Dismay in Pakistan over Times Square suspect

Category: Asia, World Affairs Topics: Pakistan, Terrorism Views: 5451

Pakistanis read morning newspapers carrying the headline story on the arrest of a suspect in the Times Square bomb attempt, at a newspaper stall in Islamabad, Pakistan on Wednesday, May 5, 2010. Pakistan's army does not believe the Pakistani Taliban were behind the Times Square bomb attempt as the insurgent group has claimed, a spokesman said Wednesday. (AP Photo/Anjum Naveed)

Mohib Banda, Pakistan: In his home village in Pakistan, shocked residents remember Faisal Shahzad as a modern father of two from a good family who showed no hatred of America or sympathy with radical Islam.

The 30-year-old naturalised American spent much of the last decade in the United States, where he has been charged on five counts of terrorism, including attempted use of a "weapon of mass destruction" to kill people in New York.

Villagers say the son of a retired air force officer grew up in a comfortable and respected middle-class family, was privately educated and went to university with other sons of the elite in the Pakistani city of Peshawar.

US media reports say Shahzad had worked as a financial analyst in Connecticut, where he lived before his house was repossessed last year because of debt problems.

In the 1980s, when Shahzad was a child, Peshawar was a staging post for the mujahideen who fought against the Soviets in Afghanistan, a place frequented by Osama bin Laden and swollen by a morass of two million Afghan refugees.

But villagers could give no clues as to why the fresh-faced lightly bearded man allegedly drove a Nissan SUV crammed with a large, but malfunctioning bomb into Times Square, nor whether he acted in concert with Islamist groups.

"We were shocked, why did he do this?" said resident Aziz Khan after news spread like wildfire through Mohib Banda, about 25 kilometres from Peshawar, where Shahzad was brought up in an upscale neighbourhood.

"Our village is very liberal. We fear it will be targeted now by security forces. Why have you come here, why don't you go to Peshawar," he said.

It is in the teeming city of 2.5 million people on the threshold of Pakistan's tribal badlands, where according to US authorities, Shahzad underwent bomb making training in one of the most dangerous regions on Earth.

The dusty streets of Mohib Banda, set in fields where threshers were harvesting wheat, are a few kilometres from the Grand Trunk Road that links the capital Islamabad to Pakistan's dangerous north.

The house, which residents say belongs to Shahzad's father and is inhabited by a cousin working for a Pakistani telecoms company and his teacher wife, stands behind a large old-style wooden gate, locked from the outside.

Security officials standing watch in the village confirmed that Shahzad came originally from Mohib Banda.

Residents say Shahzad's father, Baharul Haq, a retired air vice marshal in the Pakistan Air Force, has since settled on hundreds of acres of farmland in Dera Ismail Khan, close to the tribal belt.

One man who spoke to AFP by telephone claimed he was a relative and a lawyer but none of Shahzad's close family members were immediately reachable.

"It looks like some conspiracy to me," said the man, Kifayat Ali.

"They have no relations with any militant group or any jihadi organisation. They don't even have any relations with a political party."

Faiz Ahmed, who told AFP he was a farmer with a transport business on the side, and was one of dozens who gathered as a media frenzy descended on the village, echoed Ali's comments.

"They are very nice, simple and pious people," said Ahmad, adding that Shahzad married a Pakistani girl and has two young children.

He described Shahzad, who was made a US citizen last year and told US immigration he had visited his parents in Pakistan when investigators suspect he underwent militant training, as a "liberal-looking young man".

US media reports say he first went to the United States on a student visa in 1998, graduating from the University of Bridgeport with a computer science degree in 2000 and an MBA in 2005.

"He was clean shaven here but I now see a change. He has grown beard in the United States," said Ahmad, the 50-year-old former mayor of Mohib Banda.

"Shahzad was a modern boy...he spent most of his life with his father who had a house in Peshawar," he said, adding that Shahzad was in the village a few months ago for a family wedding.

With nearly 10,000 residents, Mohib Banda has no religious background and has returned candidates from secular parties, including the Pakistan People's Party of the first woman premier of a Muslim country, the late Benazir Bhutto.

Now a 10-page criminal complaint accuses Shahzad of attempting to use a weapon of mass destruction, attempting to kill people through international terrorism, carrying a destructive device, transporting explosives and attempting to destroy a building.

If convicted, he could be sentenced to life in prison.

