Was Times Square bomber Pak Taliban's 'C' team?

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New York, May 11 (ANI): Times Square bombing suspect Faisal Shahzad's explosive device appears to have been odd, and amateurish, and therefore, the question that arises is that if he was trained by the Taliban whose basic field manual has two chapters on explosives, then why was his approach not more professional?

According to the Christian Science Monitor (CSM), it is possible that Shahzad was not able to obtain the necessary components for a better bomb, due to federal restrictions.

It's also possible that worldwide counter-terrorism efforts are having an effect.

"This may suggest we are moving from the 'A' team in recruits to the 'B' team or even the 'C' team," says William Martel, an associate professor of international security studies at the Tufts University Fletcher School of International Affairs.

According to law enforcement officials, the bomb was made of fireworks, gasoline, propane tanks, and fertilizer. While these substances are flammable and dangerous in their own right, they are not typical bomb components, with the exception of fertilizer.

Shahzad himself was far from an uneducated foot soldier. He was raised in Pakistan in affluent circumstances, and earned a college degree in the US after arriving in 1999 on a student visa. He has traveled back to Pakistan numerous times since moving to America.

US officials say Shahzad is providing them with information - which may be the basis for their confident assertions linking him to the Pakistani Taliban.

The Taliban's main training manual appears to be the 158-page "Military Teachings for the Preparation of Mujahidin", which is posted on jihadist web sites.

The manual's chapter nine provides "details on primary, secondary and compound explosives", writes Pakistani terror expert Imtiaz Ali in the CTC Sentinel.

According to the CSM, there is an apparent disconnect between his training and his performance.

Bomb making might not have been the only area in which Shahzad fell short, after all. Reportedly, he also left the keys to his apartment in the SUV that he was trying to blow up in Times Square. (ANI)

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