Tuesday, May 11, 2010

The Times Square Bomb Plot Videos: a Flashpoint Partners Analysis

Flashpoint Global Partners, a New York-based security consulting firm, has released an exclusive multimedia slideshow tracking the origin and provenance of video recordings produced by Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (the Pakistani Taliban) which appear to claim responsibility for the most recent failed "Times Square" bomb plot in New York. As a result of information documented in the slideshow, Flashpoint Global Partners has reached the following tentative conclusions:
  • The video recordings released by Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) on May 2, 2010 appear to be legitimate and authentic. Both recordings were apparently produced by the same party, as they carry identical English-language subtitles. Moreover, it is highly unlikely that another party would be capable of producing a fraudulent video of Hakimullah Mehsud, particularly one that clearly matches previous authenticated TTP propaganda material.
  • The video recordings released by Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) claiming credit for attacks in the United States were originally posted on the Internet via YouTube and the “Ansar al-Mujahideen” English discussion forum.
  • Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) appears to have had clear foreknowledge that a terrorist attack was to occur in the United States on May 1 or 2. Aside from the recording date given for the Hakimullah Mehsud video, the Taliban YouTube channel itself was first created on April 30 – only hours before the failed execution of the Times Square bomb plot.
  • The same party responsible for creating the English-language subtitles on the TTP videos claiming responsibility for attacks appears to have personally posted these recordings on the Internet, including the Ansar al-Mujahideen English chat forum and the Taliban YouTube channel. The spelling and unusual pattern of capitalization in the English-subtitles match almost exactly the the comments subsequently posted online by users “TalibanNews” and “TehreekeTaliban.”
  • Given the timing of the comments posted on YouTube by “TehreekeTaliban”, it is highly unlikely that the source of the videos was prime suspect Faisal Shahzad. At the time of the last online posting via YouTube—7pm on May 3—Shahzad was already on his way to John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York.

No comments:

Post a Comment