Shahzad Went to Pakistan for Help with Attack - US Official

Washington, May 11 (IANS) Pakistani-American Faisal Shahzad, accused of planting the failed car bomb at Times Square, last travelled to Pakistan to get help from the Pakistani Taliban in carrying out a bomb attack, CNN reported citing a senior US official.

"The question is: Did he go there looking for help or did he fall in their lap? It seems the former. It appears he went seeking help for this attack," the unnamed senior administration official was quoted as saying.

"He had an attack in mind when he went there," he told CNN as State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley Monday said the Pakistani Taliban "provided him (Shahzad) with material support that obviously helped him execute the attack."

The senior US official told CNN Shahzad received training on his most recent trip by Tehrik-e-Taliban or TTP on how to execute a bomb attack. But it was unclear the extent to which the group was involved in masterminding the attack.

Attorney General Eric Holder said Sunday, "We know that they helped facilitate it, we know they helped direct it and I suspect we're going to come up with evidence that shows they helped to finance it."

The CNN cited the official as saying that the US has begun to make specific requests and recommendations to the Pakistanis to respond to the attack, which are being delivered in diplomatic, intelligence and military channels.

The official said so far the requests are related to the Shahzad investigation and involve following leads based on the information the suspect told US authorities, but as the investigation progresses, the US might ask the Pakistanis to do more.

CNN said Adm. Michael Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, called Gen. Ashfaq Kayani, chief of the Pakistani Army, to soothe ruffled feathers caused by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's warning of "very severe consequences" if a successful terror attack on the US was traced back to Pakistan.

Mullen called to "reassure Kayani we are not trying to pressure him as a result of this case," a senior US military official was cited as saying.

"Mullen didn't call to say, 'You gotta do more because this Pakistani-American was trained on your territory.' "

Shahzad was arrested while trying to fly out of New York last Monday night, two days after federal authorities say he left a vehicle filled with explosive materials in Manhattan's Times Square.


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