Source: Dawn, English daily newspaper from Pakistan

  Category: Asia, World Affairs
  Topics: Pakistan, Terrorism
Views: 5451

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Older Comments:
Greate civilizations of Hindus are also not present today. We know about current situation of India.

ULFA (non-muslim organization in India) in 16 years 1990 - 2006 conducted successfully 749 terrorist attacks (all proved). it will put kashmiri terrorist to shame.but when we read in news paper we only know abt. the kashmiri militants.how many time media, papers report about ULFA, these reports come in news brief how many people noted, never in the Headlines, Maoists in Nepal in 7 years conducted 99 terrorist attacks. Acc. to Govt. of India, Out of 600 districts in India, they are present in 150 districts.
No.1 Terrorist Attack are done in India, Max, are the moaist. Maoists terrorist attacks in 1/3rd part of India! No.1 , If you compare the ppl they are killed, the attack they have done, compare to kashmiri militants, its nowhere comparable. The maoists are the bigger danger for India but yet we find the Govt. is more afraid of Muslim Terrorist.

Why, the reason is George Bush. On the 9th of Sept. 2006 Article came in times of india that 875 Rockets, 30 Rocket launcher, a hall of ammunition
which was supposed to be supplied to maosits they were intercepted, imagine this is the biggest hall, in history of india that any terrorists
organization the govt. has caught. 875 Rockets they can wage a war against indian army. & DGP of AP he was shocked,he said that with these Rocket
lancher they can attack any police station any tanks of the indian govt. from the distance of 600 meters.

Banu Saher... which planet are you from? This is the
problem with Muslims.. whenever a coward raises
among us, you call it a conspiracy, the Isrealis did
it or some other nonsense. .. We Muslims need to start a
war against these uneducated psychos.

At one point, Hillary was questioned by Pakistanis what she thinks about drone atackes on civillian poppulation, she couldnt answer the question. Asked isnt that murder without trial? she was speechless. As far as am concern, with respect to Timesquare attempted bombing, I dont condone nor condemn it. If we beleive we have the right to attack another countries without represal, then we are dumped

To Eddie, See my previous comment. Question youself, was that a meracle that we found someone belonged to Waziristhan, the place that is in our hit list? and now pressurizing Pakisthan to take an offensive on Waziristhan. Isn't it a political game?/conspircy? You have been brainwashed Eddie about Muslims!!!!!

The emerging signs of a link between the failed attack and Pakistan may increase pressure on the
Pakistani army to launch a new offensive in the northern part of Waziristan , something it has been avoiding until now. U.S. and European officials have long said that many of the terror plots in the West are hatched in the region.

The following highlights from the news links shows that our politicians are fooling us.


The emerging signs of a link between the failed attack and Pakistan may increase pressure on the Pakistani army to launch a new offensive in the northern part of Waziristan , something it has been avoiding until now. U.S. and European officials have long said that many of the terror plots in the West are hatched in the region.

Faisal Shahzad, who was arrested May 3 and charged with attempting to detonate a weapon of mass destruction in one of the busiest intersections in the U.S., left behind a trail of clues including the keys to his Connecticut home and a second vehicle as well as records of mobile-phone calls to a Pennsylvania fireworks shop and from associates in Pakistan

this may be the dumbest terrorist in the world," Wildes said.

"By my calculation, from the time Faisal Shahzad drove into and across Broadway and parked that vehicle, to when he was apprehended last evening at JFK Airport, it was 53 hours and 20 minutes," Kelly said.
"Now, we know that Jack Bauer can do it in 24" hours, Kelly said, referring to Fox Television's "24" starring Kiefer Sutherland as the anti-terrorism agent Bauer. "But in the real world, 53 is a pretty good number."
But Interior Minister Rehman Malik said on Wednesday that no links have yet been established between Shahzad and any terror groups, adding he will investigate whether the plot is in fact a "conspiracy" against Pakistan.

Aren't you being a bit blind by stating that Muslims only built mosques, tombs...

Muslims preserved and developed science. Look in any field of science and you will see what we developed. But that is in past...

In present times, we also have great Muslim who are in MITs, Caltechs etc... but we work under the banner of West. One day we will again be under the Muslim banner.

As for Moghuls... they lost to East India Company and thank God for that... But over the course of 500 yrs (of which 200 were golden from a ruling point of view not from an Islamic), they also defeated the local rulers/princes of India. Their time came and went...

As for trying to portray them as brutal for taking taxes.. have you not seen medieval Europe. It was the manner of those times. As for modern-day, it is Europe and West which brutally taxes. For all of Middle East problems (and there are many), they do not tax...

