WSJ: Yep, looks like Shahzad is a bona fide Taliban-trained agent

posted at 9:48 pm on May 5, 2010 by Allahpundit

Remember, until this point, the only evidence that there was a Taliban link was that videotape put out on Saturday night in which bombmaker-in-chief Qari Hussain took credit for the attack. We knew that Shahzad trained in some sort of camp, but Pakistan is like a big Mos Eisley cantina of jihadis. Could have been any number of groups who trained him. As it turns out, thought, it appears Hussain wasn’t just blowing smoke in that video.

Ironically, Shahzad’s status as an American citizen may have tripped him up.

U.S. and Pakistani investigators are giving increased credence to links between Times Square bombing suspect Faisal Shahzad and the Pakistan Taliban, with one senior Pakistani official saying Mr. Shahzad received instruction from the Islamist group’s suicide-bomb trainer…

Mr. Shahzad received training in explosives in a camp run by Qari Hussain, the official said. Mr. Hussain is a senior commander with Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan, the Pakistan Taliban’s formal name, and trains suicide bombers, the official said. Mr. Hussain is also a cousin of Hakimullah Mehsud, the Pakistan Taliban’s chief. The 30-year-old Mr. Shahzad has admitted to investigators that he received training from militants in Waziristan, U.S. officials said…

One thing that puzzles U.S. terrorism experts: the lack of sophistication in the planned attack, considering Mr. Hussain’s reputed expertise and emphasis on suicide bombs. One theory is that Mr. Shahzad may not have been fully embraced or fully trained by the Pakistan Taliban, who may have been suspicious of a U.S. citizen seeking training.

“They may not have shown him all their tricks, but just set him loose. If he pulls off an attack, great, they got a ‘freebie,’ and if not, no harm done,” said Brian Fishman, a terrorism analyst at the New America Foundation in Washington, a think tank that focuses on security issues.

There were rumors floating around this afternoon that Shahzad had met personally with Hussain, but I don’t know if that’s been nailed down yet. As for the theory about why he messed up the bomb, I don’t get it. If they were worried he’d chicken out, wouldn’t they also be worried that he’d rat them out — an incredibly dangerous prospect considering the free rein given to U.S. drone pilots nowadays? Once you decide to let him into the camp, what’s to be gained by not showing him how to build a bomb correctly? I think the error has to be on his end somehow.

Pakistan’s reportedly pinched more than a dozen people related to the plot, most of them linked to Jaish-e-Mohammed. JeM tends to focus on attacks against India to “liberate” Kashmir, which makes sense here: Shahzad is of Kashmiri descent, so he probably hooked up with them for that initially and then got steered around towards attacking the U.S. given the advantage he had in (re)entering the country. Read Roggio’s post for a brief primer on how incestuous the Taliban, JeM, Lashkar e-Taiba, and other jihadbot outfits in the area are vis-a-vis training. Oh — JeM was also the group that got in contact with the five Americans from the D.C. suburbs who went looking for jihad in Pakistan last year. Funny how they keep finding our citizens, and vice versa.

Update: The NYT has also raised the alarm about Taliban connections tonight, and hits on the Mos Eisley point:

American officials said it had become increasingly difficult to separate the operations of the militant groups in Pakistan’s tribal areas. The region, they said, has become a stew of like-minded organizations plotting attacks in Pakistani cities, across the border into Afghanistan, and on targets in Western Europe and the United States.

Besides the Pakistani Taliban and Al Qaeda, groups operating in the tribal areas are the Haqqani Network and the Kashmiri groups Lashkar-e-Taiba and Jaish-e-Muhammad.

Another good point:

Some American officials bristled at the idea that the United States had not taken the Pakistani Taliban threat seriously.

“We’ve been pounding their leadership, including figures like Baitullah Mehsud, and their training camps and other facilities,” one American counterterrorism official said. “Those actions have probably taken other people like Shahzad off the board.”

Yeah, Shahzad may be the jihadi equivalent of a Double A pitcher sent up to the majors because everyone else is on injured reserve. No surprise when it turns out he’s inept.


