A senior US military commander and a lawmaker said on Friday they believed the man who tried to bomb New York’s Times Square was a ‘lone wolf’.

Gen David Petraeus, who oversees America’s wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, told a US news agency there was no indication that Faisal Shahzad worked with others in concocting the terror attack or the homemade bomb.

“We don’t know that this individual did something that escaped in some way our ability to pick up on either his trip to Pakistan or some other case,” said Congressman Silvestre Reyes, chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, when asked at a news conference why US intelligence agencies failed to learn about Faisal’s links to the Taliban.

Gen Petraeus, however, told AP that Faisal was “inspired by militants in Pakistan but didn’t have direct contact with them”.

On Thursday, the Washington Post reported that US investigators were “increasingly convinced that (Faisal’s) accounts to interrogators, in particular his assertion that he was trained by the Pakistani Taliban, are on the mark”.

The report, quoting anonymous intelligence sources, also claimed that US officials had identified an “overseas courier” who funnelled money to Shahzad for the failed terrorist attack.

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