Monday, May 10, 2010

FP morning brief 5/10

White House: Pakistani Taliban behind Times Square bomb plot

Top news: In its strongest language yet, the Obama administration blamed Pakistan's Tehrik-e-Taliban (TTP) for the attempted car bombing in New York's Times Square. Appearing on ABC's This Week, Attorney General Eric Holder said, "We know that they helped facilitate it. We know that they probably helped finance it and that he was working at their direction."

The bomber, naturalized U.S. citizen Faisal Shahzad, has told investigators that during a five-month trip to Pakistan, he was trained in militant tactics in the region of Waziristan, a hotbed of TTP activity.

White House counterterrorism advisor John Brennan told CNN that the attack is evidence that U.S. efforts to disrupt the TTP are working. "Because of our success in degrading the capabilities of these terrorist groups overseas, preventing them from carrying out these attacks, they are now relegated to trying to do these unsophisticated attacks, showing that they have inept capabilities in training," he said.

If the TTP's role in the bombing plot is proven, it would be their first attempted attack on U.S. soil.

U.S. Politics: President Obama is said to have chosen Solicitor General Elena Kagan to succeed John Paul Stevens on the Supreme Court.

British election: While coalition negotiations between the Liberal Democrats and Conservatives continue, the Lib Dems have also reportedly met with representatives from Labour.

  • Filipinos are voting in presidential elections today, despite technical glitches and scattered violence.
  • Japanese Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama approved a draft plan to relocate the U.S. marine base in Okinawa.
  • Assistant Secretary of State Kurt Campbell met with Burmese opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi.
  • E.U. finance ministers approved a $560 billion "stabilization mechanism" to prevent future economic crises.
  • Troops from the United States, Britain, and France, joined Russia's Victory Day parade in Moscow for the first time on Sunday.
  • German Chancellor Angela Merkel's party lost control of the upper house of parliament and losing badly in regional elections.
Middle East
  • A series of bombings and drive-by shootings killed nearly 30 people across Iraq today.
  • The White House says that indirect, White-House brokered talks between the Israelis and Palestinians have resumed.
  • Iran executed four Kurds found guilty of membership in a militant separatist group.
  • Roy Bennett, a top aide to Zimbabwean Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai, was acquitted on terrorism charges.
  • The chief prosecutor of the International criminal court has arrived in Kenya to investigate the country's 2008 post-election violence.
  • Sudan has arrested two men for the killing of two Egyptian peacekeepers in Darfur.
  • Laura Chinchilla was inaugurated as the first female president of Costa Rica.
  • Mexico has extradited a former state governor to the United States on cocaine smuggling charges.
  • Former Venezuelan defense minister Raul Baduel, an opponent of President Hugo Chavez, was sentenced to seven years in jail on embezzlement charges.
-By Joshua Keating

Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

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