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The Biff Tannen Bomber. Wilkow!

Denverslim on May 5, 2010 at 9:50 PM

Mos Eisley

Or is that like showing how the trick is done?

Inanemergencydial on May 5, 2010 at 9:51 PM

Mr. Shahzad received training in explosives in a camp run by Qari Hussain, the official said.

A C- student, evidently.

DrStock on May 5, 2010 at 9:53 PM

Los Taliban!

artist on May 5, 2010 at 9:53 PM

But he has to be a lone whacko just mad about losing his home, it was so unsophisticated and he was a naturalized citizen- LSM

bluemarlin on May 5, 2010 at 9:55 PM

A C- student, evidently.

DrStock on May 5, 2010 at 9:53 PM

Has Shazam released his transcripts?

txag92 on May 5, 2010 at 9:55 PM

The system is working.

If only Obama’s mortgage refinance program had gotten to him first.

NeoKong on May 5, 2010 at 9:56 PM

i wonder what contessa is thinking now…

ignorant journo

cmsinaz on May 5, 2010 at 9:57 PM

Los Taliban!

artist on May 5, 2010 at 9:53 PM

Si se puede amigo!

cmsinaz on May 5, 2010 at 9:58 PM

Has Shazam released his transcripts?

txag92 on May 5, 2010 at 9:55 PM

Of course not, you kinow transcripts are guarded like the number of nukes in our arsenal, oops………..

bluemarlin on May 5, 2010 at 9:59 PM

If he’s such a bumbling fool, how much worse is Napolitano for barely catching him?

fossten on May 5, 2010 at 9:59 PM

As for the theory about why he messed up the bomb, I don’t get it. If they were worried he’d chicken out, wouldn’t they also be worried that he’d rat them out

Absolutely. Wow, I’m still surprised with how sophisticated and involved his “training” appears to have been, given how poorly (thankfully) it was executed. It will be interesting to see how the media’s favorite botched-attempt narrative of “amateurish” has to change with this story in their heads. Just because there was no boom, doesn’t mean that he was an amateur who had no formal training and is not internationally associated with terrorist organizations. As for the WSJ note that normally this group targets Pak and Ind, but has turned it’s focus to the U.S., that’s a very disturbing development.

Weight of Glory on May 5, 2010 at 10:00 PM

bluemarlin on May 5, 2010 at 9:59 PM

lol
:)

cmsinaz on May 5, 2010 at 10:00 PM

As for the theory about why he messed up the bomb, I don’t get it. If they were worried he’d chicken out, wouldn’t they also be worried that he’d rat them out

Maybe he was not supposed to make it out alive. Maybe he chickened out, coward that he is, and winged the timer part on his own.

bluemarlin on May 5, 2010 at 10:02 PM

Seditious treason. Hang him high.

kellyjane on May 5, 2010 at 10:02 PM

Yeah, yeah, yeah.

But this doesn’t help us solve the big mysteries.

What was his motive? And was he unhappy with Obama’s healthcare law?

blink on May 5, 2010 at 9:53 PM

blink: So far,what I’ve learned from Lefty news reports,
is that this was an Extreme RightWing Talibania
Moderate!(sarc).

canopfor on May 5, 2010 at 10:02 PM

“liberate” Kashmir

Yeap…!

Seven Percent Solution on May 5, 2010 at 10:03 PM

blink on May 5, 2010 at 9:53 PM

blink181 was much funnier.

Del Dolemonte on May 5, 2010 at 10:04 PM

Wasn’t it Biden who claimed that we should be cultivating a relationship with the Taliban in order to defeat AlQaeda in Afghanistan?

Good grief! These wild-eyed jihadists cultivate their alliances of terrorism wherever they find themselves.

onlineanalyst on May 5, 2010 at 10:05 PM

He could have been kicked for a lot of reasons. Too many drone strikes, but they didn’t have any evidence so they told him to go home. Or maybe he was just a poor student or not observant enough a Muslim so they threw him out. Maybe they just didn’t like him.

pedestrian on May 5, 2010 at 10:06 PM

Yep, looks like Shahzad is a bona fide Taliban-trained agent

Big deal. Small potatoes.

