Pakistan said on Thursday it was unlikely a Pakistani-American arrested over a failed plot to bomb New York’s Times Square had acted alone.
Investigations in Pakistan had uncovered possible links between the suspect, Faisal Shahzad, 30, the Pakistani Taliban and a Kashmiri Islamist group, officials and news reports said.
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“According to the available information he says it was his individual act,” Interior Minister Rehman Malik told Reuters in an interview in Beijing. “I would not tend to believe that.”
The Pakistani Taliban Sunday claimed responsibility for Saturday’s attempted car bomb attack, but New York police said they had no evidence to support the claim. Taliban spokesman Azam Tariq Thursday denied links with Shahzad.
“We have nothing to do with him,” Tariq told Reuters by telephone from an undisclosed location. “We never imparted any training to him.”
Pakistani security officials said that Shahzad, who is suspected of driving an explosives-laden SUV into Times Square, was close to Jaish-e-Mohammad, a group fighting Indian forces in the disputed territory of Kashmir and which also has ties to al-Qaida and the Pakistani Taliban.