May 2nd, 2010
07:51 AM ET

Roundup: Reports on the Times Square car bomb scare

[Update: 2:30 a.m. ET] Law enforcement officials early Monday pored through evidence, including a 20-second video, after a failed car bombing attempt in Times Square over the weekend.

[Update: 10:28 p.m. ET] Investigators have obtained a videotape from a Pennsylvania tourist who believes he may have caught a suspect's image on camera, according to New York Deputy Police Commissioner Paul Browne.

[Update: 8:44 p.m. ET] Material found in a gun locker inside the Nissan Pathfinder was "non-explosive-grade fertilizer incapable of blowing up," Deputy Commissioner Paul Browne tells CNN. Still, the gasoline cans and propane tanks that also were in the vehicle "could have exploded with enough force to split the vehicle in two and produce a fireball," Browne said. The vehicle's contents were "capable of producing human casualties and broken windows," but did not have enough force "to take down a structure, in the opinion of NYPD bomb experts," Browne said.

[Update: 7:40 p.m. ET] The Nissan Pathfinder belongs to someone who lives in the tri-state area, a New York police official tells CNN's Susan Candiotti. This contradicts what a federal law enforcement source told CNN earlier Sunday.

[Update: 6:55 p.m. ET] Authorities have identified and are attempting to speak with the owner of the Nissan Pathfinder, a law enforcement source with knowledge of the investigation says, according to CNN Correspondent Deb Feyerick.

Police say this is one of two clocks that were part of a device in the attempted Times Square car bombing.

[Update: 6:13 p.m. ET] New York City police have released a picture showing one of two clocks they say were part of the apparent bomb inside the Nissan Pathfinder. The clocks, on the floor of the vehicle's back seat, were connected by wires to a can containing M-88 firecrackers, and that can was between two gasoline containers, New York Police Commissioner Ray Kelly said. Kelly also said that the unknown substance in a gun locker found in the vehicle may be fertilizer. Investigators believe the clocks were supposed to ignite the firecrackers, causing the gasoline containers to ignite, which would then explode three propane tanks that also were in the vehicle and "have some effect on that rifle box," which also contained wires and more M-88s, Kelly said.

[Update: 5:37 p.m. ET] The Nissan Pathfinder's vehicle identification number has helped investigators determine that the vehicle is not from the  immediate tri-state area, a federal law enforcement source tells CNN's Susan Candiotti. New York City police earlier said that the Connecticut license plate found on the Nissan did not belong to that vehicle, but rather to a truck that had been left at an automobile salvage yard near Bridgeport, Connecticut.

[Update: 4:33 p.m. ET] President Obama, speaking in Venice, Louisiana, where he is monitoring the oil slick in the U.S. Gulf Coast, promises "to see that justice is done" after the failed car bombing in Times Square.

[Update: 4:02 p.m. ET] If the car bomb had detonated, it would have caused casualities and a "significant fireball," New York Police Commissioner Ray Kelly said. "I'm told the vehicle itself would have at least been cut in half," Kelly said at a news conference. "You have large numbers of pedestrians in that area, so, yeah, we were lucky that it didn't detonate."

[Update: 4:00 p.m. ET] President Obama, who is in Louisiana to monitor the growing oil slick in the U.S. Gulf Coast, took some time during that visit to speak with New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg by phone, White House spokesman Robert Gibbs says.

[Update: 3:45 p.m. ET] The New York Police Department bomb squad has used an explosive charge to open a gun locker that was in the back of the vehicle, Commissioner Ray Kelly said. The gun locker was 55 inches tall, 32 inches wide and contained "eight bags of an unknown substance" and a compartment containing a "bird's nest of wires and M-88 firecrackers," Kelly said. He said the police department is working with New York's Department of Environmental Protection to identify the substance found in the bags. He said the locker weighed about 70 pounds.

[Update: 3:39 p.m. ET] Law enforcement officials are examining video that may have captured the image of a suspect in the attempted Times Square car bombing,  the New York City police commissioner said. "We're currently examining video that shows a white male in his 40s, in Schubert Alley, looking back in the direction of West 45th Street," Commissioner Ray Kelly told a news conference. "He also was seen shedding a dark-colored shirt, revealing a red one underneath. He put the darker one into a bag that he was carrying," said Kelly, who added the video was captured about a half block from where the vehicle containing the bomb was parked.

