Shahzad Got Crash Course from Thugs in Pak: Report

New York
Shahzad Got Crash Course from Thugs in Pak: Report
Pakistani-American Faisal Shahzad, arrested for the failed Times Square bombing, got a "crash course" in killing from thugs in Pakistan's two top terror towns -- Miran Shah and Mir Ali, according to a media report here.

Shahzad, the 30-year-old son of a retired Pakistani Air Vice Marshal, had recently spent time in the towns most associated with Al-Qaeda and its Taliban allies, a senior military officer in Islamabad told the New York Daily.

The US has accused the Pakistani Taliban, which enjoys a near impunity in the lawless Waziristan tribal region bordering Afghanistan, of masterminding the May 1 Times Square failed bombing.

"It was TTP groups from Miran Shah and Mir Ali," the Pakistani officer told the paper.

A US official said "It is a cauldron, an epicenter of extremist activity...There are boomtowns and then there are 'boom' towns, and that's what these are."

But the amateurish device found smoking in Times Square showed Shazad's training was pitiful, the paper said.

"There is less belief that he had any formal training or was a hardened militant," the Pakistani officer said. "He might have gotten some briefings, but not much."

FBI has said Shahzad had admitted to attending a terrorist camp in Waziristan.

"Hardcore" militants typically get about five to six months' training at modest camps near Afghanistan, officials said.

Shahzad's shorter time in North Waziristan's most notorious towns - "a couple of months" - wasn't enough for advanced terror instruction, the officials added.

"It doesn't seem like he was there long enough," a second US counterterror official said.

 Miran Shah and Mir Ali are 10 miles apart in a valley that cuts through a mountain range leading northwest to Kabul.
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