White House: Pakistani Taliban behind NYC bomb
(AP) - President Barack Obama's homeland security and counterterrorism adviser said Sunday that authorities believe the Pakistani Taliban was behind the attempted bombing at Times Square.
White House adviser John Brennan said that while theinvestigation is ongoing, it appears that accused bomber FaisalShahzad was working for the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan, or TTP. Themilitant group is believed to be hiding senior al-Qaida leaders,including Osama bin Laden.
Brennan said the finding "underscores the serious threat thatwe face from a very determined enemy."
The conclusion seemed to contradict a recent statement by Gen.David Petraeus, who said Shahzad apparently operated as a "lonewolf." Petraeus, head of U.S. Central Command, said in a statementFriday to The Associated Press that while Shahzad was inspired bymilitants in Pakistan, he didn't necessarily have direct contactwith them.
Brennan's comments come after speculation that TTP hadorchestrated the attack. Shahzad, a U.S. citizen of Pakistanidescent, spent five months in Pakistan before returning to theUnited States in February and preparing his attack.
Shahzad has told investigators that he trained in the lawlesstribal areas of Waziristan, where both al-Qaida and the PakistaniTaliban operate. He was arrested aboard an Emirates Airlines jet inNew York just minutes before it was scheduled to take off forDubai.
The finding could increase U.S. pressure on Pakistan to clampdown on the terrorist network. Brennan said Islamabad was beingvery cooperative in the investigation but that the U.S. wants toknow exactly who may have been helping Shahzad.
"There are a number of terrorist and militant groups operatingin Pakistan," he said. "And we need to make sure there's nosupport being given to them by the Pakistani government."
Brennan would not say whether Shahzad may be connected tofugitive al-Qaida cleric Anwar al-Awlaki, other than to acknowledgehis Internet sermons are popular among extremist Muslims.
Brennan spoke on CNN's "State of the Union" and "Fox NewsSunday."