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Home isn't such a safe place
Americans were sent into a tizzy this week following a terror threat that came from within, last Saturday. A botched car-bombing attempt by an American citizen of Pakistani origin, Faisal Shahzad, has driven home the threat to American security posed by homegrown radicals. Shahzad has confessed to placing a homemade bomb in a car and parking it at New York's iconic Times Sqaure with the intent of killing and injuring civilians. The motivation to carry out the plot, Shahzad is claimed to have confessed, came when he saw Pakistani civilians being killed by US drone strikes in Peshawar. A business analyst and married father of two, Shahzad quit his job last year and relocated to Pakistan, where he is suspected to have been indoctrinated and given training in bomb making by the Pakistani Taliban. Recently, another American citizen with Pakistani links, David Headley, was arrested for his involvement in terror conspiracies. So even as the US administration ups the ante in its fight against terrorism in the Af-Pak area, it might want to look within as well. The threat is not from outsiders alone anymore.


Karzai heads to Washington

What a difference a few months make. Till not so long ago, Afghan president Hamid Karzai was a feted hero in the US and NATO circles. But now that he has fallen out of favour following his remarks about American interference in the recent Afghan elections - as also for hosting Iran's president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad - it is anybody's guess what sort of a reception he will get when he visits Washington on May 12. President Barack Obama has asked Congress to approve $33 billion more to help fund 30, 000 additional US forces this year, and $4. 5 billion for related foreign aid and civilian operations directed by the State Department. Karzai will have to employ some serious hard sell to convince Congress lawmakers to oblige.

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