Arab TV airs video of Times Square bomber
(AP) - The man who pleaded guilty to carrying out theattempted Times Square car bombing appeared in a video recordedbefore the failed attack that shows him meeting with seniorPakistani Taliban leaders and vowing to strike the U.S.
In the video, aired in segments Wednesday by the Dubai-basedtelevision station Al-Arabiya, Faisal Shahzad said the attack onthe New York City landmark would avenge the deaths of Muslimskilled in Iraq and Afghanistan.
"All the Muslim Arabs that have been martyred - I will takerevenge on their behalf," he said. "I really wish that the heartsof the Muslims will be pleased with this attack, God willing."
One of the figures he praises as a martyr is Abu Musabal-Zarqawi, the former leader of al-Qaeda in Iraq who was killed ina U.S. airstrike in Iraq in 2006.
Shahzad, 30, is seen in the video sitting on the ground in ablack turban and olive-colored vest, with an AK-47 next to him. Hecalls jihad, or holy war, a pillar of the Muslim faith, and says"Islam will spread on the whole world and democracy will bedefeated."
"Eight years has passed by Afghanistan, and you will see thatthe Muslim war has just started," he said.
Al-Arabiya said the full tape shows Shahzad meeting withPakistani Taliban Hakimullah Mehsud.
IntelCenter, a U.S.-based group that monitors extremist groups,said Mehsud and Shahzad shake hands in the video. IntelCenter alsosays the video bears the mark of the Pakistani Taliban's media arm,Umar Media.
Analysts said the Pakistani Taliban appears to be trying to usethe video as a means of boosting the reputation of Mehsud andreminding the Pakistani Taliban's supporters that they can hit theU.S. on American soil.
Evan Kohlmann, an analyst at globalterroralert.com, a private,U.S.-based terrorism analysis group, said that such a video "cansignificantly prolong the visceral impact of even an unsuccessfuloperation."
Shahzad, who was born and raised in Pakistan before moving tothe U.S. to study and eventually taking U.S. citizenship, wasarrested days after the failed May 1 bombing in Times Square.
He pleaded guilty in June to carrying out the attack, andadmitted to attempting to establish contact with the Taliban whileon a 2009 trip to Pakistan. He also told the New York court that heconsiders himself "a Muslim soldier."
He said he sought and received five days' training in explosivesbefore returning to the United States in February to carry out thebomb plot with funding from the militant group.
The indictment said he received $5,000 in cash on Feb. 25 froman unnamed coconspirator in Pakistan and $7,000 more on April 10,sent at the coconspirator's direction.
His image in the video is widely different from the previouslycirculated snapshots of Shahzad, and is typical of previousmartyrdom videos released by other attackers.
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