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Transcript of Eric Holder on ABC

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Sunday, May 9, 2010; 11:27 AM

Jake Tapper interviews Attorney General Eric Holder on ABC's "This Week," on Sunday. A transcript of the interview follows:

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TAPPER: Well, let's start with the latest on the investigation into the failed Times Square bomber, Faisal Shahzad. What's the latest?

HOLDER: Well, we've now developed evidence that shows that the Pakistani Taliban was behind the attack. We know that they helped facilitate it. We know that they probably helped finance it and that he was working at their direction.

TAPPER: Is there any evidence that there's a cell that Shahzad was working with in the United States? Or was it just him operating from directions from Pakistan?

HOLDER: All I can really say is that the investigation is ongoing and we are examining overseas connections that he might have, as well as any people he might have worked with here in the United States. But the investigation's ongoing in both those spheres.

TAPPER: In the last few days, U.S. officials have met with Pakistani officials, and the message, as conveyed by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on "60 Minutes" is this.

CLINTON: We want more. We expect more. We've made it very clear that if, heaven forbid, an attack like this that we can trace back to Pakistan were to have been successful, there would be very severe consequences.

TAPPER: What would those consequences be? And what more do you need the Pakistanis to be doing, the Pakistani government, beyond increased military action in North Waziristan, where the Pakistani Taliban is primarily located?

HOLDER: Well, in connection with the Shahzad investigation, they had been, I think, extremely aggressive, they've been cooperative with us, and I think we have been satisfied with the work that they have done. We want to make sure that kind of cooperation continues. To the extent that it does not, we will, as Secretary Clinton indicated, take the appropriate steps. But as of now, with regard to Shahzad, I think we're satisfied with the level of cooperation we've received.

TAPPER: Did the Pakistani government know about Shahzad before this happened? And did they tell the U.S. government at all anything about that?

HOLDER: We don't have any indication that the Pakistani government was aware of his plans or the attack that was planned by the Pakistani Taliban. We don't have any indication of that.

TAPPER: OK, Pakistani Taliban leader Hakimullah Mehsud of the Pakistani -- Pakistani Taliban appeared in a video last month saying the time is very near when a Fedayeen, or soldiers, will attack the American states in the major cities. At the time that he issued that warning, U.S. policymakers didn't think the Pakistani Taliban had the ability to reach into the United States. They were, obviously, wrong?


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