Faisal Shahzad, the Would-Be Times Square Bomber, Explains Jihad on Arab TV


A video of Faisal Shahzad (remember, the guy who tried to bomb Times Square? We haven’t heard from him in a while!) has appeared on Al Arabiya television. In the clip, which you can watch here, he says he wants to attack the U.S. That, of course, comes as no surprise. What’s odd, however, is the use of Shahzad in this video at all. Because it’s kind of…uh…embarrassing.

“The attack on the United States will be a revenge for all the mujahedeen and oppressed Muslims,” Shahzad said in the tape. “Eight years have passed since the Afghanistan war and you shall see how the Muslim war has just begun and how Islam will spread across the world.”

Okay, yeah, that’s scary — nobody likes to be threatened, especially not with a vow of revenge. But we think Shahzad (or the promoters of Shazhad) go really wrong in a few areas:

1. Shahzad is in the custody of the feds, facing a mandatory life term at his sentencing, which is scheduled for October 5. Hence, any attack from him would be pretty difficult. Sure, maybe that helps his cause as a martyr…as Bloomberg reports, the release is consistent with the actions of jihadist groups in the months following a major attack, “even if it had failed” — but we always kinda thought role models should demonstrate successes.

2. In theater-speak, Faisal lacks presence. At points, he sounds more like a professor teaching a boring history class than a wannabe terrorist (nothing against history professors, you guys are great). We recommend taking a cue from Mel Gibson. Or not. That would be scary.

3. The fuzzy cut-and-paste around his body. Per Bloomberg, the clip appears to be the work of Umar Media, the Pakistan Taliban’s video production unit. And perhaps it’s to give him an otherworldly quality, but in any case, we will not be hiring them to do Mom’s b-day vid.

4. Preparation seems lacking. There’s the stuttering, reliance on finger-jabs for emphasis, and reading from the book in front of him for his explanation of jihad. We’re no experts, but shouldn’t he have at least memorized that stuff?