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New video shows Shahzad with JuD chief Mehsud

Jul 23, 2010 12:33 PM IST India India

New York: Faisal Shahzad, the man behind the failed Times Square bombing plot, is seen in a new video footage along with Pakistani Taliban leader Hakimullah Mehsud, with the two shaking hands and hugging each other.

The Pakistani American had following his arrest claimed that he had met Mehsud and a host of other radical leaders but investigators had then said they were yet to verify his claims. The video that has now emerged shows a man who appears to be Shahzad shaking hands with Mehsud and then embracing him.

The footage, which is on the Sky News website, features an audio track of Shahzad saying, "Today, along with the leader of Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan Hakimullah Mehsud and under the command of Amir al-Mumineen Mullah Mohammed Omar Mujahid (may Allah protect him), we are planning to wage an attack on your side, inshallah".

Last month, Shahzad, pleaded guilty to trying to detonate a car bomb hidden in a Nissan Pathfinder in a crowded area of Times Square on May 1.

"I want to plead guilty, and I'm going to plead guilty 100 times over because until the hour the US 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 US, and I plead guilty to that," he said in the courtroom.

During the trial, Shahzad admitted that he had gone to Pakistan to get training from the Taliban and described himself as "part of the answer to the US terrorising the Muslim nations and the Muslim people". The US authorities had suspected the hand of the Pakistani-Taliban in the attack since the beginning of the investigation.

Shahzad said that after becoming a US citizen, last year, he went back to Pakistan in June to first meet his family and then headed to Peshawar where he received bomb training from Tehrik-i-Taliban and cash.

"One has to understand where I'm coming from... I consider myself... a Muslim soldier," he told the judge. Shahzad admitted building three explosive devices in his home in Connecticut and said that he did not know why they did not explode. Since then it has been established that the cheap quality of explosive material Shahzad bought was a key factor that ruined his plan.

If the terror plot had been successful, it would have killed thousands of people. The father of two children worked as a financial analyst in Connecticut where he lived with his wife. He will be sentenced on Oct 5.