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US investigators eye ‘tell-tale’ signs of foreign involvement in failed NYC car bombing

newyorkcitynyc US investigators eye tell tale signs of foreign involvement in failed NYC car bombing

US investigators are looking into “tell-tale” signs of a foreign connection to the failed car bomb attempt in New York’s Times Square, the Washington Post reported Monday.

The newspaper cited unnamed administration officials as saying the failed bombing increasingly appeared to have been coordinated by several people in a plot with international links.

“Don’t be surprised if you find a foreign nexus…. They’re looking at some tell-tale signs and they’re saying it’s pointing in that direction,” a US official told the Post.

The officials cautioned, however, that Al-Qaeda or another terrorist organization was not necessarily involved even if the investigation points to an international link, the report said.

A Pakistani Taliban leader, Hakimullah Mehsud, who had been reported killed in a US drone strike in January, surfaced Monday in two videos vowing to retaliate against the United States for killing Islamist leaders.

The videos, one of them purportedly made April 4, were picked up by the US-based monitoring services IntelCenter and SITE.

On Sunday, Mehsud’s group, Tehreek-e-Taliban, purportedly claimed responsibility for the attempted bombing in New York in another video posted on YouTube, according to SITE.

US and Pakistan officials said claims of Pakistani Taliban involvement in a failed car bomb attempt in New York’s Times Square were highly unlikely.

Representative Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, the top Republican on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, had asked the officials about purported claims by the group that they were behind the plot, her office said in a statement.

“The officials told Ros-Lehtinen that it appeared highly unlikely that the group had any involvement in the plot,” her office said.

The statement did not identify the officials, but said that the Florida lawmaker had met in Pakistan with Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani and President Asif Ali Zardari and others.

A Pakistani Taliban leader, Hakimullah Mehsud, who had been reported killed in a US drone strike in January, surfaced Monday in two videos vowing to retaliate against the United States for killing Islamist leaders.

The videos, one of them purportedly made April 4, were picked up by the US-based monitoring services IntelCenter and SITE.

Authorities were looking for a middle-aged white man who was seen taking off his shirt near the bomb-laden vehicle on Saturday just before an alert went up and police moved in to clear Times Square.

The ranking Republican representative on the House intelligence committee, Pete Hoekstra, told Fox News that if the foiled attack was proved to be the work of Al-Qaeda then “it makes our problems much more difficult.”

“In one way you take a look at it and say ‘Why would you again take responsibility for a failed, amateurish attempt?’ But they may just want to say ‘Hey, look we’re trying to strike at the heart of America.'”

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