that is a bit too much Islamic brain washing... (growing up in Isalm).
Islam has this little edge (violence against unbelievers) that you cannot pin on Christianity. Not ever. Saying the Crusades were not merely defending against the Muslim hoard is something taught in Islam to defend Islam victimhood status. Not true. Two totally different motivations,
Christianity and Islam.

Posted by TEM at May 5, 2010 8:35 PM ET:

Omar or whatever your real name is, nice try it almost worked.

There is a huge difference in Christians and Hindu's, when is the last time a fundamentalist who fits in the former category has attacked a foreign country and kills a few thousand???

Get a life,dude!

Posted by bph at May 5, 2010 10:31 PM ET:

kp:
"And a similar Bloomsberg piece in SFGate which is memorable for two ideas. The first shot at a conspiracy theory: "Shahzad may have been "purposefully hapless" so that his possible accomplices could see how the New York police responded to terrorist threats".



This theory, although reaching, reminded me of an article by Syed Saleem Shahzad where similar tactics have been attributed to Ilyas Kashmiri, who has proven he has the capabilities for global operations. I think this would be the first case of them intentionally letting someone get captured though.



http://www.atimes.com/atimes/South_Asia/LD22Df01.html

Posted by Bing at May 6, 2010 12:36 AM ET:

That's a dangerous slippery slope of quasi-moral relativism to not extend sympathy towards innocent individuals killed in P-stan (or Iraq and A-stan) who may have played no part in their country's psychotic policies.

Also, after the khwaja killing, it is increasingly clear to me that the ISI has lost control over most of its pet assets. Even the old guard jihadis are no longer safe from the smaller, even more radical splinter cells that are popping up.

Lets be clear, the jihadi strain runs deep in p-stan, and that makes it that much more difficult for the good guys over there.

An openly hostile p-stan might soothe the soul but I question how that will actually help prevent terrorism.

Bill, according to some other sources, the camp that FS attended was near Kohat. What do your sources indicate?

Posted by Jimmy at May 6, 2010 12:41 AM ET:

C.H.

Pakistan is no angel...and the US seems to be waking up to this:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/us/NY-bomb-plot-raises-questions-about-Pak-military-terror-nexus/articleshow/5895172.cms

By the way, read the comments below that article. It seems the Indian public is disenchanted with the US...just like I said above..."The Indian public opinion is slowly turning against the US" for its blind help in diplomatic support and weapons to Pakistan (a known proliferator of nuclear material and biggest global exporter of terrorism). The US may stand to lose another friend (India) in South Asia if this continues.

Posted by BraddS at May 6, 2010 5:47 AM ET:

@Arne,

No, Omar is referring to the NPR "All Things Considered" crowd, not us....

Posted by kp at May 6, 2010 12:41 PM ET:

@Marlin: What a great conspiracy theory made from whole cloth!

You don't need SIGINT drones over NYC. The NSA operating in the USA against a US person is illegal, BTW. You need good old fashioned detective work with some technical support for the database searches to join these dots.

The NYPD get teh VIN from the SUV. The FBI find the original car owner from the VIN. They got FS's cell phone number from the car seller. They then contact the cell phone provider and get the list of the calls he made from that number. Then they look at the numbers and notice a Pakistan connection with four calls. They run all of those numbers (especially the Pakistan ones) against all the databases they have and find a hit on the Customs and Border Protection entry list. He gave that number when entering the US previously. Now they have an ID. They grab his photo from CBR/ICE databases (he's was a resident and is now a new citizen so it's all there) and make a six pack to show the car seller. She IDed him. Now they know they have a good name/photo. Simple searches of drivers license and credit databases with his name/DOB/SNN will now reveal his current home address. He returned to his house that the FBI were watching. He left the house and lost his surveillance team and then headed to the airport. If he used his cellphone at this point they'd know what he was doing. It's not clear if this is the case. His name was already in the CBP no-fly list so when he made it onto the aircraft they stopped it leaving the gate and he was arrested.

