Even as top U.S. officials were reluctant to confirm on record that the Times Square plot was not a case of “lone wolf” despite acknowledging Pakistani connections, top American lawmakers were quick to conclude that it was a well coordinated effort in which many people were involved.

“I think it’s hard to believe that he was acting by himself,” Congressman Peter King told the Fox News in an interview a day after Faisal Shahzad was taken into custody at John F Kennedy International Airport.

The 30-year-old was charged with attempted use of a weapon of mass destruction, acts of terrorism transcending national boundaries, and other federal crimes for allegedly driving a car bomb into Times Square on the evening of May 1.

“Even though the bomb made was unsophisticated, you didn’t have one person go out and buy the fertiliser, buy the propane, buy the car, get the license plates, transport it into Manhattan and also be able to get back on a plane for Dubai,” King said.

“My belief right now is whether or not this was a former al-Qaeda group or an affiliate or a supportive group, what we see here is al-Qaeda is mutating around the world. We have groups that are affiliated with it - sort of a loose confederation. So I feel very strongly that he is part of some operation which is affiliated with al-Qaeda,” King argued.

Senator Bill Nelson told the CNBC news channel: “This is increasingly a modus operandi of what we see that people are not operating as a lone wolf, but they have a support structure and it may be somebody that does the actual bombing with them or they do it alone, and in this case, fortunately, the attempted bombing.”

Congressman Steve Israel told the Fox news that this is going to be a global investigation.

“My sense is that this is going to be an ongoing investigation, it looks like it’s going to be a global investigation,” he said, adding that he would not be surprised that the Times Square bomb would have an international connection.

“Enemies adapt and the more sophisticated we get the more amorphous and widespread they will get,” he added.

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