The American Taliban are coming

May 12, 2010 04:22

The age of the virtual jihadi nomad is a go. Forget the Osamas; now it’s the time for the Shahzads. Illegal, covert drone wars are bound to spawn – spin or no spin – a terrible, absurd and deadly string of blowback. Lookout, the American Taliban are coming.

By Pepe Escobar at Asia Times

Intricate shadowplay surrounds the (failed) smoking sports utility vehicle Times Square bomber Faisal Shahzad. Earlier in 2010, the Central Intelligence Agency warned al-Qaeda might try an attack inside the US “within the next six months”. It did happen – like clockwork – with the added bonus that the alleged perpetrators are even more convenient than al-Qaeda.

United States Attorney General Eric Holder is now sure “the Pakistani Taliban was behind the attack. We know that they helped facilitate it. We know that they probably helped finance it and that he [Shahzad] was working at their direction”. President Barack Obama‘s homeland security and counter-terrorism adviser John Brennan basically said the same thing.

On May 3, United States federal prosecutors charged Faisal Shahzad, 30, on five criminal counts, including committing an act of terrorism and attempted use of a weapon of mass destruction. The complaint filed in a Manhattan court said Shahzad had admitted he received bomb-making training in Waziristan, Pakistan, before attempting on May 1 to explode a car packed with explosives in Times Square. The car had cans of gasoline, propane tanks, fireworks and detonators.

Despite this, no hard evidence has been presented. The notion that the ultra-localized, Pashtun-oriented Tehrik-e Taliban Pakistan (Pakistani Taliban – TTP) may pull an al-Qaeda-style New York car bombing is as fishy as Goldman Sachs juggling with wacky financial instruments. The Pakistani army, for starters, does not buy it. According to its top spokesman, Major General Athar Abbas, “I don’t think they have the capacity to reach the next level.”


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