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Terrorism & Security

Pakistani Taliban paid $12,000 to Times Square bomber Faisal Shahzad

The Pakistani Taliban paid $12,000 to attempted Times Square bomber Faisal Shahzad, according to a federal indictment released Thursday. Further evidence of their involvement showcases the lengthening reach of Pakistan-based militants.

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He will be arraigned Monday.

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While US officials and analysts initially brushed off the Pakistan Taliban's claim of a connection to the failed attack, since they did not see it as a transnational group, the evidence of their involvement showcased the lengthening reach of Pakistan-based militants.

Shahzad's attempt followed a string of American residents who have traveled to Pakistan to meet anti-Western groups, The Christian Science Monitor reported. Those included Najibullah Zazi, an Afghan-born man who admitted to planning bomb attacks in New York, and five young American men from the Washington, D.C., area who were arrested in Pakistan.

Though he lived in the US for a decade, receiving an MBA from the University of Bridgeport, Shahzad spent his early years in Pakistan under the hard-line rule of Gen. Zia-ul-Haq, whose school curriculum bred religious intolerance and promoted militancy, the Monitor noted.

At the age of 27, he was already earning $70,000 in 2006 as an analyst at the Affinion Group, a financial marketing firm in Norwalk – three full years before his Times Square bombing attempt, according to The New York Times – which begs the question why he needed $12,000 from the Pakistani Taliban.

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