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Pakistan strike bears Qaeda hallmarks - U.S. intel

Investigators collect evidence at the site of a suicide bomb blast in front of the Marriott Hotel in Islamabad September 21, 2008. REUTERS/Faisal Mahmood

GUANTANAMO BAY U.S. NAVAL BASE, Cuba (Reuters) - The suicide bombing that killed at least 40 people at the Marriott Hotel in Islamabad, Pakistan, bears the signs of an attack by al Qaeda or an affiliate, a U.S. intelligence official said on Saturday.

“It’s too early to say definitively, but the attack certainly bears all the hallmarks of an operation carried out by al Qaeda or its associates,” said the official, contacted from the Guantanamo U.S. Naval base, where court proceedings in the cases of accused Sept. 11 conspirators continue next week.