Times Square Bomber Vows Revenge in Al-Arabiya Video

By Chris Dolmetsch
(c) 2010 Bloomberg News
Wednesday, July 14, 2010; 12:00 AM

July 14 (Bloomberg) -- Faisal Shahzad, who pleaded guilty last month to trying to explode a car bomb in New York's Times Square, says in a video that he planned the attack as revenge for the U.S. war in Afghanistan, Al-Arabiya television reported.

Shahzad is dressed in traditional tribal clothes and sits with an assault rifle in the video, which was made before the attempted May 1 attack, the Dubai-based Arabic-language television network reported on its website. The network broadcast the tape today.

In the video, Shahzad praises Baitullah Mehsud, the Pakistani Taliban leader killed in a U.S. drone strike in August of last year, and Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the founder of al-Qaeda in Iraq who died at the hands of U.S. led-troops in 2006, as martyrs, Al-Arabiya said.

"The attack on the United States will be a revenge for all the mujahedeen and oppressed Muslims," Shahzad said in the tape, according to Al-Arabiya. "Eight years have passed since the Afghanistan war and you shall see how the Muslim war has just begun and how Islam will spread across the world."

The network aired portions of the 40-minute video today, including parts where Shahzad is shown shaking hands with Hakimullah Mehsud, who took over leadership of the Pakistan Taliban last year, said IntelCenter, an Alexandria, Virginia- based intelligence firm, in an e-mailed statement.

The video appears to be the work of Umar Media, the Pakistan Taliban's video production unit, and its release is consistent with the actions of jihadist groups in the months following a major attack, "even if it had failed," IntelCenter said.

In one example, al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula released video footage of Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, accused of trying to blow up a Northwest Airlines jet on Christmas Day in Detroit, IntelCenter said. That footage was released after Abdulmutallab was in U.S. custody.

Shahzad pleaded guilty on June 21 to 10 terrorism-related charges for the attack, including attempted use of a weapon of mass destruction. He faces a mandatory life term at his sentencing, scheduled for Oct. 5.

Shahzad told U.S. District Judge Miriam Cedarbaum on June 21 that he wanted to plead guilty "a hundred times over," according to a transcript, "because until the hour the U.S. pulls its forces from Iraq and Afghanistan and stops the drone strikes in Somalia and Yemen and in Pakistan and stops the occupation of Muslim lands and stops killing the Muslims and stops reporting the Muslims to its government, we will be attacking U.S."

The case is U.S. v. Shahzad, 10-00928, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York (Manhattan).

© 2010 bloomberg.com