Barack Hussein Obama is a bona fide Saul Alinsky/George Soros/Jeremiah Wright trained agent, so he’s got that piker topped big time.

MB4 on May 5, 2010 at 10:08 PM

Yet the local news here in Boston insists there is no link to terrorist groups……..

dmann on May 5, 2010 at 10:09 PM

Be nice to wipe that Taliban smirk off his face with a rifle butt.

AshleyTKing on May 5, 2010 at 10:10 PM

While the Double A pitcher analogy sounds logical, it just doesn’t fit my instincts. They are telling me that the underwear bomber and the Acme bomber are just testing the waters.

DrStock on May 5, 2010 at 10:10 PM

“liberate” Kashmir
Yeap…!

Seven Percent Solution on May 5, 2010 at 10:03 PM

Seven Percent Solution: One of my favourite songs!!:)

canopfor on May 5, 2010 at 10:11 PM

Just like blaming the airlines for a TSA failure……
All Hail the Messiah!

dmann on May 5, 2010 at 10:12 PM

It appears that the “A” team has blown itself up. All that are left are the stringers.

GarandFan on May 5, 2010 at 10:12 PM

So, to my memory, we have only thwarted one jihadi attack, the NYC subway bombers. The rest just malfunctioned. Right?

d1carter on May 5, 2010 at 10:14 PM

It seems that Faisal has been actively exploring jihad since 2006 at least.

GnuBreed on May 5, 2010 at 10:16 PM

While the Double A pitcher analogy sounds logical, it just doesn’t fit my instincts. They are telling me that the underwear bomber and the Acme bomber are just testing the waters.

DrStock on May 5, 2010 at 10:10 PM

All of which brings me to the even more important question, “If the Devil is just testing the waters with Barack Obama, then what in the Hell does he have in mind for us for our next President?”

MB4 on May 5, 2010 at 10:17 PM

Allah

Can you find anymore info on how long and why he was a known quantity? (on watchey list circa 1999)

Topsecretk9 on May 5, 2010 at 10:18 PM

These Democrat whitewashes are sloppier than the Bush whitewashes aren’t they?

BL@KBIRD on May 5, 2010 at 10:22 PM

It seems that Faisal has been actively exploring jihad since 2006 at least.

GnuBreed on May 5, 2010 at 10:16 PM

nyx on May 5, 2010 at 10:24 PM

“… and trains suicide bombers, the official said ….”

I haven’t been taking notes, but wasn’t Shahzad like initially trying to blow the truck up with a cellphone from a distance? That’s like not very suicide’y to me. Maybe the main problem is that he decided to do some re-engineering so as take the suicide out of the equation and that’s why the bomb failed.

Dusty on May 5, 2010 at 10:26 PM

Yep, looks like Shahzad is a bona fide Taliban-trained

Dear Taliban,

If you must train people, please continue to train them incompetently.

YYZ on May 5, 2010 at 10:29 PM

With that incredible schnozz of Shazam’s, maybe Janet Incompetano can offer him community service as a bomb sniffer and credit for time served in these “bigoted” United States.

onlineanalyst on May 5, 2010 at 10:31 PM

Obama National Security Policy: Hope their bombs don’t work.
- Ann Coulter

MB4 on May 5, 2010 at 10:32 PM

How about we just preemptively offer potential jihadists a special guest spot on “Celebrity Rehab”? These narcissistic douche bags are just doing it for their own aggrandizement anyway and a tryst with Janeane Garofalo or some other F lister in a piping hot jacuzzi would enable one of them to get the extended 15 minutes he desires.

This could then be parlayed this into some “I Married an Ex-Jihadist” reality show where he promotes his religious beliefs and perhaps makes an appearance on “Intervention”… cross production bonanza!

