US considers possible Pakistan attack

US considers possible Pakistan attack

By | 2010-05-29T18:26:00+00:00 May 29th, 2010|News|0 Comments

U.S. military leaders are reviewing options for a unilateral strike in Pakistan if there is a successful attack on American soil tied to the country's tribal areas, The Washington Post reported in its Saturday edition. The newspaper said senior U.S. military officials stressed a possible strike would only be considered under extreme circumstances such as a catastrophic attack that convinced President Barack Obama that the campaign using CIA drone strikes is not working.

The officials said airstrikes would be the most effective option in reducing the threat posed by al-Qaeda and other groups, but the United States must be careful not to damage its military relationship with Pakistan to a point where it cannot be repaired.

"Planning has been reinvigorated in the wake of Times Square," one official told the newspaper.

The report comes in the wake of the failed May 1 attack on New York’s crowded Times Square, which is in the city’s busy theater district.

Faisal Shahzad, a 30-year-old Pakistani-born naturalized U.S. citizen, was arrested apparently trying to flee the country on a flight to Dubai 53 hours after street vendors alerted police to smoke coming out of a vehicle there.

The van was found to contain a bomb consisting of timers, wires, fireworks, gasoline, propane tanks and fertilizer.

Shahzad is due for a federal court hearing in New York on June 1.

U.S. officials say Shahzad is connected to Pakistani Taliban insurgents and Obama has sent two senior national security aides to Islamabad to join the investigation into the May 1 car bombing attempt.

CIA-operated drones have targeted Taliban figures in Pakistan’s tribal areas and the group has vowed to avenge missile strikes that have killed some of its leaders.

According to The Post, the U.S. administration is trying to deepen ties to Pakistan’s intelligence officials in a bid to head off any attack by militant groups.

The two countries recently established a joint military intelligence center on the outskirts of the northwestern city of Peshawar, and were in talks to set up another one near Quetta, the paper said.