New York City Police Find Car Bomb in Times Square

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New York City Police Find Car Bomb in Times Square

Post by FystyAngel on Sun May 02, 2010 5:10 am

New York City Police Find Car Bomb in Times Square

http://www.foxnews.com/us/2010/05/01/new-york-city-police-close-times-square-investigation/

NEW YORK -- Police found an "amateurish" but potentially powerful bomb in a smoking sport utility vehicle in Times Square, then cleared the streets of thousands of tourists milling through the landmark district so they could dismantle it, authorities said Sunday.

"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."

New York Gov. David Paterson released a statement calling the failed Times Square bomb scare an "act of terrorism."

Investigators removed three propane tanks, fireworks, two filled 5-gallon gasoline containers, and two clocks with batteries, electrical wire and other components from the back of the Nissan Pathfinder, Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly said. A black metal box resembling a gun locker was also recovered and will be detonated off site, he said.

Bloomberg called the explosive device "amateurish" and Kelly said the explosives were consumer-grade fireworks but could have caused huge damage on a block of Broadway theaters and restaurants teeming with tourists.

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

No suspects were in custody, although 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.

A white robotic police arm broke windows of the black Nissan Pathfinder to remove any explosive materials after a T-shirt vendor alerted police to billowing smoke coming from the back of the vehicle at about 6:30 p.m. Heavily armed police and emergency vehicles shut down the city's busiest streets, teeming with taxis and theatergoers on one of the first summer-like days of the year.

A Connecticut license plate on the vehicle did not match up, Bloomberg said. Police interviewed the Connecticut car owner, who told police he had sent the plates to a nearby junkyard, Bloomberg said.

After the vendor noticed smoke coming from the SUV, police cleared buildings and streets at the so-called "Crossroads of the World"; the south tower of a Marriott hotel was evacuated and several blocks surrounding Times Square remained closed hours later. Officers were deployed around the area with heavy weapons on empty streets in the heart of busy midtown Manhattan.

Shelly Carlisle, of Portland, Oregon, said police crowded into her Broadway theater after the curtain closed on "Next to Normal," a show on the same block where the SUV was found.

"At the end of the show, the police came in. We were told we had to leave," Carlisle said. "They said there was a bomb scare."

The car was parked on 45th Street, and the block was closed between Seventh and Eighth avenues as a precaution, police said. 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 block that was closed is one of the prime blocks for Broadway shows, with seven theaters housing such big shows as "Billy Elliot" and "Lend Me a Tenor."

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.

"We have no idea who did this or why," the mayor said Sunday, but said that the city is always a top terrorism target. The latest threat came last fall when air shuttle driver Najibullah Zazi admitted to a foiled homemade bomb plot aimed at the city subway system.

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

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 van without license plates parked in Times Square 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 in the heart of Times Square, producing a flash, smoke and full-scale emergency response. No suspect was ever identified.

In December, police evacuated thousands of holiday tourists from Times Square after finding a white van that had been parked there for days without license plates and blacked-out windows. No bombs were found, and police later said they overlooked the van because it contained a parking placard for a nonprofit police group.

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 the man.

Four separate instances of 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."

Click here for more on this story from MyFoxNY.com.

Click here for more on this story from the NYPost.com.


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Re: New York City Police Find Car Bomb in Times Square

Post by FystyAngel on Sun May 02, 2010 5:14 am

Times Square Car Bomb Plot

http://www.myfoxny.com/dpp/news/local_news/nyc/Suspicious-Substance-In-Times-Sq-Car-20100501-ac

MYFOXNY.COM - Police discovered a car bomb inside a Nissan Pathfinder in the heart of Times Square as they evacuated tourists and passerby Saturday evening.

Deputy Commissioner Paul J. Browne, the Police Department’s chief spokesman said that the device contained “explosive elements” that included “propane tanks, some kind of powder, gasoline and a timing device.”

According to the New York Post, pedestrians spotted the smoldering Nissan Pathfinder at 6:30 p.m. on West 45th Street near Seventh Avenue, directly in front of an entrance to the Minskoff Theatre, which houses the hugely popular "The Lion King."

The car’s Connecticut license plates were actually registered to a Ford F-150.

White House spokesman Nick Shapiro said that President Obama ordered his homeland security and counterterrorism adviser, John Brennan, to advise New York officials that the federal government was prepared to provide support.

A federal official said that domestic security officials had been informed that the event did not appear to be a terrorist threat however.

According to the New York Times, Kevin B. Barry, a former supervisor in the New York Police Department bomb squad, said he was told it was an improvised explosive device. But somehow, he said, the ignition source “failed to function the main charge.”

Barry said that if it had functioned, “it would be more of an incendiary event” than an explosion

Vehicle and foot traffic was blocked off from Broadway to Seventh Avenue between 44th and 46th Streets.