The culmination of the saga would revolve around an appearance on “The Locator” in which the jihadist is reunited with his long lost father who is in Gitmo.

After his fame wanes he could make one last ditch effort, ala Screech, by making a porn with Flava Flav and Brigitte Neilsen.

Metro on May 5, 2010 at 10:35 PM

Yeah, Shahzad may be the jihadi equivalent of a Double A pitcher sent up to the majors because everyone else is on injured reserve. No surprise when it turns out he’s inept.

It just isn’t that hard. And if he was trained, it wasn’t class work. He built devices and detonated them, otherwise, what’s the sense in training? So, there’s something else going on here and I’m at a loss as to what it is.

TheBigOldDog on May 5, 2010 at 10:35 PM

Yeah, Shahzad may be the jihadi equivalent of a Double A pitcher sent up to the majors because everyone else is on injured reserve.

Great.

And we have a Single A/Rookie Leaguer in the White House.

What happens when AQ or the Taliban decide to “go yard”?

Bruno Strozek on May 5, 2010 at 10:38 PM

If this is Taliban tie proves to be true, and this citizen-Jihadi-American product of Leftist diversity/multiculturalism is not convicted of treason and executed, then the term “treason” and the designation of “traitor” have no meaning.

IronDioPriest on May 5, 2010 at 10:42 PM

How about we just preemptively offer potential jihadists a special guest spot on “Celebrity Rehab”? These narcissistic douche bags are just doing it for their own aggrandizement anyway and a tryst with Janeane Garofalo or some other F lister in a piping hot jacuzzi would enable one of them to get the extended 15 minutes he desires.

How could anybody get an extended anything with Garofalo?

Aviator on May 5, 2010 at 10:44 PM

How about we just preemptively offer potential jihadists a special guest spot on “Celebrity Rehab”? These narcissistic douche bags are just doing it for their own aggrandizement anyway

Metro on May 5, 2010 at 10:35 PM

The current celebrity will not share the limelight, since they moved the rehab to the White House.

bluemarlin on May 5, 2010 at 10:44 PM

Looks like he may have cut some corners on the triggering device(s), either out of ineptitude or possibly even cheapness – Remember, the 1993 WTC bombers got tripped up in part because they wanted their deposit back on the van they rented, reporting it stolen after it blew up in the basement garage. Shahzad may have decided to spend some of the cash designed for the plot elsewhere and ‘improvised’ to the point he screwed up the bomb’s ignition process.

jon1979 on May 5, 2010 at 10:47 PM

One thing that puzzles U.S. terrorism experts: the lack of sophistication in the planned attack, considering Mr. Hussain’s reputed expertise and emphasis on suicide bombs. One theory is that Mr. Shahzad may not have been fully embraced or fully trained by the Pakistan Taliban, who may have been suspicious of a U.S. citizen seeking training.

Here’s simple Ole’ Chewy’s opinion: It was supposed to fail, or if not, wow! Taliban bonus time!

I’mathinking they wanted to find out how they could assimilate their ilk into the country, so what better way to blend in than have someone become a citizen? It would show them where the strengths–and weaknessess are. And there may be buckets more of these folk at various stages in the immigration pipeline.
(Now, we know these scumbags are patient, if nothing else. They are willing to wait as long as it takes to bring us down. We, on the other hand, think in terms of immediacy, so we can’t identify with their concept of waiting, testing the waters.)

I think this was nothing more than a good old fashioned dry run.
So, let’s put old Nosehair in the US, have him apply for citizenship, and in eight or nine years…what? Already? Gee, that was faster than we thought! OK, fine. He has his papers, has pinky sworn allegience to the US. Now, we have to have him travel back to de mudderland a dozen or so times to see if he’s stopped…wow! He wasn’t! OK, let’s put him through bombmaking school…but don’t show him the really good stuff…just enough to get him tailed and caught so we can see what they’re looking for.

Good! He bought the car with the tinted windows from a private owner. Excellent, he found the abandoned license plates! Awesome, he got the vehicle into NYC (Um, Muhammed, you think we may have underestimated the dude? Should we have maybe shown him how to make a real bomb?)

