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The Times Square Bomb and the Pakistan Connection

Following the TTP link.

11:50 AM, May 4, 2010 • By STEPHEN SCHWARTZ
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But for the radicals, mobilization of the South Asian diaspora in the West--led by educated professionals with social standing and money--is as important as agitation in the theatres of direct conflict. The most powerful jihadist movement in the region aside from the Taliban itself, Jamaat-e-Islami (JI), commands a large following in the U.S., grouped in the Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA). ICNA, which controls the mosque attended by the Arlington suspects, operates in a paramilitary fashion. Since the Arlington case, ICNA has attempted to clean up its image by publishing denunciations of radicalism in its bimonthly periodical, The Message International.

Pakistani reality cannot be evaded. The jihadist domination seen in the Pakistani army and intelligence services (ISI) is visible everywhere South Asian Muslims congregate. It explains the reluctance of the Pakistani government to fulfill its commitment to fighting the Taliban. And it equally accounts for conspiracies like that foiled in Times Square. South Asian communities abroad also shelter al Qaeda supporters in clandestine networks affiliated with Lashkar-e-Taiba (LET), or Army of the Righteous. LET cadres are still active in the U.S. LET planned the Bombay atrocities and was charged with the Heathrow airport terror conspiracy.

The rush to brush off foreign involvement in the Times Square bomb because of its crude technology, and dismissal of the declaration by the Pakistani Taliban of their responsibility for it, expose the slow learning curve and sluggish reflexes, almost nine years after 9/11, of Western governments in seriously facing global terrorism based in South Asia. Pakistan has become, like Saudi Arabia before it, an alleged ally in the war against terror, about which nothing negative, it seems, may be publicly admitted.

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