Evidence of Pak Taliban role in Times Square foiled plot mounting: US

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Washington, May 6 (ANI): After two days of intense questioning of Times Square bombing suspect, Faisal Shahzad, American officials are more or less convinced about the Pakistani Taliban inspiring and training the latter prior to the Saturday night incident.

Officials have confirmed that Shahzad has discussed his contacts with the group, and added that more evidence has been accumulated, but won't be disclosed for the time being.ccording to the New York Times, Department of Homeland Security officials have directed airlines to speed up their checks of new names added to the no-fly list.

The failed attack has produced a flurry of other proposals to tighten security procedures, including calls by members of Congress to more closely scrutinize passengers who buy tickets with cash.

American officials said their understanding of the plot would evolve as a dragnet spanning two continents gathered more evidence.

One issue that the investigators are vigorously pursuing is who provided Shahzad cash to buy the S.U.V. and his plane ticket to Dubai, in the United Arab Emirates.

They also said that it is becoming increasingly difficult to separate the operations of the militant groups in Pakistan's tribal areas. There is no doubt among intelligence officials that the barrage of attacks by C.I.A. drones over the past year has made Pakistan's Taliban, which goes by the name Tehrik-i-Taliban, increasingly determined to seek revenge by finding any way possible to strike at the United States.

If the Pakistani Taliban was involved in the Times Square bombing plot, the organization is only the latest militant group to expand beyond a local political agenda and strike the United States.

A successful attack on American soil could have significant payoffs, said Bruce Hoffman, a terrorism expert at Georgetown University.

The message may be, " 'The U.S. is pounding us with drone attacks, but we're powerful enough to strike back'; it's certainly enough to attract ever more recruits to replace those they're losing," Hoffman said. (ANI)

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