It’s the Muslims, and They Hate Our Freedoms
Bill Roggio earnestly reports, as if he already knew it:
A top Pakistani Taliban commander took credit for yesterday’s failed car bomb attack in New York City.
Qari Hussain Mehsud, the top bomb maker for the Movement of the Taliban in Pakistan, said he takes “fully responsibility for the recent attack in the USA.” Qari Hussain made the claim on an audiotape accompanied by images that was released on a YouTube website that calls itself the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan News Channel.
The tape has yet to be verified, but US intelligence officials contacted by The Long War Journal believe it is legitimate. The Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan News Channel on YouTube was created on April 30. Officials believe it was created to announce the Times Square attack, and Qari Hussain’s statement was pre-recorded.
All indications are the tape is legitimate. YouTube has pulled the video and shut down the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan News Channel since this article was published.
Despite the pains Roggio took to point out that it really is a Pakistani Taliban official in the video, and that the Pakistani Taliban official really did take responsibility for the attempted bombing, Steve Hynd seems to believe that the Pakistani Taliban official might not be telling the truth:
That the bomb didn’t go boom is a partial argument against the involvement of the well-organised sections of Al Qaeda or the Pakistani Taliban. The latter group have claimed responsibility and have a record of trying (and failing) to outreach beyond Pakistan, but they also have a record of claiming responsibility for anything they think they can.
Still, if the TTP was responsible then surely they’ll have replaced AQ as America’s terrorist enemy No. 1. In which case one of the questions that will have to be asked is “why is the US still in the wrong country?”
But the very nature of the bomb – consumer grade fireworks were taped around gasoline cans placed alongside propane tanks – suggests that some rank amateur had heard of such bombs from coverage of previous attempted attacks in London and Glasgow but really didn’t have the expertise to make the thing work.
It’s really too early to say anything definite about who planted the failed device or why, but that won’t stop a lot of people from trying.
In an update, Steve makes this additional point:
The supposed tape claiming responsibility by the Taliban Movement of Pakistan doesn’t actually mention New York by name, speaking instead in generalities. It’s quite possible this tape was whipped up as a generic “we claim responsibility” tape for anything that happened in the U.S.
Another Steve — Steve Coll at The New Yorker — observes that whoever put this explosive device together is not exactly ready for prime time:
About the only thing that can be said at this stage about the car bomb, or incendiary device, placed in Times Square last night is that the police will almost certainly figure out where it came from and who was involved. Everything about the circumstantial evidence—particularly the device itself—suggests amateurism. I’m not especially expert in bomb making, but I do know that in the realm of homemade car bombs, propane and fireworks are not very sophisticated materials. The description of the Dr. Seuss-inspired contraption in the back of the S.U.V. offered by the police suggests someone who tried to go to school on the Internet but didn’t have the patience to complete too many classes.
How about a 40-ish white male caught on a surveillance camera?
Police investigating a terror attack that could have set off a deadly fireball in Times Square focused Sunday on finding a man who was videotaped shedding his shirt near the SUV where the bomb was found.
Police released the surveillance video late Sunday night. It shows a man looking around, then removing a dark shirt to reveal a lighter one underneath.
“We’re currently examining video that shows a white male in his 40s in Shubert Alley, looking back in the direction of West 45th. He was also shedding a dark colored shirt, revealing a red one underneath,” NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly said.
Kelly also said there were no indications that the Taliban in Pakistan was involved:
Kelly … said police have no evidence to support the claims, and noted that the same group had falsely taken credit for previous attacks on U.S. soil.
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