Terrorists May Have New Focus on Striking U.S. Officials Say



al Qaeda eyes smaller terror plots and attacks

Targeting Terrorism

The failed bombing in New York’s Times Square is a possible signal that militant leaders in Pakistan have shifted their focus to targets in the U.S. and other Western countries instead of sticking to their home base, according to U.S. counterterrorism officials.

The attack, they also warned, could be only the first by terrorist groups that seek to avoid detection by using simpler methods that are more independently planned. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the case publicly.

U.S. investigators and intelligence agencies are trying to establish whether accused bomber Faisal Shahzad was trained or recruited for the Times Square operation by any Pakistan-based terrorist organization, including the Pakistani Taliban. Shahzad, a U.S. citizen of Pakistani descent, spent five months in Pakistan before returning to the United States in February and preparing his attack.

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