[Update: 1:27 p.m. ET] A used auto parts company, Kramer's Used Auto Parts of Stratford, Connecticut, may hold clues for the investigation, a law enforcement source told CNN. CNN Affiliate WTNH of New Haven, Connecticut, reports that several uniformed police officers have been seen in and around the facility.  The Connecticut Post, in a report published on its website, quoted federal authorities posted outside the business as saying they would have a statement soon. The company has not been linked to the New York incident, but it may lead to clues about those responsible. New York City police earlier said that the Connecticut license plate found on the Nissan did not belong to that vehicle, but rather to a truck that had been left at an automobile salvage yard near Bridgeport, Connecticut.

[Update: 12:35 p.m. ET] Sen. Charles Schumer, Democratic senator from New York, talked with CNN's Candy Crowley about the possibility of terrorist ties: "The odds are quite high that this was a lone wolf. Could it have been a lone wolf connected to some terrorist organization? Possibly. Probably not. Could it have been a lone wolf who had that ideology and was doing it on his own? Possibly. Could it have been someone else who didn't have terrorist ideology at heart but might have been just mentally ill or whatever? That's possible as well. But given the nature of the explosive and given the fact that there was no chatter on the lines, signs point to — and again it's preliminary — that this was not part of any terrorist plot by al Qaeda or another known terrorist organization."

[Update 11:31 a.m. ET] New images and video of the scene in Times Square as police evacuated people and investigated the car bomb late Saturday and into Sunday morning — iReporter Matthew Derby was vacationing in New York from Hawaii when he witnessed the scene. Read more as he describes being evacuated

[Update: 11:30 a.m. ET] New York car bomb: What happened? See the location, details on what was found inside the SUV and investigation next steps

[Update 10:14 a.m. ET] A VIN number has been recovered from the Times Square vehicle, a federal law enforcement offical tells CNN's Carol Cratty.

[Update 9:42 a.m. ET] Napolitano: car bomb being handled as possible terrorism attack

WASHINGTON (CNN) - Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said Sunday that the car bomb found in New York City's Times Square was being handled as a "potential terrorist attack."

In an interview on CNN's "State of the Union," Napolitano said it was too early to know who was responsible for leaving a vehicle laden with explosives in the symbolic heart of the nation's most populous city.

"We're taking this very seriously," Napolitano said, noting that the New York police, FBI and federal Joint Terrorism Task Force were involved in the investigation. "We're treating it as if it could be a potential terrorist attack."

[Update 8:39 a.m. ET] Watch video of the SUV as it's towed away from Times Square

[Update 7:10 a.m. ET] Plate on Times Square SUV came from Connecticut junkyard
The Connecticut license plate found on the Nissan Pathfinder at the center of the Times Square bomb scare came from an automobile junkyard near Bridgeport, a law enforcement official told CNN on Sunday. Under Connecticut law, plates must be returned to a local Department of Motor Vehicle branch or to a Connecticut state trooper if a car is to be junked for scrap metal.
- From David Fitzpatrick, CNN

(CNN) - On Sunday, most of the areas around Times Square shut down after a car bomb was found had reopened, even as the investigation continues. Authorities are still going through video from dozens of surveillance cameras in Times Square to determine who left the Nissan Pathfinder with its engine running and hazard lights flashing on a street shortly after 6 p.m. Saturday. Inside the vehicle, police found three propane tanks, two filled five-gallon gas containers, two clocks with batteries, consumer-grade fireworks and a locked metal box that resembled a gun locker.


Filed under: Times Square Car Bomb
soundoff (214 Responses)
  1. Paladin

    @ OK...Yes, Yes, No No & No.

    May 2, 2010 at 10:48 pm | Report abuse |
  2. steve

    I to was watching CNN news and I to am wondering what CNN's proper sensorship should be to protect the people of the United States instead of putting all of us at greater risk of harm for what you say during your newscasts..

    May 2, 2010 at 10:59 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Jose Morales

    We should start investigating all the right wing militia groups in the Tristate area... Republicans and Tea baggers dont like our nation President.

