05/26/2010 02:51 pm ET Updated May 25, 2011

Faisal Shahzad Conspiracy Theories: Pakistanis Finger 'Think Tanks' As Real Culprits

While authorities in America pursue their case against alleged Times Square bomber Faisal Shahzad, over in his native Pakistan it's a different story. In fact it's a pretty bizarre story. As the New York Times's Sabrina Tavernise reports, Pakistanis -- steeped in conspiracy theory and inclined to consider the United States a "top villain" -- have settled on the real culprit in the bombing: think tanks.

"They have planted this character Faisal Shahzad to implement their script," said Hashmat Ali Habib, a lawyer and a member of the bar association.

Who are they?

"You must know, you are from America," he said smiling. "My advice for the American nation is, get free of these think tanks."

According to Tavernise, "conspiracy theory is a national sport in Pakistan," and the United States in particular "loom[s] so large" among Pakistanis "that it sometimes seems to be responsible for everything that goes wrong here." And yet: think tanks? Seems a little lacking in the creativity department.

But okay! Why won't the Brookings Institute stop bombing America with its villainous white papers, I guess?

U.S. Is a Top Villain in Pakistan's Conspiracy Talk [New York Times]

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