On Sunday, Attorney General Eric Holder stated that there was a definite link between the Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan and Faisal Shahzad's attempt to bomb Times Square. As Max Fisher has written, however, there was ample reason to doubt Holder's account, not the least of which was that other people in a position to know -- such as Gen. David Petraeus -- were saying something different. Spencer Ackerman reports that Sen. Kit Bond, the ranking member on the Senate Intelligence Committee, cast more doubt on a Shahzad-TTP link after an intelligence briefing yesterday:
Feinstein’s GOP counterpart, Kit Bond (R-Mo.), chided Attorney General Eric Holder for being definitive about Shahzad’s Taliban connections on Sunday talk shows. “I am not convinced by the information I’ve seen so far that there is adequate, confirmable intelligence to corroborate the statements on Sunday television shows,” Bond said. “We hear there are lots of strong suspicions and lots of trails [the intelligence community is] following. I think people should wait to speak about the origins until they are certain about it.”
That's not to say there isn't a link -- just that one hasn't been clearly established yet, and Holder seems to have jumped the gun in saying there was.
Why might Holder have exaggerated? Public support for the war in Afghanistan is flagging, and a definite link between a terrorist attempt here and the TTP would further justify the engagement of the U.S. military there.
-- A. Serwer
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