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Times Square bomber came from military family, reports say

McClatchy’s Saeed Shah is reporting that Faisal Shahzad, the alleged Times Square bomber, is the son of a retired Pakistani Air Force officer living in an upscale area outside Peshawar. "Said to be a retired air vice marshall, Haq hurriedly left the large family home in the Hayatabad suburb Tuesday, along with the rest of ...

JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images
JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images

McClatchy’s Saeed Shah is reporting that Faisal Shahzad, the alleged Times Square bomber, is the son of a retired Pakistani Air Force officer living in an upscale area outside Peshawar.

"Said to be a retired air vice marshall, Haq hurriedly left the large family home in the Hayatabad suburb Tuesday, along with the rest of the family, when Pakistani media found the house," Shah writes, noting that a U.S. official confirmed that Shahzad’s father is a "retired Pakistani Air Force officer." The BBC adds that Haq may have formerly been head of the country’s Civil Aviation Authority. 

The AP’s Ashraf and Riaz Khan tracked down Kifyat Ali, Haq’s cousin, who told them Shahzad’s arrest was "a conspiracy so the (Americans) can bomb more Pashtuns," and that the 30-year-old accused terrorist often went to Peshawar to visit his family. 

One possibly shaky Pakistani report says that Shahzad’s uncle is Maj. Gen. Tajul Haq, who was inspector general of the Frontier Corps, the paramilitary border force, from 2000 to 2003.

If all this is true, it’s pretty interesting. There seems to be a pattern of mediocre sons from elite families becoming terrorists. Osama bin Laden’s dad was a wildly succesful contractor with close ties to Saudi royalty. Underpants bomber Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab’s father was a prominent Nigerian banker and one of the wealthiest men in Africa. Perhaps they feel like failures next to their successful dads, and militancy offers a pathway toward self-respect.

Also noteworthy is what Shahzad studied in Connecticut. You guessed it: engineering.

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