Times Square bomb suspect blames cleric

The suspect in the Times Square car-bomb conspiracy, Faisal Shahzad, has indicated to investigators that he was moved to action by a Yemeni-American cleric in hiding in Yemen, Anwar al-Awlaki, who earlier this year was placed on the CIA hit-list for assassination, because of his influential sermonising about Jihad against America.

Nearly a week after the failed attempt by Mr Shahzad to bring bloodshed to the heart of Manhattan with a car packed with explosives that never went off, there is an accumulating body of evidence that he may have been supported materially by anti-American terror groups abroad, probably in Pakistan, and inspired by their preaching.

While it is not clear that Mr Shahzad has met Al-Awlaki or communicated directly with him, since his arrest last week, he has been speaking of him almost as a mentor, sources told the US media.