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Old 05-02-2010, 09:56 AM   #1
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Car Bomb In Times Square

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Car bomb scares Times Square but fails to explode

NEW YORK – Police found an "amateurish" but potentially powerful bomb that apparently began to detonate but did not explode in a smoking sport utility vehicle in Times Square, authorities said Sunday.

Thousands of tourists were cleared from the streets for 10 hours after a T-shirt vendor alerted police to the suspicious vehicle, which contained three propane tanks, fireworks, two filled 5-gallon gasoline containers, and two clocks with batteries, electrical wire and other components, Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly said.

"We avoided what we could have been a very deadly event," Mayor Michael Bloomberg said. "It certainly could have exploded and had a pretty big fire and a decent amount of explosive impact."

The bomb appeared to be starting to detonate but malfunctioned, top police spokesman Paul Browne said Sunday.

Firefighters who arrived shortly after the first call heard a popping sound, said Fire Commissioner Sal Cassano, who described the sound as not quite an explosion.

"I think the intent was to cause a significant ball of fire," Kelly said.

No suspects were in custody, though Kelly said a surveillance video showed the car driving west on 45th Street before it parked between Seventh and Eighth avenues. Police were looking for more video from office buildings that weren't open at the time.

Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said on NBC's "Meet the Press" that officials are treating the incident as a potential terrorist attack. The mayor said earlier Sunday, "We have no idea who did this or why" but said it's not surprising the city is a frequent target of terrorism.

"These things invariably ... come back to New York," Bloomberg said.

The SUV was towed early Sunday to a forensic lab in Queens, where it was being "thoroughly checked for prints, hairs and fibers," Browne said Sunday. Napolitano said fingerprints had been recovered from the vehicle.

The T-shirt vendor alerted police at about 6:30 p.m, the height of dinner hour before theatergoers head to Saturday night shows.

Smoke was coming from the back of the dark-colored Pathfinder, its hazard lights were on and "it was just sitting there," said Rallis Gialaboukis, 37, another vendor who has hawked his wares for 20 years across the street.

A white robotic police arm broke windows of the SUV to remove any explosive materials. A Connecticut license plate on the vehicle did not match up, Bloomberg said. Police interviewed the Connecticut car owner, who told them he had sent the plates to a nearby junkyard, Bloomberg said.

Heavily armed police and emergency vehicles shut down the city's busiest streets, choked with taxis and people on one of the first summer-like days of the year. Times Square lies about four traffic-choked miles north of where terrorists bombed the World Trade Center in 1993, then laid waste to it on Sept. 11, 2001.

The car was parked on one of the prime blocks for Broadway shows, with seven theaters housing such big shows as "The Lion King" and "Billy Elliot."

The curtain at "God of Carnage" and "Red" opened a half-hour later than usual, but the shows were not canceled, said spokesman Adrian Bryan-Brown.

Katy Neubauer, 46, and Becca Saunders, 39, of Milwaukee, were shopping for souvenirs two blocks south of the SUV when they saw panicked crowds.

"It was a mass of people running away from the scene," Neubauer said.

Said Saunders: "There were too many people, too many cops. I've never seen anything like it."

Bloomberg left early from the White House correspondent's dinner Saturday night. President Barack Obama, who attended the annual gala, praised the quick response by the New York Police Department, White House spokesman Nick Shapiro said.

He has also directed his homeland security and counterterrorism adviser, John Brennan, to advise New York officials that the federal government is prepared to provide support.

Brennan and others will keep Obama up to date on the investigation, Shapiro said.

The FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force in New York responded along with the NYPD, said agent Richard Kolko.

The latest terror threat in New York came last fall when air shuttle driver Najibullah Zazi admitted to a foiled homemade bomb plot aimed at the city subway system.

The theater district in London was the target of a propane bomb attack in 2007. No one was injured when police discovered two Mercedes loaded with nails packed around canisters of propane and gasoline.

Officials said the device found Saturday was crudely constructed, but Islamic militants have used propane and compressed gas for years to enhance the force of explosives. Those instances include the 1983 suicide attack on the U.S. Marines barracks at the Beirut airport that killed 241 U.S. service members, and the 2007 attack on the international airport in Glasgow, Scotland.

In 2007, the U.S. military announced that an al-Qaida front group was using propane to rig car bombs in Iraq.

Times Square has been a frequent target, if not for potential terrorists, then for rabble-rousers.

In December, a parked van without license plates led police to block off part of the area for about two hours. A police robot examined the vehicle, and clothes, racks and scarves were found inside.

In March 2008, a hooded bicyclist hurled an explosive device at a military recruiting center, producing a flash, smoke and full-scale emergency response. No suspect was ever identified.

Police have spent years trying to crack down on street hustlers and peddlers preying on tourists. But there have been two major gunfights in recent months. A street hustler armed with a machine pistol exchanged shots in December, shattering a Broadway theater ticket window, before police fatally shot him.

Four shootings and more than 50 arrests on a mile-long stretch of Manhattan last month around Times Square prompted the mayor to call the mayhem "wilding."

