May 18, 2010
President Obama’s national security adviser, James L. Jones, and CIA Director Leon Panetta were set to travel to Pakistan on Monday night for meetings with top government, military and intelligence officials on progress in the Times Square car bomb investigation and concerns about future terrorist attacks.
Officials say the administration has been pleased so far with Pakistani cooperation in the investigation, which has focused on any role insurgent groups there might have played in helping to train and otherwise assist bombing suspect Faisal Shahzad.
But officials said that Jones and Panetta intend to reiterate to the Pakistanis the importance that the administration places on more aggressive military action against groups allied with al-Qaeda in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas, or FATA. Shahzad, a Pakistani American, has said he traveled to the region to train with elements of the Pakistani Taliban, officials say.
The bombing attempt has already given rise to questions from Congress about Pakistan’s zeal in confronting radical groups; a successful attack in the United States would severely undermine a bilateral relationship that is a crucial part of the administration’s Afghanistan war strategy.
This article was posted: Tuesday, May 18, 2010 at 3:57 pm