The hosing down of Faisal Shahzad

Expect Pakistan to cover up

Ultimately, the US authorities moved faster than Faisal Shahzad, the Pakistani-American suspected of carrying out the (failed) car bomb attack at New York Times Square on May Day. They got their man before he boarded a flight to Dubai. They might also have identified Mr Shahzad’s local accomplices. That’s the good news.

The bad news is that announcing the name of the suspect and the fact that he recently returned from Peshawar is likely to have caused the process of hosing down of Mr Shahzad’s tracks in Pakistan. For the Pakistani ‘agencies’ can not only hose down the park where Benazir Bhutto was assassinated, they can ‘hose down’ an entire village as we saw in the case of Mohammad Ajmal Amir Kasab.

In the days to come it is likely that the Pakistani government will declare that it will co-operate with the United States, that it will not even ask for proof and dossiers, blame Hakeemullah Mehsud’s taliban group and suggest a connection to drone attacks. However, if there are links connecting Mr Shahzad to people connected to the Pakistani army, intelligence or its surrogate militant groups, they’ll be gone by tomorrow.

The US authorities tried—unsuccessfully—to keep the operation to nab the suspect under wraps until they got their man. Unfortunately, they didn’t think it necessary, or perhaps felt that it wouldn’t be possible, not to warn off the Pakistani side.

6 thoughts on “The hosing down of Faisal Shahzad”

  1. Nitin,

    “…announcing the name of the suspect and the fact that he recently returned from Peshawar is likely to have caused the process of hosing down…”


    Assuming the deep complicity of the powers-that-be in Pakistan, they already knew Mr.Shahzad, and that he was on the run after this attempt. They would already be in damage-control and delink mode from that point. If they were as smart as made out to be, they’d have deniability already designed in BEFORE the attack itself.

    Hose-downs when run so obviously as in your linked examples suggests that there could be an entity with considerable autonomy that actually plans and executes these, and the hosers that run around trying to cover up may not be in the loop at all times and may not be controlling the operations at all.


  2. Based on recent reports the guy is a rank amateur. Unlikely to be the kind the MJC employs. The mutt buys an SUV himself, does not get the VIN off the engine and stuffs it with assorted home-brewed fire-crackers (hardly munition grade) and then tries to take off. The MJC should be credited with a little more finesse than that.

    Of course Pakistan’s “image” glows brighter. Some large payment services have shut down disbursements to Pakistan after some recent regulation. If Paypal shuts down as well a bunch of IT folks there making their (very decent) living off work from the US are in trouble.

  3. Hi,

    If the ISI had been significantly involved in the attack, wouldn’t they have at least made sure the bomb went off? Their attacks against India have generally been competently conducted.

    Not saying the ISI is innocent, just that there is reasonable doubt. This is not like Mumbai, where the ISI people were reportedly heard on the radio talking to the attackers.


  4. Assuming contact, they would already know when he is arrested. So, naming the convict will help bolster confidence of people in the police force, but won’t cause anymore harm than has already passed.

  5. The US media reaction was rather mild—no deep indignation or anger. The partnership between the Land of the Pure and the Land of obummer is ..deep. Hold your breath for the next round….

  6. The MJC does not get quality people like in the past….even recent attacks in India and Bangladesh have failed for the same reason as the new York attack. It is also a sign that the ISI and it’s allies are able to find high quality recruits like in the past.

    Pakistan’s eagerness to get involved is the same reason. The Pak army wanted all the dossiers from India for 26/11. And all the information given was used whitewash pakistani state’s culpability in 26/11. There is no indication that these same people want be involved in recent NY car bomb because of a change of heart, so the question is: what is the motivation for wanting access to the results of this investigation

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