___

Contributing to this report were AP Washington bureau chief Ron Fournier, AP Radio correspondent Julie Walker in New York and Associated Press writers Eileen Sullivan and Pete Yost in Washington, Michael Kuchwara in New York and Robert H. Reid in Kabul.
Car bomb scares Times Square but fails to explode - Yahoo! News

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Old 05-02-2010, 09:57 AM   #2
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Islamists or tea-partiers?
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Old 05-02-2010, 09:58 AM   #3
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Islamists or tea-partiers?
That's what I'm wondering.
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Old 05-02-2010, 10:00 AM   #4
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why do terrorists suck at making bombs? you'd think with all of the resources available to them to be able to get this shit organised they'd at least be able to come up with a reliable means of actually making shit blow up.

funny timing though, i was just reading about the failed terror attacks in london and glasgow from a few years back the other day. very similar.
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Old 05-02-2010, 10:04 AM   #5
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why do terrorists suck at making bombs? you'd think with all of the resources available to them to be able to get this shit organised they'd at least be able to come up with a reliable means of actually making shit blow up.
Personally I see it as divine intervention But its only a matter of time before they get it right..
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Old 05-02-2010, 10:21 AM   #6
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this makes me depressed, and tired.

will be filming in the city later in the week. am looking forward to potential logistical headaches.

glad no one was hurt.
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Old 05-02-2010, 12:16 PM   #7
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I just heard about this. Scary.
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Old 05-02-2010, 12:32 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by coolian2 View Post
why do terrorists suck at making bombs? you'd think with all of the resources available to them to be able to get this shit organised they'd at least be able to come up with a reliable means of actually making shit blow up.

funny timing though, i was just reading about the failed terror attacks in london and glasgow from a few years back the other day. very similar.
To be super-suspicious, I think it may have been a trial run.

From the way they've described the bomb and such, it sounds like 10-year-olds could have done a better job.

My paranoid, but realistic outlook says someone just threw something together to see what the reaction/response time would be. If not, those are some seriously stupid terrorists.

It'll be interesting when pictures and video finally come out. I mean Times Square on a Saturday night? Half the people probably had cameras rolling.
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Old 05-02-2010, 12:34 PM   #9
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Hopefully their failure here means that they're just not the sharpest crayons in the terrorist box, and they'll be easily caught.
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Old 05-02-2010, 12:37 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by kramwest1 View Post
To be super-suspicious, I think it may have been a trial run.

From the way they've described the bomb and such, it sounds like 10-year-olds could have done a better job.

My paranoid, but realistic outlook says someone just threw something together to see what the reaction/response time would be. If not, those are some seriously stupid terrorists.

It'll be interesting when pictures and video finally come out. I mean Times Square on a Saturday night? Half the people probably had cameras rolling.
Bingo. It sounds like they just made it look obviously suspicious to wait and see who would alert authorities in how much time. I can't think of it being anything else.
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Old 05-02-2010, 01:16 PM   #11
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some rumors that the parking space was adjacent to the Viacom building -- Viacom, of course, owns Comedy Central which shows South Park.

Times Square car bomb: police investigate South Park link - Telegraph
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Old 05-02-2010, 01:47 PM   #12
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this was a very dangerous situation that only didn't work because the ignition device failed, very similar to an event that happened in london a few years back. you have to remember that in most cases these terrorists, be they international or home grown, aren't trained military bomb experts. they follow instructions, sometimes they fail. thankfully this time, they failed. with the amount of evidence left behind at the scene i highly doubt this was a "test run" as suggested. my greater fear is that whoever did this is now going to get a little desperate because it failed and they know it's only a matter of time before they get caught. considering i'm currently sitting 40 blocks north of times square, i'll feel a bit better when they catch whoever's responsible.

we make fun of "if you see something, say something" a bit, but the constant barrage of advertising since 9/11 seems to have really paid off in this instance. the NYPD did a tremendous job as always to make what could have been a very panicked situation quite calm.

as for the viacom/south park connection? we'll see... that is exactly where viacom's headquarters are. the MTV studios that overlook times square is right on the corner of 45th and 7th. so that's not out of the realm of possibility, but that block is also filled with broadway theater's and has an incredible amount of foot traffic, so it could be as simple as that.

we'll see... i also have suspicions about a few random small bombings at embassy's and the times square recruiting station over the past few years that went unsolved... perhaps that person/persons tried taking a step up.

who knows, all speculation at this point... and obviously the NYPD has the finest police force in the world so they'll get to the bottom of it.

as if this isn't enough, ahmadinejad is due to speak at the UN tomorrow.
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Old 05-02-2010, 03:03 PM   #13
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Scary shit.

Here's who might have done it:

Pakistani Taliban claim failed New York bomb attack | Reuters

Pakistan Denies Taliban Claim in Times Square Bomb Attempt - World Watch - CBS News
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Old 05-02-2010, 03:05 PM   #14
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I have not heard or read much of the details of this incident


but, I don't think it was a test at all. small, small chance a false flag, but not likely

most likely this person, group were just not successful. for some reason,
I don't think it is jihad related

with the amount of evidence left behind, it is hard to believe that they will not be able to trace this back to its origins


heaven forbid, but a McVeigh type bombing could be repeated in any large urban area, I guess that is one reason why the Bush invasions of privacy (Patriot Act, etc) often seem like a necessary evil.
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Old 05-02-2010, 03:19 PM   #15
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This doesn't sound like the work of a highly organized group. Like Deep said, the evidence seems pretty easily traceable. I wouldn't be suprised if the fireworks alone point back to the person who did this...
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