No drones needed.

See my previous comments for the step by step timeline with the new bit of information on how the put a name and face to phone number here:

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/05/06/nyregion/06bomb.html?pagewanted=2

Posted by omar at May 6, 2010 2:24 PM ET:

My reference to "left wing blogs" was obviously not meant for this blog.
My mention of equivalence between Christian fundamentalists and Hindu revivalists and Muslim fanatics was more nuanced than some of the commentators think. I do NOT think all religions and ideologies are the same. My comparison was meant to illustrate the fact that there is a certain type of individual or group in most complex societies that are crudely classified as religious fanatic, rightwing nuts, fascists, ultranationalists, moron, etc. Obviously these are not exactly overlapping categories (and the last is a feeble joke on my part) but they share some features. I was referring only to the shared features, not the differences. ... You are right that the internationalist ambitions of Islamism are different from the localized nuttiness of the Japanese emperor worshippers (some Christian evangelists seem to have Islamic-looking ambitions, so I think in SOME ways they are closer to the Islamic model than commentators here will admit, but they are not killing innocents in other countries to the best of my knowledge) but what I wanted to focus on was the bricks and mortar part of terrorism.
What translates this ideology into truly dangerous terrorism is an infrastructure of jihadism that has some very concrete foundations. Islamic solidarity and internationalism is not new (khilafat movement comes to mind) but jihadi terrorism would not be on most people's radar without the CIA and then the ISI building the actual infrastructure of terrorism. I think people sometimes overvalue the ideology and underestimate the imprortance of bricks and mortar bases, trainers, networks. Without those things, these lone wolves would be isolated morons, rotting away in some prison after their first failed (or successful) nihilistic act. The real threat is something like the Mumbai massacre: organized, networked, highly trained, coordinated in real time using blackberries and cell phones and GPS systems...that theat has a physical headquarter.
Anyway, moral equivalence was not intended.
Got to run, but you may get my drift by now...

Posted by John Abraham at May 6, 2010 2:51 PM ET:

Jimmy,

sorry to bust your bubble, but US does not care about losing a friend in India, if keeping the friend means attacking Pakistan.

Yes, US knows Pakistani links to terror attacks in India, even US citizens helped planned some attacks (Headley) but that does not stop US depending on Pak for practical purposes. To act against Pak requires good deal of political will nationally and internationally which US leadership lacks.

Yes, this means more Indians will be killed by future terrorist attacks originating from Pakistan, but here is the critical point.

The worth of a person's life depends on his national government type (dictatorship or democracy or clerical) , the per capita of that nation (if we are comparing democracies) and the cost involved in replacing the person with another one. (high fertility countries react passively to deaths from criminal/terrorist activity)

I am not saying that an American SHOULD BE worth 20 Indians, what I am saying is that the response of US will be 20 times larger than India's if a citizen of these respective countries is killed within borders.

These numbers are approximate and it also depends of which people in particular are attacked. If businessmen or wealthy or political leaders are attacked the reaction will be more severe.

Posted by C.H. at May 6, 2010 4:59 PM ET:

Jimmy,

Of course Pakistan is no angel...no country is. Most countries are made up of numerous different governments, ideologies, and leadership over a long period of time.

I returned from a 3-month visit to India at the end of the year and found that it is a very pro-American country. However, I also encountered a number of Hindu fanatics, including one man I met on a train from Gorakhpur to Chennai who said the US needs to end its relationship with Pakistan. He went on to say "I am Hindu and I do not like Muslims any more than you do!" even though I had not expressed my thoughts on Islam. Such words are reminiscent of those by Bal Thackeray and the Shiv Sena, a leader and organization that have expressed admiration of Adolf Hitler, have justified Tamil Tiger suicide bombings, and called for a "national cleansing" in the 1990's that resulted in massive riots and hundreds of dead Indian Muslims.

