Yes indeed the incident is part of global phenomenon of Jihadists acting against the West with single minded devotion. It is surprising that Shahzad was from an affluent Pakistan military family and was trained and indoctrinated in the Pakistan’s terror university. That he was an educated, middleclass, married and US naturalised citizen doing well for himself is what is intriguing, like the plot from “Qurban,” the Hollywood movie.
He doesn’t fit the routine Jihadis caricature of beards and turban. He stands for the Terror factory’s suave up market employee out to teach the West a lesson and depicts the growing reach of Pakistan based Jihadis. Was he settling his personal score and vendetta or was he the warrior of the Jihadists. If that is true is this a phenomenon or an isolated case?
Rahman Malik, Pakistan’s interior minister has this to say “If the individual decides to take the training individually and then gets motivated or does an act on his own, you cannot level that as a collective thing from Pakistan, or say that any sort of help is being given to them,”. But Mr Malik said the fact the incident took place in the US and that Faisal Shahzad was a naturalised US citizen made him the responsibility of the US. Technically, Mr Rahman is right. Pakistan can and will deny any complexity in this case and succeed for obvious reasons.
But the issue goes far deeper than this isolated case. When Pakistan permits terror groups to operate from its soil against India, it can not compartmentalise them when it comes to US or Israel. The Jihadi groups are all pervasive in Pakistan and their reach is growing. Lashkar e Tayyeba is truly going global and it appears difficult to surmise whether ISI is controlling them or vice versa.
There are other ominous portends of this incident. The capacity and capability of Pakistan based terror groups to recruit urban cadres well versed in the ways of life in the West. Other implication is their capability to conduct such operations even in a secure area such as Times Square. Had the bomb gone off, these groups would have achieved a major psychological advantage vis a vis USA.
It is no secret that the Pakistan Army has an armed wing of the Jihadis being used as their strategic assets against India. Some factions are also being trained to conduct operations against the West and the Zionists. The terror universities and factories mushrooming in Pakistan would continue to operate with or without the support of the Army. They now have deep links with al Qaeda. Some analysts argue that they have in fact overtaken the responsibilities of al Qaeda who apparently have moved to Saudi Arabia, Yemen and Somalia as a result of GWOT in Af Pak region.
As per a BBC report, Pakistani intelligence sources describe three concentric rings of militancy, all of which now find their home in North Waziristan. The core leadership of al-Qaeda is down to less than 100 Arabs.
The next ring comprises hundreds of fighters from other countries including Yemen, Libya, Kenya, Somalia and Uzbekistan. Finally, sources estimate there are around 10,000 Pakistani militants, largely under the umbrella of the TTP or Pakistani Taliban. What Pakistan is obviously obfuscating is that it has huge numbers of cadres of India centric groups such as Lashkar, Jaish, HIzbul Mujahideen and the likes which run the basic madarsas and training camps across Pakistan.
Terror unfortunately is omni directional and this epicentre of terrorism is providing the cannon fodder for disturbing the global peace.
In the meanwhile, as the investigations into Shahzad’s Pakistan connections progress, Pakistan will cover all the holes in the mosaic of Shahzad’s Jihadi connections in Pakistan. In all probabilities he will be disowned like Kasab – an expendable commodity in Pakistan’s terror war.