By lex, on May 6th, 2010
Pretty much exploded:
American officials said Wednesday that it was very likely that a radical group once thought unable to attack the United States had played a role in the bombing attempt in Times Square, elevating concerns about whether other militant groups could deliver at least a glancing blow on American soil.
Officials said that after two days of intense questioning of the bombing suspect, Faisal Shahzad, evidence was mounting that the group, the Pakistani Taliban, had helped inspire and train Mr. Shahzad in the months before he is alleged to have parked an explosives-filled sport utility vehicle in a busy Manhattan intersection on Saturday night. Officials said Mr. Shahzad had discussed his contacts with the group, and investigators had accumulated other evidence that they would not disclose.
I heard an interesting story yesterday on NPR: A security analyst theorized that Shahzad had returned to Pakistan looking to make something meaningful out of what had become a Willy Lomanesque existence. The Pakistani Taliban probably suspected that he was an American spy, given his background, and gave him just enough training to come back to Amreeka and show his value, without gaining access to any important contacts. Kind of a “freebie” for the Talibs, and a chance to stir the pot without putting much into it.
I also sort of understand the haste of public officials to avoid using the “M-word” when this story was breaking. After all, there are countless Muslims leading more or less happy, productive lives here and elsewhere, and you’d prefer to avoid pushing any teeterers over the radical brink by casting sweeping aspersions. Too, government officials and the press are fearful of inciting a backlash among the great unwashed that – truth be told – has never been much in evidence, despite greater provocation.
But it does little more than add another layer of public cynicism atop an already multi-tiered cake. We are both smarter and better people than our government and media take us for. So, the urge to wish that this sort of thing was inspired by something else than what is plainly is sort of understandable.
But both stupid and insulting, none the less.