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Re: New York City Police Find Car Bomb in Times Square

Post by FystyAngel on Sun May 02, 2010 5:15 am

This scares the daylights out of me. THIS is almost local for me. What the hell is wrong with people?

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Re: New York City Police Find Car Bomb in Times Square

Post by Estee on Sun May 02, 2010 11:39 am

I heard this on the radio this morning and couldn't believe it...I hope they catch the perp...as if NY hasn't had it's fill of bomb threats and explosions...One woman called into a talkshow and blamed everything on Alquida(spelled wrong, but who cares)...She said the mine disasters, Calif fires, oil rig disasters are all their doing...That's probably why I couldn't sleep...laughing too hard...She certainly has a paranoid outlook, bet she doesn't recognize herself in a mirror and thinks it's some one trying to do her in...Someone that follows her everywhere cause everytime she looks in a mirror there she is....
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Re: New York City Police Find Car Bomb in Times Square

Post by FystyAngel on Sun May 02, 2010 2:52 pm

Video May Hold Clues in Times Square Bomb Scare

http://www.aolnews.com

(May 2) -- New York law enforcement officials are analyzing surveillance videos in an attempt to determine who is responsible for the crude car bomb left in Times Square Saturday night, forcing the evacuation of thousands milling in the city's bustling tourist hub.

The Pakistani Taliban claimed responsibility for the failed bomb attempt on an Islamist Web site, saying it was avenging the deaths of two leaders, "al-Baghdadi and al-Mahajer and Muslim martyrs."

A CBS News report citing Pakistani intelligence officials downplayed the statement.

"There is no credible way to prove that the Taliban have this kind of capacity to attempt such an attack in the heart of the United States," a Pakistani intelligence told CBS News on condition of anonymity.

No suspects were in custody in the wake of the incident, but Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said the federal government has pledged its assistance to New York in what it perceives to be an act of attempted terrorism.

No suspects were in custody in the wake of the incident, but Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said the federal government has pledged its assistance to New York in what it perceives to be an act of attempted terrorism.

"We're taking this very seriously," Napolitano told CNN's "State of the Union." "We're treating it as if it could be a potential terrorist attack."

In appearances on Sunday morning political talk shows, Napolitano said officials recovered forensic evidence, including fingerprints, from the green Nissan sport utility vehicle found packed with three propane tanks, fireworks, two 5-gallon containers of gasoline, two clocks with batteries and electrical wire.

A T-shirt vendor named Lance Orton alerted police to the smoking vehicle parked with its engine running on 45th street in the heart of Times Square at approximately 6:30pm, according to the New York Times. After a mounted officer smelled gun powder on the car, a cluster of patrolling officers began evacuating the city's busy theater district as police and bomb squad members arrived on the scene.

At a 2 a.m. news conference in Times Square, Police Commissioner Ray Kelly called the bomb "amateurish" but potentially dangerous.

"We avoided what 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."

Police said the bomb had begun detonating but malfunctioned.

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

Police spokesman Paul Browne said the S.U.V was being "thoroughly checked for prints, hairs and fibers" as investigators attempt to gather additional surveillance footage from businesses who were closed Saturday night. Kelly said there was video showing the S.U.V driving west on 45th street before parking between 7th and 8th avenues. Because of the vehicle's tinted windows, Kelly said it could be difficult to identify a driver or any passengers.

"We have no idea who did this or why," Bloomberg said, adding that based on current video surveillance, authorities "couldn't detect who was in the vehicle, how many were in the vehicle and what was in the vehicle."

CBS News quoted an anonymous law enforcement source as saying there is video showing someone exiting the vehicle left near the Broadway theater that houses Disney's "The Lion King." Officials said they had no reports of anyone seen running from the vehicle, according to The Associated Press.

"The full attention of city, state and federal law enforcement will be turned to bringing the guilty party to justice in this act of terrorism," Gov. Paterson said in a statement.

Napolitano told ABC News' Jake Tapper that there is no evidence that the crude bomb attempt was part of a larger plot, saying it does not appear to be "anything other than a one-off" attempt.

Orton, a Vietnam veteran and longtime Times Square t-shirt vendor, is being hailed as a hero for alerting police to the smoking vehicle. After a tip from Orton, Officer Watne Rhatigan approached the S.U.V., later saying he heard a popping sound coming from inside.

"I did a lap around the vehicle. The inside was smoking," Rhatigan told the Daily News. "I smelled gunpowder and knew it might blow. I thought it might blow any second."

The bomb squad disabled the explosives after surveying the interior of the vehicle with the help of a "remote-controlled robot arm." In addition to explosives, they found a "box within a box" in the car, a 2X2X4 black gun locker, according to Kelly.

