Times Square bomber met with top Taliban trainer – Updated!

May 5, 2010

Yet another revelation to make Mayor Bloomberg and MSNBC’s Contessa Brewer look like the idiots they are:

Pakistani investigators believe the man accused of the failed bomb attack in Times Square, Faisal Shahzad, learned about explosives from a senior Taliban expert at a training camp in Pakistan. Mohammad Rehan, one of eight people arrested in Pakistan late Tuesday, is accused of introducing Shahzad to militants gave him lessons in handling explosives.

According to security sources Rehan was arrested in the Pakistani southern port city of Karachi.

He is suspected of taking Shahzad, a son of retired senior air force officer, to the northern city of Peshawar and then to North Waziristan, which is now a Taliban stronghold.

Officials believe 30-year-old Shahzad, a Karachi-born Pushtun, had no relationship with any militant organisation, until Rehan put him in contact with Qari Hussain Mehsud, the chief of the Pakistani Taliban’s suicide squad and explosives expert.

Hussain is believed to have provided training to Shahzad on improvised explosives on a recent visit to Pakistan.

We’ve been hitting the Pakistani Taliban hard for years now, killing several of their top leaders and coming close with others. It’s not surprising they would attempt a payback, but it should be a big, flashing clue to our “leaders” that the real danger comes not from little old ladies protesting out of control spending, but a religiously motivated enemy overseas exploiting sympathetic coreligionists here in the United States.

Given that we’ve now avoided two terrorist disasters thanks only to alert private citizens and the incompetence of our foes, maybe the federal government should concentrate on doing the job its assigned, instead of taking over everything it can lay its hands on.

(via Threat Matrix, which has analysis and background on the web of connections between al Qaeda and Pakistani jihadist groups)

UPDATE LINK: Via NRO, Charlie Szrom of the Critical Threats Project looks at the growing likelihood of an operational link between Shazad and the Pakistani Taliban.