Saturday, May 8, 2010

Clinton: "severe consequences" in case of attack

Updated on : Saturday, May 08, 2010

NEW YORK: The United States has warned of "severe consequences" if a successful extremist attack in America were traced back to Pakistan, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said on Friday in an interview with CBS' "60 Minutes."

The Pakistani Taliban claimed responsibility for a failed bid to bomb New York's Times Square last Saturday. If proven, it would be the group's first act in the United States.

Pakistani-American Faisal Shahzad has been charged with driving the crude homemade bomb into Midtown Manhattan and said he acted alone, according to authorities. But investigators have uncovered possible links to the Pakistani Taliban and a Kashmiri Islamist group.

"We've gotten more cooperation. It's been a real sea change in the commitment we have seen from the Pakistani government. We want more, we expect more," Clinton said in the interview to be aired on Sunday. Excerpts were released on Friday.

"We've made it very clear that if -- heaven-forbid -- an attack like this that we can trace back to Pakistan were to have been successful, there would be very severe consequences," she said, without elaborating.

Shahzad, 30, who was born in Pakistan and became a U.S. citizen last year, has admitted to the failed plot and to receiving bomb-making training in a Taliban and al Qaeda stronghold in Pakistan, prosecutors said.

He has been charged with attempting to use a weapon of mass destruction and trying to kill and maim people, as well as other counts. Shahzad is yet to appear in court as he has waived his U.S. legal rights and is talking to investigators.

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