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May 2, 2010

Qari Hussain Mehsud of Tehreek e Taliban Pakistan claims responsibility for failed Times Square bomb attempt

Topics: Political News and commentaries, Terrorism, Understanding Islam

As has been widely reported, the Pakistani Taliban has claimed responsibility for the bomb plot:

[...] According to Fox News, in a 1 minute video allegedly released by the Pakistani Taliban, the group says the attack is revenge for the death of its leader Baitullah Mehsud and the recent killings of the top leaders of al-Qaida in Iraq.

Images of the slain militants are shown as an unidentified voice recites the message. English subtitles are at the bottom of the screen.

According to the AP, an unidentified speaker on the tape also says the attack comes in response to American "interference and terrorism in Muslim Countries, especially in Pakistan."

The claim could not be immediately confirmed andhe tape makes no specific reference to the attack nor does it mention that it was a car bomb or that it took place in New York City.

A text in gold letters on a black background at the start of the video congratulates Muslims for the "jaw-breaking blow to Satan's USA." As the speaker recites the message, images of the slain militants referred to flash across the screen. English subtitles are provided at the bottom of the screen.

The video was uncovered Sunday by SITE, which monitors militant websites and has been accurate with such militant claims in the past.

Jawa Report has it that Qari Hussain Mehsud from Tehreek e Taliban Pakistan claimed responsibility and that the YouTube channel (here) by which the message was delivered was created on April 30, 2010, (i.e. before the bombing). Also, that the only video uploaded (since removed) is the claim of responsibility. Making the claim before the incident is by no means conclusive but it offers weight to the possibility that the claim is valid (Update - Java Report has the video here).

ABC News reports that New York Police Commissioner Ray Kelly said a white male in his 40s was seen near the SUV that was parked on a Times Square street and packed with explosives. Whether the guy was involved or just walking by remains to be determined:

The man was seen leaving the area and shedding a dark shirt, revealing a red shirt underneath, about a half block from where survellance cameras saw the vehicle entering Times Square in New York City at about 6:28 pm Saturday. The video of the possible suspect is expected to be released later today. Kelly said the individual was looking around in a furtive manner, but also stressed that the behavior could be totally innocent.
Clearly, massive casualties and mayhem would have resulted had the VBIED exploded. Taliban or not, Islamothug or "angry white guy," whatever the case, the NYPD and the FBI are all over this and are likely to ID the perpetrator. I'd almost rather it be the "angry white guy," since I'd hate to find out that a life of VBIEDs has now come to America.

Video: News update:

AllahPundit has several updates.

Related: Is there a South Park connection?

Posted by Abdul at May 2, 2010 4:20 PM

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