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Pakistan raids shed light on Times Square bomber

A picture is emerging of the failed Times Square car bomber after raids and arrests in Karachi.

Specifically, Pakistani officials said, Shahzad had visited the tribal areas, where the Pakistani Taliban is deeply entrenched.

Pakistani authorities said the family owned a home in Peshawar, the lawless city that sits at the foot of the Khyber Pass leading into Afghanistan and where the fiery sermons of Taliban-inspired clerics echo from the minarets of local mosques.

"There's a very good possibility that he got his training at a militant camp in the badlands near Nizampur," said one source, referring to a small village set high in the iron mining areas of the North-West Frontier Province.

Shahzad told investigators he acted alone and denied any ties to radical groups in Pakistan, a U.S. law enforcement official familiar with the investigation told Reuters.

Shahzad’s journey from Pakistan to a seemingly routine life working in the financial services near his home in a working class part of Bridgeport, Connecticut, to return to his native Pakistan is common, of course, for many immigrants.

But it seems to be a recent phenomenon that well-adjusted immigrants from predominantly Muslim countries are being drawn to militancy against the United States, raising some fears about the specter of violent extremism from within the U.S.

In the past two years, more than 10 people with American citizenship or residency, like Shahzad, have been accused of supporting or carrying out terrorism attempts on U.S. soil.

They include Army Maj. Nidal Hasan, a U.S.-born Army psychiatrist of Palestinian descent, charged with fatally shooting 13 people last year at Fort Hood, Texas. Also, Najibullah Zazi, a Denver-area airport shuttle driver who pleaded guilty in February in a plot to bomb New York subways. And a Pennsylvania woman who authorities say became radicalized online as "Jihad Jane" and plotted to kill a Swedish artist whose work offended Muslims.

Salman Ahmed reports from Karachi for GlobalPost.