    May 2, 2010 at 11:02 pm | Report abuse |
  4. V. Johnson

    It is great! How we are giving the enemy great intelligence on how we operate and react to these kind of situations, keep up with the good work CNN and the US media.

    May 2, 2010 at 11:05 pm | Report abuse |
  5. b

    I doubt that constance is in league with all the other tea party people. That is a stretch and only speaks to your lib paranoia. I love how in the name of good journalism they essentially give the terrorists a handbook of what fertilizer to use and not to use. Pure idiocy.

    May 2, 2010 at 11:07 pm | Report abuse |
  6. OK

    Cheez Wiz the words that Jesus spake..those are the ones to pay attention to as they contain real truth....if we at least tried to live by those words even 10% the world would not be in this shape....please don't confuse religion with the teachings of Jesus...nothing bad that people do is justified in him name and is a lie when people try to do this.

    The words and path are very clear but people including a lot of christians ignore them.

    There is no rational logic that allows anybody to do evil in the name of jesus, because jesus did not teach that anywhere in the bible.

    May 2, 2010 at 11:11 pm | Report abuse |
  7. OK

    Rick,

    Yes as christians, thats what we are called to be, a proxy a witness if you will. A witness for Christ. I never called you unworthy, only you and Christ can know that. All I am suggesting is that you put Christ (not religion) before politics. This is my witness to you.

    May 2, 2010 at 11:17 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Johnny

    Hey Mabye this was a stunt to promote the new "McGruber" movie!!
    Fireworiks attached to heavy gauge metal propane tanks and inert fertilzer in a steel box? Really? Obviousy this guy had to be mentally ill cause even the worse terrorist in the world would come up with a better solution. Geeze I and not an exposives expert but watched enought tv to know that wouldn't work. Also, leaving the flashers on was a nice touch.

    May 2, 2010 at 11:20 pm | Report abuse |
  9. b

    How did a discussion about this terrorist fool turn into cult hour at Six Flags over Jesus?

    May 2, 2010 at 11:21 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Charles

    Now I have heard everything. The latest I heard is that they are looking to blame this on the TV show "South Park" due to a recent episode depicting Mohammed. Good grief.

    May 2, 2010 at 11:36 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Cheez Wiz

    @OK:

    It's going to be okay OK, I used to be a fundie too, there is hope...

    May 2, 2010 at 11:58 pm | Report abuse |
  12. John

    This discussion has gotten completely off track and is a dishonor to those of us that were there. My wife and I were sitting at the tables out near the entrance of the Marriott. Taking this discussion off line to things like arguing over viewpoints and missing the fact that this could have killed some of the thousands that were around us...the man enjoying his cigar, or the girls just trying to get folks to see "La Cage Aux Folles" or "Chicago", and the 12 Tribes of Israel preaching their message...real people could have been seriously injured and the topic turned to a mention of "McGruber" ...funny how fast we all forget.

    May 3, 2010 at 12:04 am | Report abuse |
  13. Cheez Wiz

    @John:

    A person's personal experience can never be overtaken by logic. Everytime you fill up your gas tank you are at an even greater risk than you were by that amatuer bomb. Where there is smoke, there is not always fire.

    It is true that one of those gas cans could have went off and hurt or even killed someone, but the reality is that the "bomb" was so poorly put together it couldn't even hurt itself.

    We should be thankful there are idiot would-be bombers out there as opposed to professionals, otherwise many could have been hurt and killed.

    May 3, 2010 at 12:13 am | Report abuse |
  14. CarolO

    I think it's really smart for the TV reporters to state that if a real bomb was to be made, the gasoline and the fertilizer should be mixed. How stupid to make sure they let bombers know how to do this better and more effectively!

    May 3, 2010 at 12:42 am | Report abuse |
  15. Cheez Wiz

    @CarolO:

    Without successful bombings we can't justify more invasions of privacy and repealing of civil rights. Also, the news agencies get their money by reporting the sensationalized. So the more bombings there are, the more money the news agencies make, therefore, teaching bombers how to build bombs is in their interest...

    Oh wait, no, I'm just a nut job...

    May 3, 2010 at 12:59 am | Report abuse |
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