Times Square Bomb Attempt Linked To Kashmir Militant Group Jaish-e-Muhammad

Times Square Bomb Attempt Linked To Kashmir Militant Group Jaish-e-Muhammad

6 May 2010
Asian Tribune
Daya Gamage

Washington DC: Despite there was no clear indication at this moment that the New York Times Square bomb attempt suspect Pakistani-American Faisal Shahzad received directions from the Pakistan-based Kashmiri militant group Jaish-e-Muhammad it has been established that the suspect maintained contacts with a Pakistani now held by the authorities in Karachi who is a member of the militant group. One of the men arrested in Pakistan this week in connection with the failed attempt to bomb Times Square is a member of Jaish-e-Muhammad, an Al Qaeda-allied Pakistani militant group, intelligence sources in the city of Karachi said Wednesday. The revelation marks the first indication that a specific Pakistani militant group has been associated with the attempt of Faisal Shahzad. The man arrested Tuesday in Karachi, Sheik Mohammed Rehan, allegedly drove with Shahzad from Karachi to Peshawar on July 7, 2009, in a pickup truck, authorities said. They returned to Karachi July 22. It is not known why they went to Peshawar and whether they met with anyone there. Peshawar is a large, mostly Pashtun city perched on the edge of Pakistan's tribal areas, where Al Qaeda, the Pakistani Taliban and other militant groups maintain strongholds. It is also where Shahzad's father Bahar-ul Haq, a former to commander of the Pakistani Air Force and later head of the Civil Aviation Authority, and other relatives live. As the militant groupís main objective is to separate Kashmir from India and annex it with Pakistan Intelligence experts believe Jaish-e-Muhammad benefits from links it has established with Pakistan's powerful government intelligence community. Some experts believe Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence agency facilitated the group's formation. Charges filed Tuesday in New York against Faisal Shahzad describe him as a would-be terrorist who sought explosives training in Pakistan's Waziristan region, the epicenter of many terrorist-militant groups which include al-Queda and where Pakistan government forces have been working to root out Taliban militants. The court documents show Shahzad apparently continued to have contact with Pakistan upon his return to the United States, receiving a series of 12 phone calls originating from his country of birth in the days leading up to the incident - five of which were made on the same day he bought the Nissan Pathfinder used in the attempted attack Saturday night. After receiving explosives training at a camp in Pakistan's Waziristan region, Shahzad returned to the United States via a one-way plane ticket February 3, the court documents say, citing Customs and Border Protection records. Charges against Shahzad are: Count 1: Using weapons of mass destruction; carries maximum penalty of life in prison Count 2: Acts of terrorism transcending national boundaries; carries maximum penalty of life in prison Count 3: Use of a destructive device in connection with criminal violence; carries a maximum penalty of 30 years in prison Count 4: Transporting and receiving explosives; carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison Count 5: Damaging and destroying property by means of fire and explosives; carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison


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