New York Bomber Trained In Waziristan
We are now learning, as was expected, that Faisal Shahzad trained at a Pakistan terror camp in Waziristan, run by either al-Qaeda or the Taliban or both.
One law enforcement official said Shahzad told the FBI he trained in Pakistan. A second said the training was believed to be in the lawless tribal region of Waziristan, where the Pakistani Taliban operates with near impunity.
The reasons for taking the Taliban's chief bomb maker's claim of responsibility were pretty clear. YouTube channel set up the day before. The pre-recorded message claiming responsibility was spoken as if damage ("a great blow") had occurred as expected rather than fizzling out. And the message was quite clear. Add to that Hakimullah Mehsud's re-emergence onto the scene with threats of attacks across American cities after erroneous claims of his death.
It was all too well scripted, like a concerted announcement to the world that the leader is alive, and he can strike Americans anywhere he chooses.
So it was quite a curious read this morning to find the Taliban's spokesman was out denying claims of any responsibility in the attack.
Pakistani Taliban on Monday said they were not aware of a video attributed to them claiming responsibility for the failed car bomb in New York late on Saturday. [ . . . ]
"We don't know about this video. As far as I know none of our people have posted it. We have no information about it," TTP's chief spokesman Azam Tariq said.
Well, either Qari Hussain Mehsud is still the Taliban's top bomb maker, or he is now somehow to be believed to be the Taliban version of a "lone wolf." The odds on that don't live long in Vegas, let's just say.
And while they may now try to run propaganda circles around claims of responsibility, the warnings of wide-spread other attacks in American cities in the coming month came from the head of the TTP, the resurrected Hakimullah Mehsud himself. That claim, understand, was not recanted.
With regards to Faisal Shahzad, who nearly skirted away on a Pakistani airliner at New York's JFK after passing airport security under his own name, how is it that we can find enough cause to charge the naturalized American citizen with terrorism and related charges and not treason?
Treason has a high bar, and for good reason. The penalty is death. If training with the Taliban enemy and returning to America and trying to attack it with a car bomb is not treason, such a term has no logical definition. Let the lawyers gather in a heady sidebar, if they must.
If our highest Justice Department minds cannot conclude that the logical definition of treason somewhere meets the legal definition, let's just get rid of the term "treason" altogether and put American Citizenship chits up for bid on e-Bay.