Indeed, Muslims are a great nation. Because our prophet has said so.

What I find amusing is you... Not in any of your posts can I see that you have anything positive to say for Islam... Yet you choose to comment on each and every topic... Methinks you are repressed and have some soul-searching to do with respect to Islam... Perhaps their is latent fear, affection which you cannot express clearly. More likely fear I suspect... People who spew hatred usually are fearful of the victim.

Perhaps you need to fully appreciate the concept of Tauhid... it may, yet remove your ignorance

Reply to Romesh:
First I would expect your faith to treat the fellow followers the same irrespective of the caste and then talk to others about big things. The hatred makes you blind - yes there were and still much arrogant leaders in the Muslim communities. Go read about Hindu kings how they were killing each other. Read about Ahoka how cruel king he was and mass killer before he converted to Budhism. Read about your current extremist buddies who are proud of themselves to destroy Masjids and cutting open a woman's womb and burining the foetus.
You said:Great civilizations don't collapse and vanish.
I would say probably that happened in your dream. Even with the oppression, invasion, bombing we represent 25% of the world population. Even today Islamic banking is the widely discussed topic. When other religions took a back seat only Islam has any practical impact on human life.

[You said]
A great Moghul Empire was destroyed by a commercial company which had no more than 50,000 troops in India at the hight of its Empire; and funny, a skinny Indian destroyed the mighty British empire without firing a shot.

I would say be ashamed of yourself in finding happiness of the destruction of Indian Mughal Kingdom by British. Looks like you can take anything as long as it is anti Islamic.

Finally, a skinny Indian destroyed mighty British Empire. True, very true. All salutes to that great man, Gandhi. But was not that person got killed by a Hindu fanatic for being good to Muslims?!

I don't understand the false sense of dismay everyone is experiencing. Are Pakistanis in denial? Compare the violence in your society to most of the world.You will realize the extent of the barbarity that plagues your country. IN Europe also, your people are causing trouble for other muslims.

Muslims have great civilization? Could you give us any description of that civilzation and its greatness. It may have been great one time, but today? I am unfortunately cannot find any thing great about it. If it were great, rest of the world be adopting.

Stop making bland statements and expect the people to accept them. Stop being under delusions.

I wonder if muslims had any great civilization other than mosques and tombs and palaces constructed by autocratic kings who extracted taxes from oridinary people for their own pleasure; and giving little or nothing for the welfare of the general public. All I can find is 1400 years of Islamic (mis)rule.

Great civilizations don't collapse and vanish. They are destroyed first internally and then externally. Muslim civilization was destroyed by muslim (mis)rule of autocratic monarchies (and they still exist in Saudi, Jordan, Kuwait, and semi-monarchies in Egypt and Sudan and Pakistan; the attitude is monarchial in the last 3).

If you want to make a statement, support them with facts and figures, and historical knowledge.

A great Moghul Empire was destroyed by a commercial company which had no more than 50,000 troops in India at the hight of its Empire; and funny, a skinny Indian destroyed the mighty British empire without firing a shot.

Reply to Eddie:
Your comments are very untrue. Muslims had and still has a great civilization even when the so called west (west of what?) was non existing. Our ignorace , poverty and sense of pride and the face weil is not a reason for you guys to approve oppression, invasion and looting of our communities. Most of our men does not sleep with another women except their wifes. Same with our women too. There are no old age homes in our countries where the old parents are dumped. We are very much superior, except that most of Muslim leaders are puppets. We have problems and challenges which we will come through - even with the support of our brothers and sisters in the west. It is people like you who are blind, illitrate about others and arrogant in thoughts and writings.

Muslims all over the world do not know why they are where they are and why they are doing what they are doing. We are what we are because of the choices we make and the opportunites we avail. Those with wisdom can foresee the future result of thier choices. Those who lack vision produce Shahzads. Muslims lack knowledge, awareness and wisdom to change their world of poverty, misery and hunger. Unable to create their own world, they escape to America along with their ignorance false pride and flashy slogans as well as their costumes of face-veils, beards, robes and skull caps. Why do not they stay in their lands of origin if they love their culture of dependency, helpleeness and false pride so much? Their follies, faults and failures would continue producing more Shahzads which ultimately could bring about expulsion, deIslamicisatio/Cristianization or extermination of Muslims in Europe, America, Canada and Australia.