As to why they could do this and think it wouldn’t come back to them? Trust me, the guy was a dead man walking.(I don’t think I can spell fahtwa correctly). He was either supposed to blow himself up with the Pathfinder and chickened out, and/or was to be executed the minute he landed in Duhbai…he just thought he’d be returning a hero and get his next assignment. What their contingency plan would have been for his being caught? Not sure, but I bet if my theory is true, this is where things started to go wrong for the bad guys, and thank God, the feds got lucky.

That is Chewy’s opinion.

Chewy the Lab on May 5, 2010 at 10:51 PM

Shazbot!

nocandidate on May 5, 2010 at 10:54 PM

Did they ever release any of the names of his Pakistani family members?

Connie on May 5, 2010 at 10:56 PM

Strap him back in the Nissan and show him how to properly set off the explosives ~and sell the video to support scholarships for the children of vets killed in the line of duty.

Win-win.

profitsbeard on May 5, 2010 at 10:59 PM

TheBigOldDog on May 5, 2010 at 10:35 PM

I suspect a lot of their teaching methods for technical systems are simple memorization without understanding much of the underlying mechanism, very similar to the way they teach the Koran. There will be exceptions to this with exceptional students, but the cannon fodder probably have very little basic understanding of why they are doing what they do when they try to make a bomb. This guy had a MBA but that won’t get you too far in Detonation 101.

a capella on May 5, 2010 at 11:03 PM

Pretty soon they’re gonna figure out how to detonate these things.

John the Libertarian on May 5, 2010 at 11:08 PM

Connie on May 5, 2010 at 10:56 PM

He has a daddy like Billy Ayers daddy.

BL@KBIRD on May 5, 2010 at 11:11 PM

Yeah, Shahzad may be the jihadi equivalent of a Double A pitcher sent up to the majors because everyone else is on injured reserve. No surprise when it turns out he’s inept.

Hmm. Sounds like he’s right up the Orioles’ alley. Is he available this weekend to start against the Twins?

Oh. Wait. Was that him pitching against the Yanks today?

nukemhill on May 5, 2010 at 11:16 PM

Pretty soon they’re gonna figure out how to detonate these things.

John the Libertarian on May 5, 2010 at 11:08 PM

Yeah. Considering the potential for this one, and it was really only his incompetence that got us off the hook, the prospects are terrifying.

What if this thing had actually been built right and worked?

nukemhill on May 5, 2010 at 11:17 PM

Pretty soon they’re gonna figure out how to detonate these things.

John the Libertarian on May 5, 2010 at 11:08 PM

Yeah. Considering the potential for this one, and it was really only his incompetence that got us off the hook, the prospects are terrifying.

What if this thing had actually been built right and worked?

nukemhill on May 5, 2010 at 11:17 PM

Sorry, doesn’t pass the smell test: something veddy, veddy fishy about the story. I also think that the reason he’s spilling his guts is (YUP), he IS a coward…but he also realizes he was double crossed somehow. Hopefully, he’s told the feds how, and they finally wised up and figured we didn’t need to know specifics. Nepalitano’s (sp)crew has just been way too proud of the “things” they’ve found out and the “ways” they have discovered them. Look up ameteur hour in the dictionary? Guess who’s pictured? That group makes me sick!

Chewy the Lab on May 5, 2010 at 11:26 PM

Hmmm. Does this shed any light on his motive?

ronsfi on May 5, 2010 at 11:31 PM

MB4 on May 5, 2010 at 10:08 PM

Dude, you’ve officially jumped the shark. BTW, your hero, Mark Twain, would think you a complete jackass if he was alive today.

