Belfast Telegraph

Monday 28 July 2014

Video of Times Square bomber aired

Faisal Shahzad said in the video that he planned a 'revenge attack' against the US (AP)

The man behind an attempted car bombing in New York's Times Square appeared in a video recorded before the failed attack that shows him meeting with senior Pakistani Taliban leaders and vowing to strike the US.

In the video, aired in segments by the Dubai-based television station Al-Arabiya, Faisal Shahzad said the attack on the New York City landmark would avenge the deaths of Muslims killed in Iraq and Afghanistan.

"All the Muslim Arabs that have been martyred - I will take revenge on their behalf," he said. "I really wish that the hearts of the Muslims will be pleased with this attack, God willing."

One of the figures he praises as a martyr is Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the former leader of al-Qaida in Iraq who was killed in a US air strike in Iraq in 2006.

Shahzad, 30, is seen in the video sitting on the ground in a black turban and olive-coloured vest, with an AK-47 next to him. He calls jihad, or holy war, a pillar of the Muslim faith, and says: "Islam will spread on the whole world and democracy will be defeated."

"Eight years has passed by Afghanistan, and you will see that the Muslim war has just started," he said.

Shahzad, who was born and raised in Pakistan before moving to the US to study and eventually taking American citizenship, was arrested days after the failed May 1 bombing.

He pleaded guilty in June to carrying out the attack, and admitted to attempting to establish contact with the Taliban while on a 2009 trip to Pakistan. He also told the New York court that he considers himself "a Muslim soldier".

He said he sought and received five days' training in explosives before returning to the United States in February to carry out the bomb plot with funding from the militant group.

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