May 2nd, 2010
05:56 AM ET

Official: Times Square incident similar to Glasgow bombing

As authorities conduct their investigation into a car bomb found in Times Square, a federal law enforcement official said the incident was most similar to the events leading up to the 2007 bombing at the airport in Glasgow.

In June 2007, authorities discovered two explosives-filled Mercedes sedans in central London.

One of the cars was parked outside a packed nightclub near Piccadilly Circus and the other was parked just off Trafalgar Square. Like Times Square, both locations are major tourist spots in London.

An ambulance crew notified police about the first car after they saw smoke coming from it. The second car was towed for a parking offense but drew suspicion because it smelled of gasoline.

Officials later said both cars cars were filled with fuel, gas canisters and nails. Police managed to defuse them.

The following day, with attention still focused on the averted attacks in the capital, a Jeep sped through the barriers outside Glasgow International Airport and slammed head-on into the terminal.

The Jeep, filled with propane gas, burst into flames and created a fireball. The driver and passenger jumped out of the car.

The driver, Kafeel Ahmed, set himself on fire and later died in the hospital; the passenger was identified as Bilal Abdulla, an Iraqi doctor who had been practicing medicine in Scotland.

Later that day, police arrested Mohammed Asha as he was driving with his wife on a highway in Cheshire, England. Police said Asha, a doctor of Palestinian descent who grew up in Jordan, conspired with Abdulla to carry out the explosions, but the jury did not agree.

Based on other evidence collected in the investigation, police believe the London bombs were to have been the first in a series of similar attacks. They said it was only luck that prevented the London bombs from going off.

In December 2008, a London jury found Abdulla guilty of conspiracy to murder and conspiring to cause explosions. In a split verdict, the jury acquitted Asha.

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Filed under: Terrorism • Times Square Car Bomb • U.S.
soundoff (22 Responses)
  1. kaliton

    If this is a "potential terror threat" then why are we not in a higher threat level?

    May 2, 2010 at 10:35 am | Report abuse |
  2. Sean

    kaliton, then you're handing the terrorists the winner..... "we fear you, now everyone get ready for potential threat!". Let's move on with our lives, and not fear these terrorists.

    May 2, 2010 at 11:06 am | Report abuse |
  3. Mel

    If the terrorists (whoever they are) are getting this sloppy then we can sleep peacefully in our beds, knowing they won't be able to hit the ocean if they drop a rock into it!

    May 2, 2010 at 11:08 am | Report abuse |
  4. jefro bates

    Quite simply the time has come to prohibit visitors here to the U.S. from Countries known to harbot terrorists. It is the only way to safeguard ourselves from destruction.

    May 2, 2010 at 11:08 am | Report abuse |
  5. Schmeckel

    Jefro, how is this the right way? Afghanistan, Pakistan, palestine, India all contain well as hundreds of millions of normal citizens. Israel has a lot of terrorists...shall we ban them as well?

    May 2, 2010 at 11:21 am | Report abuse |
  6. Dan

    Hey guys, i'm from London, England. We will win, these terrorists will never beat us. The heightened alert didn't mean much because the eagle eyed vendor spotted a potential threat and saved countless lives.
    We are now, and always will be shoulder to shoulder with the American people. The terrorist scum will be beaten.

    May 2, 2010 at 11:30 am | Report abuse |
  7. steve davis

    'The location is also adjacent to the Viacom building, fuelling speculation that it might be linked to the company's controversial South Park cartoon which recently depicted Prophet Muhammad in a bear suit. 'Telegraph UK
    This may have been the motive.

    May 2, 2010 at 11:30 am | Report abuse |
  8. Schmeckel

    I'm going to be honest...the bomb sounds like it wasn't al-Qaeda, it's far too amateurish. Personally, I believe it was a home-grown terrorists, like Timothy McVeigh in Oklahoma.

    May 2, 2010 at 11:34 am | Report abuse |
  9. Chicka

    It was also May Day yesterday – maybe someone wanted to "prove a point" about their own stupid pet interest.

    Good thing about this is that since the police were able to get to the bomb before it totally destroyed itself – there's going to be evidence all over it, and we'll probably find out who's behind this soon enough.

    And then we'll stick them in a hole somewhere until they rot.

    May 2, 2010 at 11:42 am | Report abuse |
  10. Dinah Halterman Hmmm May Day....

    May 2, 2010 at 12:09 pm | Report abuse |
  11. jessica

    I guess some idiot want to cause panic at Wall-Street, take a look at the events, and also the amateur bomb, it was not even a bomb. I guess a 10 years old boy can make a better bomb. This could be a Financial Terror, someone interested in causing fear and panic at the Dow Jones, and the financial market.

    May 2, 2010 at 12:15 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Dave Goldberg

    Hey there are lots of wackos in the world. We have quite a few in a America, let's not just assume it wasn't one of our wackos. When you have miltias in your own country running around planning to kill police officers, then all bets are off.

    May 2, 2010 at 12:16 pm | Report abuse |
  13. ElizabethClaire

    A word to that idiot Napolitano, this was not a "potential terrorist threat" -this WAS a Terrorist threat. It could be one of our homegrown terrorists or Islamic extremists.

    May 2, 2010 at 12:18 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Ray Leonard

    Thank God that these people spend more time learning the Koran by memory than going to school.

    May 2, 2010 at 1:07 pm | Report abuse |
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