None of this justifies Pakistan-based terrorism against India, but its a reminder, for me at least, that the India-Pakistan issue is a two-sided conflict. The Shiv Sena can be just as crazy as LeT.

Posted by Mr T at May 6, 2010 5:08 PM ET:

You mean like Bhutto? I didn' t see a big reaction to her killing. It wasn't until the jihadis got close to major cities that P-Stan undertook an offensive. I would have thought the killing of a political candidate should have been enough to unleash to dogs of war on the NWFP.

Posted by John Abraham at May 6, 2010 7:38 PM ET:

C.H.,

I think the person you talked to in the train may have a point.

Buddhists have been criticized, Hindus have been mocked, Christians have been made fun of. But when someone drew cartoons, made a film, or a South Park episode, they(people) seem to either die or receive death threats.

That is some thing peculiar to Islam - no respect for freedom of speech, more important these expressions were more or less accurate representation of what they were depicting, so it was not like these people were lying.


My brief research on Shiv Sena ideology tells me they have no beef with US, ideologically or through actions. So they are least of our problems.

Since this article is about Times Square bombing, resulting from all the hatred in Pakistani culture (lets start with text book syllabus: Jews, Christians, Hindus are "infidels"). Neither India nor the West has such myopic history. Neither do these countries' armies have slogans like "piety and holy war in the name of Allah".

So Pakistan is a peculiar case and incidentally turning out to be our mortal enemy, despite the government kowtowing US.


You see the theology taught in schools forms the foundation for hatred of other peoples. Starting purging these from your culture and we will help you.

This also is true of Wahhabism of Saudi and many Muslim countries.

There is another peculiar thing about Muslims. They seem to cry murder when a Western country bans a particular dress for security purposes. By the hypocrisy becomes astounding when they have nothing to say of the requirements in many Muslims countries: No practice of other religions allowed, no free expression and the list goes on.


Let these barbaric countries start to have a secular constitution and then we will listen to Muslims' grievances.

We already treat you more or less equally while you treat as second class citizens (read the constitutions and practices of muslim countries)

Treat us as equal and we can have a discussion.

Posted by T Ruth at May 6, 2010 7:57 PM ET:

Well said, Mr T.

And to this, CH called it a successful election in Pakistan!!!

Yes, Sir CH, its all relative, but the devil is in the detail. A little knowledge or a little experience rolled out with hyperbole is seriously dangerous. You don't need to take a train ride in Pakistan (dangerous), just listen to what Omar is saying here above, openly, honestly, with real awareness.

He sounds like he's from the old school of Jinnah, a path long covered with the thicket of violence perpetrated and propagated by their blood-thirsty generals, not totally devoid of help of their Great American Ally. That thicket is called culture, the physical side of which failed to impress at the cross-roads of Broadway last saturday night,, thank the Universe, but the mental side of which continues to play.

All those who want to shower love upon our fellow innocent Pakistanis had first better find the Omars and then support them against their daily struggle against the "lunatics who have taken over the asylum".

In reality Hillary will soon fly to Islamabad to give Qureshi a hug, Obama will sign another cheque (clue: i don't have a share in that coz i don't know how to spell, or for that matter, be under one!), And Mullen will open another bottle of JW Blue Label with Kayani. Carry on.... The world thinks you make a very handsome couple.

Posted by omar at May 6, 2010 8:39 PM ET:

Mr T, John is generally correct about the relative worths of Indian and American lives but he did not add that there are other complicating factors in the equation. In a third world country, the elite is more likely to look out for narrower clan, family and gang interests than so-called national interests (its a relative difference between third world and first world nations, not an absolute one). In the US, even the death of a Democratic candidate might seriously upset a Repubican administration (and vice versa), but in Pakistan the ruling establishment is not that sophisticated. Benazir was a threat to Musharrfocracy. Her death was (at a minimum) convenient for Musharraf.

