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Clinton warns Pakistan of terror 'consequences'

Hillary Clinton (file)
Mrs Clinton praised the recent killing and capturing of militants in Pakistan

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has warned of "severe consequences" if a terror attack against the US would ever be traced back to Pakistan.

She told CBS while Pakistan had become more helpful in tackling extremists, co-operation could still be improved.

A Pakistani-born US citizen has been charged with an attempted bombing in Times Square in New York a week ago.

Earlier, Defence Secretary Robert Gates said the US was prepared to increase military assistance to Pakistan.

"We're willing to do as much... as they are willing to accept," he told reporters. "We are prepared to do training, and exercise with them. How big that operation becomes is really up to them."

But he played down the chances of an extended crackdown on militants, saying Pakistani forces were already "thinly stretched".

'Double game'

In an interview with CBS television's 60 Minutes programme, Mrs Clinton said there was now a "much better relationship" between the US and Pakistani governments, militaries and intelligence services.

"I think that there was a double game going on in the previous years, where we got a lot of lip-service but very little produced," she said.

We've gotten more co-operation and it's been a real sea change in the commitment we've seen from the Pakistan government. We want more
US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton

But the past two years had seen "the killing or capturing of a great number of the leadership of significant terrorist groups", Mrs Clinton added.

"We've gotten more co-operation and it's been a real sea change in the commitment we've seen from the Pakistan government. We want more. We expect more."

"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 warned.

FAISAL SHAHZAD
Aged 30
Naturalised US citizen born in Pakistan
Resident of Bridgeport, Connecticut
Married - wife and two young children believed to be in Karachi
Awarded a master's in business administration from University of Bridgeport in 2005
Visited Pakistan at least eight times in recent years, according to local officials

Pakistan's government has promised to co-operate with the investigation into the failed car-bomb attack in Times Square, which has uncovered possible links to the Pakistani Taliban and an Islamist group in Kashmir.

Pakistani Interior Minister Rehman Malik said the US had made a formal request to Pakistan to investigate links between the main suspect, Faisal Shahzad, and militants in the north-west.

"They think that Shazhad had been visiting South Waziristan and meeting [Taliban leaders] Qari Hussain and Hakimullah Mehsud. But it all needs confirmation," he said on Saturday.

Mr Shahzad, who was born in Pakistan and became a US citizen last year, has been charged with terrorism, attempting to use a weapon of mass destruction. He has yet to appear in court.

Prosecutors say Shazhad is continuing to co-operate with investigators, and has admitted to receiving bomb-making training Waziristan.

ABC News has reported that Mr Shahzad told investigators he was angry because friends had been killed by CIA strikes in Pakistan, his personal life was in crisis, and he feared for the safety of his family.

How Times Square bomb plotter was arrested

The trail which led to the arrest of Times Square bomb suspect began with the discovery of a suspicious car early on Saturday evening, 1 May, close to New York's busy Times Square.
The Nissan Pathfinder was caught on cctv cameras arriving in Times Square just before 1830 EDT. A street seller raised the alarm when he noticed the car parked with its engine running and hazard lights flashing.
Police evacuated Times Square. In the car's boot they found all the ingredients for a homemade bomb including propane gas cylinders, fireworks and two clocks, a metal gun locker containing fertiliser.
From the car's vehicle identification number, police traced the woman in Connecticut who sold the car to Faisal Shahzad (pictured). She also gave police a mobile phone number and helped identify him from photographs.
Faisal Shahzad lived in this Bridgeport building. Mobile phone records showed he made several calls to Pakistan and to a fireworks store in Pennsylvania. Court documents said he had received bomb-making training in Pakistan.
Police arrested Shahzad at 2345 EDT on Monday 3 May after he boarded a flight en route to Islamabad, Pakistan. Although his name was on a no-fly list, he had been allowed onto the plane.
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