After using suicide bombers to kill 33 in Lahore and at least 55 in Quetta on Friday, a Pakistani Taliban official, Qari Hussain Mehsud, threatened to attack the United States and Europe “very soon,” according to the Daily Times of Pakistan.
Rob Crilly, reporting for the Telegraph from Islamabad, writes that Mehsud, “promised a fresh wave of attacks that would resemble the attempted Times Square bombing earlier this year.” We can hope it will fizzle as quickly as the first, but it is typical of of the al-Qaeda franchise to repeat the original plan until they get it right.
The Taliban in Pakistan or TTP has been implicated in an unsuccessful attack on the Barcelona (Spain) subway and has previously threatened to attack Washington DC. In May ProPublica reported a possible connection between the Times Square bombing and the TTP. According to Sebastian Rotella:
The accused bomber, Faisal Shahzad, has admitted to training in the Waziristan region, a militant refuge where al-Qaida and the Pakistani Taliban are locked in a struggle with Pakistani ground forces and U.S. missile-firing drones. Shahzad, 30, told investigators that he had met with members of the Pakistani Taliban, according to a U.S. law enforcement official who spoke on condition of anonymity because the investigation remains open. Shahzad also indicated that he wanted to avenge recent slayings of militant leaders by U.S. missile strikes, the official said.
“He made references to having had some sort of contact with the Pakistani Taliban,” the law enforcement official said. “He made reference to his motivation being revenge for U.S. activity and involvement in Pakistan.”
On Wednesday, September 1 the State Department added the TTP to the official list of Foreign Terrorist Organizations. Crilly writes in the Telegraph, “Qari Hussain Mehsud, who commands suicide squads for the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), said he was proud that the US had added his organisation to its international terrorism blacklist on Wednesday.”