Posted by C.H. at May 7, 2010 12:46 AM ET:

"I think the person you talked to in the train may have a point. "


How do you expect to work with Muslims or win their support with statements like this? Are Americans just supposed to give up on Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iraq, the people of Iran etc. and make this into an "us versus them" mentality...where the only people they can trust are fellow Americans, and from what you are suggesting, fundamentalist Hindus? That will never succeed.

I mentioned Thackeray because the hideous acts of violence committed by the Shiv Sena can help give some understanding into why some Pakistanis are so backward. India and Pakistan are not two "good and evil" countries sitting beside each other...both have done stupid things that have allowed religious fanatics and megalomaniacs to come to power.

Posted by C.H. at May 7, 2010 1:00 AM ET:

"You see the theology taught in schools forms the foundation for hatred of other peoples. Starting purging these from your culture and we will help you."


Last year, I spent some time studying Islam in Nepal and encountered people who had converted because they were tired of going through life as "untouchables" in the caste system, which has been a way of life in the country even though the monarchy has collapsed. Many of them were good-hearted people, who were fascinated by my being an American and invited me to their homes for lunch and dinner.

These are the type of Muslims that need to be heard...there are MANY of them, even in places that are written off. Have you heard of the King Fahd Mosque, down in Los Angeles? I have heard people say that it preaches hatred and that "other points of view aren't welcome". Well, a visit will prove otherwise. Last month, I was well-received there, just as I was in Nepal...the sermon delivered by the Imam was about the lifelong respect a person should have for his or her parents. There was no mention of a struggle between "West versus East" or any indication they wanted to see harm come to America.

You say that Muslims need to purge "these people" -- the terrorists and mass murderers from their society, but they do...they are the ones on the front lines of this struggle. Its easy for an American who's biggest concern is a mortgage to sit there and demand a Muslim community in Lahore or Karachi verbally denounce the Taliban and Al-Qaeda...the American critic will probably be asleep when the Taliban suicide bomber storms into the community's mosque, a world away, and incinerates dozens of innocent people. This happens all the time, and I can't help but feel that the West doesn't care.

Posted by John Abraham at May 7, 2010 9:19 AM ET:

"I think the person you talked to in the train may have a point. "


How do you expect to work with Muslims or win their support with statements like this?

----------------

Well when you talk to a person on a train he may not represent a popular opinion. But what I meant was that if he talks that away that is hardly surprising since you had just sent a dozen people to kill about 170 in 2008.

A common man in India is expected to be bitter against Pakistan. Furthermore Pakistan is protecting the masterminds of the attacks.


Now, how do you expect US or India to trust you at all.

Sorry Pakistan is not similar to either US or India. They aid and abet mass murderers in OTHER countries.

What Indians and Pakistanis do in their country does not bother us here, but when Pakistanis start attacking US or (US citizens in) India that concerns us.

Posted by John Abraham at May 7, 2010 9:39 AM ET:

Its easy for an American who's biggest concern is a mortgage to sit there and demand a Muslim community in Lahore or Karachi verbally denounce the Taliban and Al-Qaeda...the American critic will probably be asleep when the Taliban suicide bomber storms into the community's mosque, a world away, and incinerates dozens of innocent people. This happens all the time, and I can't help but feel that the West doesn't care.

----------------


Well you still do not address the fundamental issues that are basis for these attacks.

1. Textbook syllabus in Pakistan

2. What about many Muslims countries' constitutions which do not allow practice of other religions or seriously repress them.

3. Now lets get into theology. How do you expect people to be non-violent when their role model is a person whose morality is seriously questionable.

4. Are you aware of Islamic declaration of Human rights (Cairo) as opposed to UDH. See the differences and you may begin to understand the basis of all this violence.


You are talking about practical issues:

We did defeat Nazis even if they had tens of millions behind them. Same with communism.

Ideally, we want to show Muslims the right(moral not religious) path while pragmatism ties us down.

Islamic apartheid against other religions is just as bad as the "untouchability" you are talking about. I speak out against both, do you?

Islamic apartheid is of course more wide spread than any other discrimination in the world. About 50 countries(home to more than billion, including India) blatantly have such practices. And no one is even talking about this evil.

