The Pakistani Taliban — a group closely allied with al-Qaida — was the culprit in last weekend’s attempted Times Square car bombing, Attorney General Eric Holder said yesterday.
“We’ve now developed evidence that shows that the Pakistani Taliban was behind the attack,” Holder said on ABC’s “This Week.”
“We know that they helped facilitate it,” Holder said. “We know that they probably helped finance it. And that he [car bomb suspect Faisal Shahzad] was working at their direction.”
Shahzad, a U.S. citizen of Pakistani descent, is reportedly cooperating with authorities. He told investigators he was working with the group Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan and that he trained in the tribal area of Waziristan. Investigators are currently tracking the money trail to Shahzad.
Many counterterrorism experts believe there’s a growing threat of individuals like Shahzad, who some call a “Kramer jihadist,” named for the bumbling “Seinfeld” character. He made a “classic ‘Kramer jihadist’ mistake: trying to make his attack overly spectacular and dramatic,” wrote Ben West and Scott Stewart, of global intelligence company STRATFOR.
They warned of more attacks being carried out by “grassroots or lone wolf actors,” but noted these operatives are more likely to make mistakes and choose “soft” targets. They noted that since
9/11, jihadists have found it more difficult to find
operatives capable of traveling to the U.S.: “Instead of using the best and brightest operatives that jihadist groups have, they are forced to send whoever can get into the country.”