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Pakistan Taliban leader alive, threatens US

Islamabad, May 3, 2010

The leader of the Pakistani Taliban, Hakimullah Mehsud, who was reported killed in a CIA drone aircraft attack in January, has appeared in Internet videos threatening suicide strikes in the United States.

The tapes were released shortly after the Al Qaeda-backed Pakistani Taliban said it was responsible for an attempted car bomb attack in New York's Times Square on Saturday evening.   

"The time is very near when our Fedayeen (fighters prepared to sacrifice themselves) will attack the American states in their major cities," warned Mehsud, who said the video was recorded on April 4, 2010.

"Our Fedayeen have penetrated the terrorist America. We will give extremely painful blows to the fanatic America."  Pakistani officials dismissed the group's Time Square claim as desperate propaganda designed to show the Taliban has global reach.   

"It's a media stunt. We know and the world knows their ability and capacity," said a Pakistani security official, who spoke on condition of anonymity.   

A total of three Taliban videos were released -- two from Mehsud and one from Qari Hussain, a Pakistani Taliban suicide bombing trainer.   

Hussain said the Taliban "took full responsibility" for an attack inside the United States, but it did not give details. The Pakistani military says it has severely weakened Pakistani militants through a series of offensives in the northwest part of the country. - Reuters




Tags: Pakistan | Taliban | Mehsud | Times Square |

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