Martyrdom tape of failed Times Square bomber Faisal Shahzad released

Video of Faisal Shahzad’s martyrdom tape, from Al Arabiya.

A martyrdom videotape of failed Times Square bomber Faisal Shahzad has appeared today on the Al Arabiya news channel. The videotape shows Shahzad wearing a black turban, Pakistani clothes, and a military-styled vest. He is seen holding an AK-47 and is often seen reading from the Koran.

In the tape, Shahzad said he is “getting revenge for the killing of Baitullah and Zarqawi, and for all the weak and oppressed and martyred among the Muslims,” Arif Rafiq, the president of Vizier Consulting and editor of the Pakistani Policy Blog told The Long War Journal. “Shahzad says jihad is an integral part of Islam and emphasizes the need to spread Islam worldwide.”

“I will carry this attack on their behalf, and I hope that it will please Muslims,” Shahzad said in the 40-minute-long video. “With jihad, the basis of Islam can be enforced and the word of Allah and his religion will prevail,” Shahzad continued. “Abandoning jihad destroys the religion and puts Muslims in an insulting position as they get robbed of land and authority.”

Shahzad said jihad, or holy war, is a “pillar” of Islam, and that Muslims worldwide ignore jihad, which puts them “in a humiliating position.”

“One of the most prominent things in Islam when I came to it was Jihad,” Shahzad said. “People do their prayers, pay Zakat [a tax], fast, and perform Hajj [pilgrimage to Mecca in Saudi Arabia]. They follow one part of the religion, and drop another, which is the fight for the sake of Allah. Jihad means holy war for the sake of God. It is one of the holiest deeds in Islam, and one of its pillars. With Jihad the word of Allah is raised higher, and his religion prevails. By abandoning it, religion is destroyed, and Muslims are put in a humiliating position; their lands are stolen, and their authority is stripped from them.”

Shahzad said the war against the West and countries that are insufficiently Muslim has only just begun.

“Eight years have passed since the war in Afghanistan,” Shahzad said. “You will see that the Muslims’ war has just started, and we will tell you how Islam will spread all over the world.”

On May 3, Shahzad was detained by the FBI when he tried to flee the country, just two days after attempting to detonate a car bomb in Times Square in New York City. He is said to be cooperating with the FBI.

Shahzad has admitted to the FBI that he was trained in a Taliban camp in Waziristan beginning in late 2009, and that he received money from the organization twice after returning to the US in early 2010.

The Movement of the Taliban in Pakistan, led by Hakeemullah Mehsud, claimed credit for the failed Times Square bombing within 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 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 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. In the tape, which had been uploaded to a YouTube site created by the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan News Channel, Qari Hussain took credit for the failed bombing.

Significantly, Qari Hussain’s audiotape was uploaded on April 30, one day before the failed attack, and the Taliban news channel was also created on April 30. 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.

US officials initially described the Times Square plot as a lone wolf attack and downplayed links to to the Pakistani Taliban. But one week after the attack, the Obama administration admitted that Shahzad was indeed linked to the Taliban.

Videotape of Faisal Shahzad, Al Arabiya

Pakistani Taliban claim credit for failed NYC Times Square car bombing, The Long War Journal

Exclusive: Tapes show Hakeemullah Mehsud is alive and threatens attacks in the US, The Long War Journal


Faisal Shahzad in his martyrdom tape. Image from tape released on Al Arabiya.

Bill Roggio is a Senior Fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies and the Editor of FDD's Long War Journal. Thomas Joscelyn is a Senior Fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies and the Senior Editor for FDD's Long War Journal.

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  • Walter Sobchak says:

    I am still gobsmacked that Eric Holder could not bring himself to say that Jihad was at least partly a cause of Shahzad’s bombing attempt.
    At some point, you look clueless, not tolerant.

  • Mike says:

    I don’t think tolerance is exactly what Holder is aiming for in being very careful in choosing his words on the subject. I think the decision has been made to stop playing into the hands of the terrorists in choosing our language, rather than inflating their range and ability by defining the war against radical Islam as the Great Ideological Battle of Our Time as did the past administration.. These criminals should instead be viewed for what they are, not heroic warriors of Jihad. Islam does not provide justification for these attacks. Neither are bin Laden and his cronies akin to the Nazis in power or influence. They are merely miscreants and barbarians, hiding in the shadows and taking pot shots when they can, and pretending to justify killing in the name of religion.
    Furthermore, a premature attribution of a failed bombing attempt to al Qaeda could have far more negative consequences than being cautious in so attributing such an attempt.

  • John Abraham says:

    Given Shahzad’s tape, would any one here care to clear the air about the “pillar”?

  • Cid says:

    When will westerners with their consumerist mindset ever grasp the danger and magnitude of the jihadist threat?
    Jihadists adhere to a creed of global enslavement, and they will not end their enterprise unless the West stands firm and destroys the Islamic hordes.
    The West cannot afford a Eric Holder, but should rather have a Charles Martel, Jan Sobieski, and Peter the Hermit.
    The arrogance of these Mohammedans releasing these videotapes taking responsibility for the attacks on innocent civilians is a sign of the weakness displayed by the West.

  • JT says:

    Mike – Common “criminals” don’t attack warships, declare war against the US, attack the Pentagon, and kill people by the thousands simply because they are viewed as infidels.
    There is a huge difference between the struggle we face and a city’s struggle with “criminals.”
    Even if I buy into the concept of criminals instead of war combatants, motive is key to distinguishing types of criminals. These guys are an entirely different type of criminal, in scope and threat to this country.

  • James says:

    Does anyone have a link to the full 40 minute video?

  • kp says:

    One interesting quote in the article: “I will carry this attack on their behalf, and I hope that it will please Muslims,” Shahzad said in the 40-minute-long video

    Presumably, if this is a “Martyrdom tape”, then the attack he was to have died in was the Times Square attack (or if not, what attack?).

    But he failed to do that. He set timers on the car bomb and left the vehicle (and a lot of clues). And he was captured as he was leaving the country. With no other attacks in the pipeline. So much for suicide jihadist. The shaheed failed in his martyrdom task. Why? Did he wimp out? Or was that part of the plan?

    Does the “Martyrdom tape” actually mention his death? Or is this a PR tape for post-attack use when he was out of the country?

  • ConLima says:

    @kp I agree. There must be some kind of hurried time line here. Shahzad seems to be trying to do something quickly and get out, almost as if his time was up and he was called home. He hurries to buy a truck not far from home. He quickly assembles things that may create a bomb such as gas and (of all things) POTTING SOIL to complete his jihad statement. It just doesn’t smell right. When the men in black walked on to his plane, he was the only one staring at them. He was waiting to be caught.
    I think he may be where he is just to serve mis-info to the US.

  • Pakistani Brother says:

    what a quack! He’s a joke. He doesn’t have enough knowledge to speak from his own mind. He has to read from the book! His heart is not in it. If it were, he’d be able to speak from within him and not need to read to viewers. What is this a reading hour with a dummy? What a joke this guy is!!! What a joke that Omar studios even put their name on this video. What a shame. This is the level, they have stooped to? Are they that desperate? And, what a cut and paste job at the end to give this video substance.
    With love,
    Pakistani brother


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