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Pakistani Taliban involvement probed

May 5, 2010 at 12:58 AM   |   Comments

WASHINGTON, May 5 (UPI) -- U.S. investigators are probing any Pakistani Taliban involvement in the failed New York bombing based on information on the main suspect, an official said.

The suspect in the Times Square bombing attempt, Faisal Shahzad, 30, a Pakistani who became a U.S. citizen, has admitted to his involvement in the incident, The Washington Post reported, quoting authorities who arrested him Monday at New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport.

Shahzad is the son of a senior retired air force officer in Pakistan, the country's Dawn newspaper reported.

The Post report quoted the FBI as saying Shahzad admitted to its agents that he received bomb-making training in Pakistan.

These details besides a number of telephone calls he reportedly received from Pakistan prior to Saturday's attempting bombing have prompted authorities to look into the Pakistani Taliban connection, a federal law enforcement official told the Post.

"It's a leading line of inquiry," the official said. "There are only a few organizations in Pakistan that could provide training, and the Pakistani Taliban is … one that has an ax to grind with us."

The terrorist group's earlier claim of responsibility is being looked at again, the report said, adding the probe only raises more concerns as the Pakistani Taliban was previously thought of as not being interested in launching attacks outside the country.

The New York incident also has revived questions about the attempted bombing of a Detroit-bound jetliner on Christmas Day, the report said. A controversy about that incident centered on whether the suspect should have been placed in a military court instead of a civilian court.

"Like the Christmas Day bomber, we were lucky that both of these folks were incompetent -- they couldn't trigger the explosives," Sen. Christopher S. Bond, R-Mo., was quoted as saying.

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