The bomb scare heightened the usual hubbub of Times Square on Saturday night, with onlookers crowding against police barricades to gawk at the mass of ambulances, fire trucks, police vans and armed officers at the scene. Some Broadway show times were delayed by 30 minutes but were reported to proceed without cancellation.

"It's a whole different kind of show," Tay Heniser, a tourist from Seattle told the Times. "It's almost the equivalent of a $150 show."

Orton was still lingering in Times Square early Sunday morning, brushing off reporters questioning him about the incident.

"See something, say something," he told the Times, quoting a popular Manhattan Transit Authority poster that urges subway riders to report suspicious activity.

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Re: New York City Police Find Car Bomb in Times Square

Post by FystyAngel on Tue May 04, 2010 6:04 am

Arrest was made. Breaking News. Pakistian American. Scary.

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Re: New York City Police Find Car Bomb in Times Square

Post by Piper on Tue May 04, 2010 9:25 am

Very scary!! Mr. Orton is a hero, he saved many lives. It's frightening to think these terrorists can be living next door to you. I'm thankful they caught him.
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Re: New York City Police Find Car Bomb in Times Square

Post by FystyAngel on Tue May 04, 2010 10:29 am

Suspect Arrested in Times Square Bomb Attempt
http://www.aolnews.com

(May 4) -- A 30-year-old Pakistani-American has been arrested in connection with the failed SUV bomb in New York's Times Square, reportedly pulled off a midnight flight for Dubai just after the plane rolled out of the gate for takeoff from Kennedy International Airport. Two other people were also taken off the flight.

Attorney General Eric Holder held a rare middle-of-the-night news conference early today to announce the arrest of Faisal Shahzad, a Pakistani-born and naturalized U.S. citizen who was living in Connecticut.




This undated photo shows Faisal Shahzad, 30, a naturalized U.S. citizen of Pakistani descent who was arrested in connection with a failed bombing attempt in New York's Times Square.

The charges against Shahzad were not announced. The U.S. attorney's office in New York said he's due to appear in federal court in Manhattan today, where he'll be formally charged.

"The investigation is ongoing, as are our attempts to gather useful intelligence, and we continue to pursue a number of leads," Holder said. "But it's clear that the intent behind this terrorist act was to kill."

The suspect is believed to have recently returned from a five-month trip to Pakistan. Authorities say he paid cash for the Nissan Pathfinder that was found rigged with propane tanks, fertilizer and gasoline Saturday evening in Times Square. Witnesses alerted police to the smoking SUV, and the bomb was defused. New York Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly said the device could have produced "a significant fireball" had it detonated properly.

Shahzad was arrested moments after the plane left the departure gate at New York's JFK airport and was taxiing toward the runway, The Washington Post reported. Two other people were taken off the Emirates airline flight, according to reports, although it was not known if they were connected to the case.


A law enforcement official told The Associated Press that investigators have not found evidence that Shahzad is connected to international terrorism groups and that Shahzad said he didn't have help. "He's claimed to have acted alone, but these are things that have to be investigated," the official told the AP.

The U.S. attorney's office in New York would not comment today on whether there had been additional arrests or whether Shahzad had worked with foreign terror groups.

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The sale of the Pathfinder a few weeks ago helped officials focus on Shahzad. Although its vehicle identification number had been removed from the dashboard, it was stamped on the engine, the AP reported, and officials used the number to find the owner of record, who told them it was sold to a stranger without paperwork.

Authorities found its previous owner, who had advertised it for sale on the Internet. An ad that appears to be for the Pathfinder said it had 141,000 miles and was in good condition. Shahzad reportedly paid $1,300 in cash for the vehicle.

"That was the key factor to our getting the guy so quick," an unidentified law enforcement official told the Post.

The investigation also focused on two Connecticut cities where Shahzad lived, Shelton and then Bridgeport.




In Bridgeport, authorities searched a home overnight and into this morning, removing plastic bags holding evidence, according to reports. The house was in a mixed-race, working-class neighborhood in the state's largest city, the AP reported.

A former neighbor in Shelton said Shahzad and his wife, Huma Mian, lived in the two-story colonial house for three years, spoke little English and mostly kept to themselves. Neighbor Brenda Thurman told The New York Times that Shahzad moved out in May 2009 and his wife about a month later. They have a young son and daughter, she said.

Shahzad was nicely dressed early each morning and told Thurman he worked on Wall Street, she said. "I think he caught the train to New York," she told the Times.

The arrest came after a sweeping two-day investigation in which officials said they uncovered a web of international and domestic clues that point to a plot involving more than one person.

Pakistani authorities pledged to help the U.S. bring Shahzad to justice

"We will cooperate with the United States in identifying this individual and bringing him to justice," Interior Minister Rehman Malik said, according to Reuters.

