Accessibility links

Breaking News

Pakistani Taliban Denies Links to NYC Bomb Suspect

A spokesman for the Pakistani Taliban has denied links to a man who has been charged in a failed car bomb attack in the heart of New York City's entertainment district.

Azam Tariq told news agencies by telephone Thursday that his group has nothing to do with 30-year-old Faisal Shahzad, a Pakistani-American who was arrested earlier this week on a plane that was about to leave New York for Dubai.

The Pakistani Taliban had claimed responsibility for Saturday's attempted attack.

Also Thursday, Pakistani Interior Minister Rehman Malik told the Reuters news agency that it is unlikely that Shahzad acted alone, as the suspect reportedly told investigators. He also says Pakistan has not yet received a formal U.S. request for help, but his country is ready to provide full support in the investigation.

In Washington, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder said the suspect is providing useful information and authorities are continuing to pursue a number of leads.

The charges against the Pakistani-born naturalized U.S. citizen include trying to use a weapon of mass destruction.

The Washington Post
newspaper says U.S. President Barack Obama is preparing to ask Pakistan for urgent and specific information about the failed attack, with the administration hoping to make the detailed request by the end of the week.

U.S. authorities say Shahzad has told them he received bomb-making training in Pakistan.

Shahzad allegedly parked a sport utility vehicle in the crowded district of Times Square Saturday evening, with the vehicle containing propane tanks, gasoline, fireworks and other material. The crude bomb did not detonate.

U.S. officials say Shahzad has cooperated in the questioning led by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, after waiving his right to appear in court for arraignment.

He faces life in prison, if convicted.

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