dakine on May 6, 2010 at 12:24 AM

I’m not going to say that the Pakistani officials are not being up front about things. But…how much aid do we give them each year to deal with their extremist “problems”? (Despite the fact that their madrassas spawned their “extremists” and the fact that their intelligence agency has always backed them). It’s kind of odd that they allow American/European Muslims to just venture to the tribal areas with no problem each time and then claim “Hey…look at us – we found American/European jihadists here!!”…right after an attempted terrorist attack or amongst a time of immense political pressure after an attempted terrorist attack. Cut the prancing around sh*t…I’m with the Bush philosophy immediately after 9/11. “If you’re not with us, you’re against us.” (i.e. what they told Pakistan before – “If you don’t control your problems, we’ll bomb you back to the stone age.”)

specialkayel on May 6, 2010 at 1:53 AM

All of which brings me to the even more important question, “If the Devil is just testing the waters with Barack Obama, then what in the Hell does he have in mind for us for our next President?”

MB4 on May 5, 2010 at 10:17 PM

At this point, I’m not so sure there will even BE a “next president”.

Fishoutofwater on May 6, 2010 at 2:29 AM

A C- student, evidently.

DrStock on May 5, 2010 at 9:53 PM

I don’t know, I think I’d give him a B+.

RINO in Name Only on May 6, 2010 at 5:41 AM

Be nice to wipe that Taliban smirk off his face with a rifle butt.

AshleyTKing on May 5, 2010 at 10:10 PM

I couldnt agree more.

(Disclaimer)
Im not responsible for the original comment AP.

Viper1 on May 6, 2010 at 7:15 AM

While the Double A pitcher analogy sounds logical, it just doesn’t fit my instincts. They are telling me that the underwear bomber and the Acme bomber are just testing the waters.

DrStock on May 5, 2010 at 10:10 PM

+1

You all still think this guy deserves his Miranda rights?

funky chicken on May 6, 2010 at 7:40 AM

From this guy’s smirking countenance in all the released photographs, I get the impression he is one of those fools whose false confidence outsprints his ability to bring his schemes to fruition.

Disturb the Universe on May 6, 2010 at 7:53 AM

I haven’t been taking notes, but wasn’t Shahzad like initially trying to blow the truck up with a cellphone from a distance? That’s like not very suicide’y to me. Maybe the main problem is that he decided to do some re-engineering so as take the suicide out of the equation and that’s why the bomb failed.

Dusty on May 5, 2010 at 10:26 PM

It was on a timer, but I think you have a really good point about the “not very suicidey” notion.

loudmouth883 on May 6, 2010 at 8:02 AM

So, to my memory, we have only thwarted one jihadi attack, the NYC subway bombers. The rest just malfunctioned. Right?

d1carter on May 5, 2010 at 10:14 PM

Right.

Obama National Security Policy: Hope their bombs don’t work.
- Ann Coulter

MB4 on May 5, 2010 at 10:32 PM

Right.

And Obama-Napolitano-Holder have the temerity to hold press conferences to congratulate themselves on how well they are keeping us safe.

petefrt on May 6, 2010 at 8:12 AM

You all still think this guy deserves his Miranda rights?

funky chicken on May 6, 2010 at 7:40 AM

I think every citizen deserves equal treatment, such as Miranda rights, and that non-citizens do not deserve the same treatment as citizens. My view is non-citizens do not necessarily deserve Miranda rights. I’m beginning to think that when citizenship is obtained by fraud or misrepresentation, such possibly as Shahzad, it should be voidable.

petefrt on May 6, 2010 at 8:22 AM

as my husband & his male friends love to remind me, i’m just a gurl & therefore could have not the mechanical ability to make a bomb. But I thought you could learn how to make one on the internet?

Hassan killed how many at Ft hood with no bomb? and the Columbine perp?

do you even need a bomb if you are too stupid to make one?

kelley in virginia on May 6, 2010 at 8:24 AM

Upon Closer Inspection, Clues Found in the Times Square Bomber’s Naturalization Form (click image to enlarge) http://optoons.blogspot.com/2010/05/upon-closer-inspection-clues-found-in.html

Mervis Winter on May 6, 2010 at 8:41 AM

Meanwhile, the AP still has the bestest and brightest J-School grads, searching for a possible motive…

MNHawk on May 6, 2010 at 10:33 AM