Investigators Puzzled by Shahzad's Incompetence

Lack of bomb-making skills suggest he was a 'C-Team' recruit
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted May 11, 2010 6:46 AM CDT
If "Shahzad did attend a jihadist academy in South Waziristan, or some other remote Pakistani region, why wasn’t he a better bomb maker?" Grier wonders.   (AP Photo/, File)

(Newser) – For a guy who supposedly trained with the Taliban, Faisal Shahzad seems to have been a pretty lousy bombmaker, and this ineptitude has puzzled investigators. While the Taliban field manual has detailed bomb-making instructions, the device Shahzad left in Times Square was amateurishly assembled and used the wrong components, Peter Grier writes at the Christian Science Monitor. "The apparent disconnect between his training and his performance" leads Grier to speculate on what it means.

One possibility is that he wasn't able to obtain the necessary components, which suggests that federal restrictions are working. Shahzad, however, also reportedly left his getaway car keys and his house keys behind in the explosives-rigged SUV in Times Square, demonstrating that the Taliban may have recruiting problems: “This may suggest we are moving from the ‘A’ team in recruits to the ‘B’ team or even the ‘C’ team,” a security analyst tells Grier.

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