This discrimination is so ingrained that many people who call themselves Muslims do not even recognize this discrimination that is quite obvious to me.


Let me know if you need references from these countries' constitutions.

Posted by John Abraham at May 7, 2010 10:50 AM ET:

C.H.,

Sure, we in US have some fringe elements supporting KKK, but we have laws to counter them and agencies routinely use them.

If you look at laws in Muslims countries, the standard set of rules are utterly discriminatory. What are the judges supposed to do except to perpetuate the discrimination.

If you are looking for answers about this tendency towards violence you need to look into these laws/constitutions and their implementation.

How the non-muslims(if any remain) in muslim countries are supposed to feel when there are no uniform blasphemy laws? It is ok/encouraged to criticize any religion but criticizing Islam carries death.

Don't these laws automatically give rise to fake superiority complex in Muslims and then propel them toward violence whenever they perceive injustice, while the source of any real injustice is from within.


Posted by John Abraham at May 7, 2010 11:17 AM ET:

C.H.,

I can understand an American going to Saudi or even Pakistan to "study" Islam, but why would one go to Nepal? But that is a question for Nepalese and may be FBI.


Here is my question since you claim to study Islam.

In the West, are you aware of recent child abuse cases by Catholic priests? A person say above 40 is a criminal(legally) if he/she engages in sex with a 12 year old.

Now a 54 year old male having sex with a 12 year old is also a criminal and belongs in jail. Such a person is considered morally bankrupt in the West.


Now would you tell me why people worshiping such a person are expected to have any sense of moral judgment? And why are they expected to NOT kill innocent citizens of another country?


Posted by C.H. at May 7, 2010 6:03 PM ET:

"Well when you talk to a person on a train he may not represent a popular opinion. But what I meant was that if he talks that away that is hardly surprising since you had just sent a dozen people to kill about 170 in 2008."


What do you mean by "you" sent a dozen people to kill 170 in 2008? I did no such thing...I was watching in horror in San Francisco during that time. You want Muslims and Pakistanis to understand grievances by the US and India, but most people in the West and in the Indian gov't shrugged their shoulders when thousands of Muslims were being killed by Hindu rioters. If you saw both sides, you'd probably see that the riots in the early 90's were the perfect recruiting tool for groups like Lashkar e Taiba and Daewood Ibrahim's Muslim Underworld and a responsible government in Maharashtra would punished the perpetrators and kept India on the strong path to secular democracy. The Indian government has acknowledged that Indian Muslims were involved in planning the Mumbai attacks in'08...it should be obvious why at least some of them might have decided to do so, since they have been ruled by a government that has referenced and praised Hitler in their attempt to remove Muslims from the city.

Posted by C.H. at May 7, 2010 6:15 PM ET:

John,

I feel your comment is starting to drift into an arena that I am not trying to argue. I agree that Islam does need reformation...but I'm also willing to listen to the hundreds of millions of Muslims who are tolerant. Last year, while revolting against the sadistic government of Ali Khamenei in Iran, Iranians yelled "Allaho Akbar!" from their rooftops in mass. They don't see the current government as the true form of Islam, even though many westerners unfortunately do. The funny thing is, most Iranians I have met are more pro-American than the average American these days, at least those who live in the Bay Area. I know this because I have regular contact with about 30 friends who live there.

The Iraqi soldiers and police who are fighting and dying with American soldiers are Muslim...many of them get up every morning and obtain the strength to face another dangerous day through the Koran and feeling that what they are doing has a purpose. Yet that doesn't warrant any respect...instead, the media and the west give the banner of Islam to Al-Qaeda when it attacks "the den of infidelity" -- daycare centers and markets.

Posted by John Abraham at May 7, 2010 6:21 PM ET:

C.H.,

This is what I am talking about

http://frontpagemag.com/2010/05/05/among-criminal-muslims/print

This is what I mean these people need to be shown right path.

