The Taliban in My Inbox
Eight hours after the failed bombing, an email arrived claiming ‘responsibility of recent Attack on Times Square Newyork USA.’
May 17, 2010, Vol. 15, No. 33 • By BILL ROGGIO
Second, the tapes address the mystery of Hakeemullah, which has dragged on for months. While numerous Taliban commanders have maintained that he is alive, U.S. and Pakistani officials have insisted he is dead. The media sided with the latter, and the Taliban refused to release a tape of Hakeemullah, citing operational security concerns. Yet, within 24 hours after an attempted car bombing in New York City that was claimed by his top lieutenant, Hakeemullah himself appears on two tapes. And on both, he threatens to carry out more attacks in the United States. Again, either this is a remarkable coincidence, or this propaganda campaign was staged to promote the attack.
And third, the Taliban normally keeps a tight lid on its propaganda. Audio- and videotapes of Hakeemullah and Qari Hussain produced by Umar studios aren’t run-of-the-mill items. Whoever released these tapes had access to the highest level of the Taliban’s propaganda arm and did so with the leadership’s approval.
The known facts point to a direct link between the Times Square car bomb and the Pakistani Taliban. Yet, as of this writing, government officials are denying any evidence of links.
Bill Roggio is managing editor of the website Long War Journal and adjunct fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies.