World News Brief, Thursday May 6

Times Square bomb suspect confesses as US security failures exposed (+ analysis); Speculation North Korea will return to nuclear disarmament talks in return for Chinese aid; Greek bailout fails to steady market as strike begins; Tenuous Shiite coalition formed in Iraq; and more

Top of the Agenda: Times Square Bomb Suspect Confesses

Faisal Shahzad, who was pulled from a New York flight headed for Dubai, confessed to plotting a car bombing (WSJ) in New York's Times Square and training in a terrorist camp in Pakistan. Shahzad was charged with five terrorism-related charges, and Pakistani authorities arrested several people overseas who had been in contact with him. Among those arrested were Tohid Ahmed, who had emailed with Shahzad while he was in the United States, and some members of Shahzad's family. Shahzad said he received bomb-making training in the tribal region of Waziristan bordering Afghanistan. That Shahzad was stopped only after boarding the flight has raised questions about why he was not apprehended earlier. Shahzad's name was added to a watchlist as early as Sunday.

The New York Times reports at least two lapses in the government's security response: The FBI lost track of him before he drove to JFK Airport, and Emirates airline failed to act on a midday message notifying it to check the no-fly list.


In the Wall Street Journal, Sadanand Dhume says the number of Islamic terrorists from Pakistan (WSJ) can be explained by the country's creation from the Muslim-majority areas of British India in 1947, as it was the first modern nation based solely on Islam.

On, Josh Rogin says the Times Square bombing attempt comes at a bad time for US-Pakistan relations, as officials hash out a new agreement on military and intelligence cooperation.

The domestic introduction of terrorist techniques may be harder to thwart than those to which US homeland security became attuned after September 11, writes CFR's Steven Simon, with Jonathan Stevenson, in this Washington Post op-ed.


PACIFIC RIM: North Korea and China to Talk

North Korean leader Kim Jong-Il will likely meet with Chinese President Hu Jintao, amid speculation that North Korea would return to nuclear disarmament talks in exchange for economic aid from China (KoreaTimes).

China: US accusations that China is a currency manipulator fail to account for the export sector and unemployment consequences to China if they allowed the yuan to appreciate, reports the Christian Science Monitor.

In this Expert Roundup, six experts debate whether the Obama administration's approach to China's currency policy is the right one, and why.



Iraqi Shiite Blocs Form Alliance
Greek Bailout Fails to Calm Markets


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