Posted by C.H. at May 7, 2010 6:30 PM ET:

This is addressed to several of my fellow commentators...I'd like to know, if you are so angry at Muslims and Pakistan then what exactly is the US doing in Afghanistan? Afghanistan is being run by Hamid Karzai, who recently derided the joint US-Pakistani arrest of Mullah Omar's deputy in Karachi. Karzai has also threatened to align with the Taliban...and has allowed legislature that destroys women's rights to be made into law. Among other things, he has almost morphed into an Ahmadinejad wannabe with his accusations against foreigners and the recent election fraud.

Many of you are angry at the US for giving money to Pakistan, but are you okay with US soldiers dying for a man like Karzai?

Posted by Render at May 7, 2010 11:36 PM ET:

R - Pardon me for interrupting 

CH - "This is addressed to several of my fellow commentators...I'd like to know, if you are so angry at Muslims and Pakistan then what exactly is the US doing in Afghanistan?"

R - I can field this. Over five decades of the ethnic cleansing of my people from all Moslem lands would seem like a legitimate reason for some anger, perhaps even that fabled "blow-back" the Left seems so fond of referring too. I think at the moment the US is supposed to be doing some form of "nation-building" with a short deadline and a very tight budget, but you'll have to refer to whatever the White House teleprompters tell you for that answer in further meaningless detail. Whatever it is or is supposed to be, it has destroyed eight years of hard work in a hard place that was just beginning to yield its first crops.

CH - "Afghanistan is being run by Hamid Karzai, who recently derided the joint US-Pakistani arrest of Mullah Omar's deputy in Karachi. Karzai has also threatened to align with the Taliban...and has allowed legislature that destroys women's rights to be made into law. Among other things, he has almost morphed into an Ahmadinejad wannabe with his accusations against foreigners and the recent election fraud."

R - Ayup, thanks for the recent history lesson. Most, if not all of those stories were covered or at least mentioned right here on the LWJ. Most of us are well aware that things have gotten decidedly pear shaped since 2006 and considerably worse since 2008.

CH - "Many of you are angry at the US for giving money to Pakistan, but are you okay with US soldiers dying for a man like Karzai?"

R - Some of us would prefer to evacuate Afghanistan by ground via Karachi with extreme prejudice and a twenty mile wide free fire zone around the columns. Thunder Run to the coast and the wastage of most, if not all, Pakistani military assets along the way. AfPak can rebuild itself after we're gone, without our money, and with our promise to return, with even more force.

R - After that West Point speech I'm not sure any the better could have been rightfully expected from Karzai. When you think you're the father of a new nation, it's got to be tough to get the news that the baby will be aborted by a strange man halfway around the world, without your permission or opinion. It would seem even tougher knowing that there are men outside the house that want to string you up by your heels at the same time.

ARE YOU
TALKING
TO ME?,
R

Posted by C.H. at May 8, 2010 2:51 PM ET:

"I can understand an American going to Saudi or even Pakistan to "study" Islam, but why would one go to Nepal? But that is a question for Nepalese and may be FBI."


I was teaching English in Nepal...studying Islam was an extra project I took on while I was there.

Posted by T Ruth at May 9, 2010 12:11 AM ET:

John Abraham

Thank you very much for that frontpagemag article.

It was rivetting and revealing!

I'd recommend it to all readers here. Essential reading in our study of Islam to understand their conditioning and why they are so aggressive and violent as compared with the rest of the world!!!

Personally, with respect to all, i reject all organised religions and 'isms as being man-made while believing in a more profound approach to the truth and beauty of the universe/multiverse (in the vein of people like Einstein and Krishnamurti). But having seen virtually all of the main organised religions close-up, it has to be said the sheer agression and violence of the Muslim religion and culture sets it apart as particularly repugnant.

CH a sympathiser hasn't told us about the process of proselytizing poorer, vulnerable people into Islam in Kathmandu, possibly a conflict of his interests in his "extra project".

