Times Square bomber got crash course in terror

New York, May 30 (IANS) Pakistani-American Faisal Shahzad who tried to bomb Times Square had received a crash course in terror in Pakistan, said an official, adding: ‘He might have gotten some briefings, but not much’.

Shahzad, a naturalised US citizen of Pakistani origin, was arrested at John F. Kennedy International Airport while trying to board a flight to Dubai May 3, two days after he planted an explosive-laden vehicle in Manhattan’s Times Square. The bomb failed to detonate.

Shahzad had visited towns associated with Al Qaeda and its Taliban allies, a senior military officer in Islamabad told nydailynews.com.

‘It was TTP (Tehreek-e-Taliban) groups from Miran Shah and Mir Ali. There is less belief that he had any formal training or was a hardened militant,’ the Pakistani officer said and added: ‘He might have gotten some briefings, but not much.’

Officials said that hardcore militants normally get about five to six months’ training at camps near Afghanistan.

Shahzad’s ‘a couple of months’ in North Waziristan’s most notorious towns wasn’t enough for advanced terror training, the officials said.

A US counter-terror official: ‘It doesn’t seem like he was there long enough.’