Pakistani Taliban led Times Square plot

May 10, 2010

By David Eldridge, The Washington Times

Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. said Sunday that the Pakistani Taliban directed the Times Square car-bomb plot and is actively recruiting more agents to carry out attacks on U.S. soil.

“We know that they helped facilitate it; we know that they probably helped finance it, and that [the suspect] was working at their direction,” Mr. Holder said in an appearance on ABC News’ “This Week.”

Mr. Holder joined another White House official, counterterrorism adviser John Brennan, on the Sunday talk-show circuit to defend the administration’s handling of the latest near-miss terrorism strike.

Both men said the Pakistani government was cooperating with U.S. officials in the effort to track down the Taliban contacts who trained 30-year-old Times Square bomb suspect Faisal Shahzad.

“They’ve been cooperative with us, and I think we have been satisfied with the work that they have done,” Mr. Holder said on NBC’s “Meet the Press.”

But in an interview that aired Sunday on CBS “60 Minutes,” Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton darkly hinted at “very severe consequences” if Pakistan-based terrorists were to strike the U.S.

“We’ve made it very clear that if — heaven forbid — an attack like this that we can trace back to Pakistan were to have been successful, there would be very severe consequences,” Mrs. Clinton said.

She also said that while Pakistani authorities, some of whom are seen as sympathetic to the Taliban, have overseen a “sea change” in attitude toward anti-terrorism cooperation with the U.S., “we want more.”

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