Study of Islam in Pakistan and the attendant demise of Hinduism and Judaism there may be more revealing.

Posted by NS at May 9, 2010 2:20 AM ET:

I mentioned Thackeray because the hideous acts of violence committed by the Shiv Sena can help give some understanding into why some Pakistanis are so backward. India and Pakistan are not two "good and evil" countries sitting beside each other...both have done stupid things that have allowed religious fanatics and megalomaniacs to come to power.

Moral equivalences have a way of showing a person's thinking - C.H., your moral equivalence, just did.

Congratulations, you have made me, a non supporter and indeed an opponent of Shiv Sena actually come to their defense...

The next time Shiv Sena flies a plane full of people into skyscrapers of the world's financial capital, wake me up...

The next time Shiv Sena sends its goons to kill Pakistanis on the roads of Karachi and holds the city hostage for a good 3 days, wake me up.

You know next to nothing about the Shiv Sena (try to find out what exactly their name means and why they chose this particular name and then get back to me)- and yet you are worried about them the same way you are worried about Islamic terrorists?

India is no stranger to progroms that target religious minorities - read up the anti Sikh riots of 1984 after Indira Gandhis assasination and you will be disgusted - Shiv Sena's violence needs to be dealt with by Indian law - that India has largely failed to do so is no excuse for supporting terrorism against the Indian state.

You make the fallacy that but for the likes of Shiv Sena, Islamic terrorists wont and dont exist - nothing could be farther from the truth.

C.H., a little knowledge is a dangerous thing - you obviously need to learn a lot more history before you can consider yourself informed enough to spew opinions on the subject of Islam, or Islamic terrorism. It is not just about meeting with a few people who are pious and non violent.

And no, it doesnt happen by having random conversations on trains with total strangers either.

I am afraid that any study/research of anything connected to Islam's negative characteristics is politically incorrect and quickly branded as Islamophobic. Sorry, this should be a seperate thread in itself and another site - not on the LWJ.

Posted by C.H. at May 9, 2010 3:28 PM ET:

"CH a sympathiser hasn't told us about the process of proselytizing poorer, vulnerable people into Islam in Kathmandu, possibly a conflict of his interests in his "extra project"."


I get it...so I am a "sympathizer" because I don't want the US and India to "level" Pakistan (yes, I have seen some commentators suggest this before). Before you make such ludicrous accusations, maybe you should read some of my writings on my site.


"You know next to nothing about the Shiv Sena (try to find out what exactly their name means and why they chose this particular name and then get back to me)- and yet you are worried about them the same way you are worried about Islamic terrorists?"


NS, I don't know who you are or where you come from, but I can say with almost 100 percent certainty I probably know just as much or more about the Sena than you do. I have been studying it for years and I have seen them in action...Hinduism was as much a part of my report as Islam was.


"India is no stranger to progroms that target religious minorities - read up the anti Sikh riots of 1984 after Indira Gandhis assasination and you will be disgusted - Shiv Sena's violence needs to be dealt with by Indian law - that India has largely failed to do so is no excuse for supporting terrorism against the Indian state."


Daewood Ibrahim's Muslim underworld intensified its operations after the Mumbai riots...this is common knowledge, look it up. Many of the serial bombings that rocked Indian cities last year were blamed on the Student's Islamic Movement of India, a homegrown Islamic extremist outfit.

You are right...there is NO excuse for supporting terrorism against India, but there is also no excuse for Hindu fundamentalist admirers of Hitler to call for the expulsion of all Muslims of Pakistani orgin (which is interesting, since Pakistan was once part of India). Since you claim to know so much about Thackeray and the Sena, you probably know that he has called for the formation of Hindu "suicide squads" to counter Muslim extremism...and while that may be bluster, he has defended the LTTE and their use of suicide bombers. Keep in mind that outside of Iraq, Sri Lanka has suffered from more suicide attacks than any country on earth...and the Koran was not in play during that brutal civil war.

