The U.S. State Department said on Tuesday it was looking into putting the Pakistani Taliban on the what U.S. called list of "foreign terrorist" groups.
Adding the Pakistani Taliban to the list would trigger bans for organizations, firms or people that U.S. claims an alleged link with the group such as freezing assets tied to the group, barring foreign nationals with links to it from entering the United States.
State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley said there was a lengthy "legal" process before a group could be designated a "foreign terrorist organization" and he did not know when a decision would be made.
US pressure on Pakistan for more attacks
Faisal Shahzad, 30, a naturalized U.S. citizen born in Pakistan, was arrested two days after authorities say he parked a sport utility vehicle packed with a bomb in New York's busy Times Square on May 1.
Five Democratic U.S. senators sent a letter to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Tuesday urging her to ensure the Pakistani Taliban was on the list.
The Pakistani Taliban, known as the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), on May 2 claimed responsibility for the attempted bombing.
Last weekend, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder said there was evidence the group was behind the crude bomb attempt.
Clinton raised eyebrows over the weekend when she threatened that Pakistan would face "severe consequences" if a successful attack in the United States were traced to Pakistan.
Since then, U.S. officials have sought to play down Clinton's comments. Richard Holbrooke, the U.S. special representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan, told reporters that Clinton's comments had been "not fully understood."
"I am not here to criticize the (Pakistani) government but to thank it for what it has done," Holbrooke said late on Monday.
ReutersLast Mod: 12 Mayıs 2010, 00:20