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“Attempted terrorist attack”

NYC Times Square car bomb attempt


By —— Bio and Archives--May 2, 2010

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Northeast Intelligence Networkimage

NYPD, members of the Joint Terrorism Task Force, the FBI and other law enforcement agencies remain on the scene of a nearly successful vehicle bombing attempt at Times Square in New York City. The incident is being described as an “attempted terrorist attack” in the heart of New York City that if successful, could have resulted in numerous fatalities.

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According to initial reports, a street vendor observed smoke coming from the interior of a dark green Nissan SUV that was parked but left running on the southwest corner of 45th Street and Broadway at approximately 7:00 p.m. Saturday. The vendor immediately flagged down police. Among the first on the scene was NYPD Officer Wayne Rhatigan, who observed the smoke and smelled the distinctive odor of gunpowder coming from the vehicle during his closer inspection. Determining it to be a live bomb that could detonate at any time, the officer summoned assistance and officers began clearing the area. The bomb failed to detonate.

What was found inside the vehicle stunned police officials: they included three propane tanks, two red 5-gallon plastic containers filled with gasoline, consumer grade fireworks, a locked, black metal ammunition storage type box, a clock, various other electrical components, and other items apparently intended to be used as shrapnel in the explosion. Had the vehicle been detonated, it would have created a large fireball, spewing metal and deadly shrapnel across a large area that was filled with thousands of passersby.

It was also initially reported that two female police officers patrolling the area noticed an unidentified male fumbling with something in the back of the Nissan SUV. When the man spotted the two officers, he immediately fled the scene, and was ultimately lost in the crowd of people. New York City police and federal officials are reviewing a number of videos captured by street level cameras and building surveillance cameras in the vicinity of Broadway and 45th Street.

Additionally, investigators are processing a large amount of significant forensic evidence from the vehicle, which one New York City police investigator described as “being consistent with vehicle bombs [he has seen used during his tour of duty] in Iraq. Speaking to this author on the condition of anonymity as he is not authorized to speak about the incident, he stated that the bomb would have undoubtedly caused a significant loss of life and many serious injuries.

So far, police have not publicly addressed the possibility that the vehicle bomb could have been intended to send a message to Viacom, the parent company of Comedy Central and distributor of the animated television series “South Park.” The show was at the center of recent controversy over their depiction of Islam’s Mohammed. According to the investigator interviewed early this morning, however, they are not ruling out any possibility.

As of 4:00 a.m. ET, no physical description of the unidentified male observed parking the vehicle has been released to the public. Investigators with the Northeast Intelligence Network remain in close contact with NYPD officers, and will provide additional information as it is developed.

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