One other point I'd like to make...you keep saying that its no excuse for Pakistan to export terrorism to India because of domestic disputes between Hindus and Muslims. India has done the same thing, except with Hindu communities outside of its borders (Sri Lanka and Nepal). India, along with China, has played a role in Nepal's civil war and instability...and also, at one time, supported the LTTE in Sri Lanka, since most Tamils on the island are Hindu. Their decision to back away from the LTTE after it became one of the world's most violent terrorist organizations led to the assassination of Rajiv Gandhi in '91.


Posted by C.H. at May 9, 2010 3:42 PM ET:

NS,

Have you ever been to Sri Lanka? Many people there see India's support for the LTTE the same way Indians view Pakistan's support for LeT.

http://indian-history.suite101.com/article.cfm/india_in_sri_lankan_civil_war

When I was in Tamil Nadu, I encountered a number of people who openly praised the LTTE and wished that the Indian government had stepped in to save its leader at the end of the civil war.

You can't break Pakistan and India down into a question of good and evil. As I've been saying all along, both have done some really dumb things for their own personal gain...whether its to one up each other or the dominant religions in both countries.

Posted by T Ruth at May 11, 2010 1:17 PM ET:

"CH a sympathiser hasn't told us about the process of proselytizing poorer, vulnerable people into Islam in Kathmandu, possibly a conflict of his interests in his "extra project"."


I get it...so I am a "sympathizer" because I don't want the US and India to "level" Pakistan (yes, I have seen some commentators suggest this before). Before you make such ludicrous accusations, maybe you should read some of my writings on my site.
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1. If i were convinced you knew the difference between a commentator and a commentor, i might visit your site. Seeing the tip of it here its not worth my while. Not unless you get emails from the Taliban and you're willing to share. :D

2. I note you have more than once in these couple of threads confused Maharashtra and Gujarat. Dunno which Mumbai riots you are going on about. Also you missed in your history lesson the various bomb attacks in Mumbai whaen it was still Bombay.

3. You have still not told us about the process of proselytizing you didn't observe--coz of your sympathies?

Posted by Charu at May 18, 2010 6:58 PM ET:

CH's revisionist attempt at moral equivalencies between Shiv Sena and LeT is laughable to anyone who really knows the region. The Shiv Sena lumpen would fall somewhere between the tea partiers and the Hutaree in the American context, and nowhere near the level of malevolence associated with the LeT or any of the other Islamic jehadi groups. Yes, they have been involved in acts of violence against Muslims and even murder, but to lay the blame of the Mumbai riots and the subsequent bombings in that city by the gangster and Al Qaeda financier Dawood Ibrahim, currently ensconced in Pakistan, on the Sena shows considerable ignorance or deliberate prevarication on CH's part.

The riots, like most communal riots in India, started when a Muslim mob burned alive some Hindu families in their homes. This was the spark that led to the deadly riots, with the Sena lumpen leading the charge for the Hindu dwellers and Islamist mobs retaliating and the cycle of violence rapidly spinning out of control. Since there are more Hindus that Muslims in India, in the rare case when Hindus get sufficiently provoked by the Muslim propensity for senseless brutal violence (like in Gujarat where a Muslim mob burnt alive Hindu women and children trapped in a train), there are generally more Muslim fatalities than Hindu deaths when the smoke clears. Of course, it then later led to the Muslim bombings of Mumbai; Hindus, to be noted, showed great restraint here as they do in the case of the vast majority of Muslim-led acts of terrorism in India.

So, yes, the man in the train may have expressed deep hostility towards Muslims, but it is a hostility borne of a history of countless acts of violence that stem from a sizable minority community in their midst. The same type of hostility you may hear from a man in the train in New York, Amsterdam, or Paris following the latest Islamic act of terror. It, however, does not lead this man to drop everything and join a militant training camp to learn how to terrorize civilians. And that is a huge difference! There is no moral relativity between the Muslim mindset towards violence and that of virtually every other community in the world.