Print options

May 04, 2010

Pakistan Army: Taliban Responsibility in Failed NY Attack Unlikely

Pakistan's army says it does not believe the Pakistani Taliban helped with the failed car bombing in New York City last week, as the insurgent group has claimed.

Army spokesman Major General Athar Abbas said Wednesday that "anybody can claim anything," calling the reach of the terrorist organization "questionable." He said he does not think the Pakistani Taliban has the capacity to carry out attacks overseas because the army has destroyed their facilities.

Police in New York said Monday there was no evidence to support the Pakistani Taliban's claim.

Family members and friends of Faisal Shahzad, the Pakistani-born U.S. citizen accused in the failed bombing, also expressed doubt that he is connected to any militant groups.

They said he comes from a peaceful, educated family without any links to radical political or religious parties.

Shahzad is the son of a retired Pakistani air force officer and is married with two children.

Pakistani officials said Tuesday they have detained several people in connection with the car bomb attempt in New York's Times Square last week and pledged full cooperation with U.S. authorities.

The officials, who did not want to be identified, declined to give further details, but said the arrests had taken place in the southern port city of Karachi.

Law enforcement officials said the 30-year-old Shahzad had recently returned from a five-month stay in Pakistan where they say he received training in bomb making.

Shahzad came to the United States on a student visa in the late 1990s. He has a Bachelor's degree in computer science and a master's degree in business administration. Shahzad became a U.S. citizen last year.

Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.