The influence of US-born cleric Anwar al-Awlaki looms again as new evidence strengthens the notion that Times Square bomber Faisal Shahzad was inspired by a global extremist network stretching from Yemen to Pakistan.
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The ideological thrust may have come from an American cleric now on the CIA hit list. The bombmaking expertise and funding possibly came from the Pakistani Taliban or other extremist groups in Pakistan.
New evidence is deepening a notion, albeit still unverified, that the failed car bombing in Times Square was not the work of one disgruntled young man, but inspired by a global extremist network stretching from Yemen to Pakistan, united by the Internet and a common radical vision of faith.
As a result, the United States is likely to push Pakistan to press harder against militant enclaves in that country’s North Waziristan region, deemed the epicenter of the network behind the failed bombing.
As investigators sift through clues from the failed attack, one pressing question is how and why Faisal Shahzad – an MBA with a wife and children – suddenly drifted toward extremism.
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