Authorities have been hesitant to comment on Shahzad's foreign links, though an unidentified U.S. official told the Post that investigators are scouring international phone records showing calls "between some of the people who might be associated with this and folks overseas." They've also uncovered evidence -- a piece of paper, fingerprints or possibly both -- that also indicates international ties, another official was quoted as saying.

"We continue to gather leads in this investigation, and it's important that the American people remain vigilant," Holder said. "As we move forward, we will focus on not just holding those responsible for it accountable but also on obtaining any intelligence about terrorist organizations overseas."

President Barack Obama has been briefed periodically about the investigation and arrest.

Police said that had the bomb detonated, it could have killed or wounded scores in a bustling tourist area home to dozens of restaurants and Broadway theaters. It's the most serious bombing attempt in the U.S. since the Christmas Day attempted attack aboard a commercial airliner bound for Detroit. In that case, the suspect was a young Nigerian man with ties to al-Qaida.

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Re: New York City Police Find Car Bomb in Times Square

Post by FystyAngel on Tue May 04, 2010 1:16 pm

This thing is ALL over MY LOCAL news. I'm surprised that very few are commenting on it. My local daytime television is nothing but this story. Regualr programming has been completely non existant because of the breaking news about this.

LE has done a wonderful job cracking this case so quickly. I am so grateful that they were able to catch the guy before he made it out of the county. Being that he has his papers & has become an "American", I certainly hope that they are able to prosecute his to the fullest extent of the law. Times Square is a VERY busy place. THIS could have been disasterous. Thank goodness it was taken care of quickly. A lot of lives could have been lost.

Every time I go into the City, Times Square is one of the places I always visit. It's (IMO) the "Heart" of NY.

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Re: New York City Police Find Car Bomb in Times Square

Post by Justice4all on Tue May 04, 2010 2:41 pm

I'm glad that all the recent attempted terrorist attacks on American soil have failed. It would have been disastrous for this country if people had been killed by a bomb in Times Square. Unfortunately, it seems like it is still too easy for terrorists to get into this country.
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Re: New York City Police Find Car Bomb in Times Square

Post by Julie on Tue May 04, 2010 3:13 pm

snipped from above:

"A T-shirt vendor named Lance Orton alerted police to the smoking vehicle parked with its engine running on 45th street in the heart of Times Square at approximately 6:30pm, according to the New York Times. After a mounted officer smelled gun powder on the car, a cluster of patrolling officers began evacuating the city's busy theater district as police and bomb squad members arrived on the scene."

Thank God the vendor acted so quickly in alerting police & they too acted quickly in taking care of the situation & catching the guy.

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Re: New York City Police Find Car Bomb in Times Square

Post by FystyAngel on Tue May 04, 2010 3:15 pm

This guy was made an American in 2006 or 2007! Since then, he's traveled back & forth. It's crazy.

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Re: New York City Police Find Car Bomb in Times Square

Post by Piper on Tue May 04, 2010 3:21 pm




"I have a message for you to go back to the gate immediately so make the left turn when able," says the controller. "I don't know exactly why but you can call your company for the reason."

"We're trying to figure out what's going on here right now," says someone from the airline. "I'd like to request you to keep the flight plan open right now."
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Re: New York City Police Find Car Bomb in Times Square

Post by Piper on Tue May 04, 2010 3:27 pm

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Re: New York City Police Find Car Bomb in Times Square

Post by Piper on Tue May 04, 2010 3:31 pm

He was actually pretty easy to track down once they examined the car, he left many clues as to his identity. LE did an excellent job, very quickly, to stop the plane on the runway heading out of the country.
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Re: New York City Police Find Car Bomb in Times Square

Post by Piper on Tue May 04, 2010 3:36 pm

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Re: New York City Police Find Car Bomb in Times Square

Post by Piper on Tue Oct 05, 2010 1:30 pm

Times Square attempted bomber gets life sentence

Posted: 10:50 AM
Last Updated: 19 minutes ago
Oct 5, 2010

By TOM HAYS, Associated Press Writer
NEW YORK (AP) - A Pakistani immigrant who tried to set off a car bomb in Times Square was sentenced Tuesday to life in prison by a judge who said she hopes he spends some of his time behind bars thinking "carefully about whether the Quran wants you to kill lots of people."



Faisal Shahzad's thirst for bloodshed showed no signs of waning as he and U.S. District Judge Miriam Goldman Cedarbaum sparred repeatedly over his reasoning for giving up his comfortable life in America to train in Pakistan and carry out a potentially deadly May 1 attack in the heart of Times Square.

Read more:
http://www.kypost.com/dpps/news/national/times-square-attempted-bomber-gets-life-sentence_5192167
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