DUBAI (Reuters) – The Pakistani Taliban claimed responsibility for the attempted car bomb attack in New York’s Times Square, a statement on an Islamist website said on Sunday.
The statement said it was to avenge the killing of two Islamists and “Muslim martyrs”.
“The Pakistani Taliban announced its responsibility for the New York attack in revenge for the two leaders al-Baghdadi and al-Muhajir and Muslim martyrs,” said the statement on a website commonly used by Islamists.
It was not immediately possible to verify the authenticity of the claim.
Al Qaeda’s Iraq leader Abu Ayyub al-Masri — also known as Abu Hamza al-Muhajir — and Abu Omar al-Baghdadi, the purported head of its local affiliate, the Islamic State of Iraq, were killed last month
Bill Roggio provides further details:
A top Pakistani Taliban commander took credit for yesterday’s failed car bomb attack in New York City.
Qari Hussain Mehsud, the top bomb maker for the Movement of the Taliban in Pakistan, said he takes “fully responsibility for the recent attack in the USA.” Qari Hussain made the claim on an audiotape accompanied by images that was released on a YouTube website that calls itself the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan News Channel.
The tape has yet to be verified, but US intelligence officials contacted by The Long War Journal believe it is legitimate. The Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan News Channel on YouTube was created on April 30. Officials believe it was created to announce the Times Square attack, and Qari Hussain’s statement was pre-recorded.…
“This attack is a revenge for the great & valuable martyred leaders of mujahideen,” Qari Hussain said. He listed Baitullah Mehsud, the former leader of the Pakistani Taliban who was killed in a Predator strike in August 2009, and Abu Omar al Baghdadi, the former leader of al Qaeda Islamic State of Iraq who was killed by Iraqi forces in mid-April. And although he was not mentioned, an image of Abu Ayyub al Masri, the leader of al Qaeda in Iraq, was also displayed in the images accompanying the audiotape.
Given the fact the two men mentioned were killed only two weeks ago, it’s unclear if this claim of responsibility is genuine, or if it’s another example of a group claiming credit for something they had nothing to do with,
Meanwhile, there was some speculation earlier today that there might be a connection to the South Park/Muhammed controversy, but the NYPD is apparently denying that there’s any evidence to indicate that’s the case.