Times Square bombing: Sign of desperation from Pakistan Taliban?
Two Obama administration officials said Sunday that the Pakistan Taliban was likely behind the failed Times Square bombing May 1. On the run at home because of Pakistan offensives and US airstrikes, the Pakistan Taliban might be trying to lash out any way it can.
The Obama administration confirmed the speculation that alleged Times Square bomber Faisal Shahzad is linked to the Pakistan Taliban, with two officials saying Sunday that the terrorist group was behind the attack.Skip to next paragraph
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President Obama’s counterterrorism strategy is founded upon the notion that Al Qaeda is the primary terrorist threat to American security. If the Pakistan Taliban is behind the May 1 Times Square bombing attempt, however, it suggests that the lines are blurring among terrorist groups along the Pakistan-Afghanistan border.
The concern is that groups like the Taliban, which previously had only local aims, are increasingly eyeing international terrorism, like Al Qaeda.
Yet the attack could also suggest something more hopeful to US antiterror efforts: a growing desperation among militants along the Pakistan-Afghan frontier. After nine years of stuttering offensives and ceasefires, the combined efforts of the US and Pakistan in the region might be beginning to have an effect.
The past year has brought major changes to the remote Pakistani tribal areas home to the leaders of Al Qaeda and the various Taliban factions. And no group has felt the brunt of these changes more than the Pakistan Taliban.
That is because of who they are.
Pakistan Taliban double teamed
Historically, most of the militant networks within Pakistan have secured either benign neglect or direct support from the Pakistan government by pursuing Pakistan’s own agenda. When Pakistan wanted to wield more influence in Afghanistan, it promoted the Afghan Taliban. When it wanted to strike at India over the smoldering issue of Kashmir, it has turned to Lashkar-e-Taiba.