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. BGko

    Its really weird how CNN keeps blocking my comments about the Army training in Kentucky to combat US citizens and my evidence as to why the very first comment is suspect to being planted by the media itself.

    May 3, 2010 at 1:11 am | Report abuse |
  2. Spider

    Wow!!!!

    This was just some schmuck driving home with his early purchase of Fourth of July supplies. Propane tanks for the grill, a bunch of Scott's fertilizer to green up the lawn and, of course, the fireworks. As he was driving past Times Square, he burnt himself with his cigarette and dropped it. In a panic, he jumped out of the vehicle, knowing the back seat was highly combustible. In his haste, he managed to get the flashers on but not shut down the engine.

    May 3, 2010 at 1:11 am | Report abuse |
  3. Cheez Wiz

    @Spider:

    Now we have the REAL story...

    Media sensationalism, when will it end???

    May 3, 2010 at 1:26 am | Report abuse |
  4. 2much

    lets just wait for the guy to get caught then all will be revealed whether he be foreign or domestic but yeah since 9-11 we can't trust anyone anymore not even our government representatives whether they be democrat or republican. let the authorities do their work but press them to be transparent with their investigation but in the end we only end up with more mistrust which is usually misdirected. oh well I suppose its better not to trust anyone at all and be secure than to trust even just one time and get burned.

    May 3, 2010 at 1:50 am | Report abuse |
  5. PAul Janney

    What a bunch of BABIES, a emp at cnn working to beat the clock against other news agnecies for whatever came off the wire spells male "MAIL" which isnt even a big deal, everyone knows what he means. Sad thing is everyone making fun of him probably has a 40k job that they hardly got with their communication degree. I am not saying I am any better than anyone I truly suck at english/grammar but at least im not a huge a**hat that has to point out retarded trivial crap.

    May 3, 2010 at 1:52 am | Report abuse |
  6. Abdullah

    You are all to freaking paranoid. This is yet another scam by the government on a much smaller scale. First and major scam was 9/11 which once we examine all the evidence was clearelly set up by government, and now this stupid thing. If so called terrorist wanted this bomb to go off it would most likelly have been so. Stop being paranoid, stop beleiving to the media and their propaganda and enyoj the FREEDOM. You are all born free so live FREE and enyoj dont let the government control your lives.

    May 3, 2010 at 1:54 am | Report abuse |
  7. Pdiddy

    @all a**hats making fun of constance. All she stated was she was scared of Martial law, maybe she isnt old enough to remember 9/11 and that no martial law was enacted after that, maybe she has an opinion imo all of you idiots who down talked her afterwards are the kind of people that need to get their a** kicked... You know wanna be radical p**ssy men who love to talk crap on the internet esp political crap but wouldnt even attempt making eye contact with a real man DIAF bunch of sloppy babies

    May 3, 2010 at 1:55 am | Report abuse |
  8. Pdiddy

    @Abdullah you are so ignorant idiot, you don't want to believe that muslims flew a plane into a building, I can see why ABDULLAH however, they did. Only a stupid idiot would believe that 9/11 was an "inside job" go end your life and please while doing so dont strap a bomb to your chest

    May 3, 2010 at 1:57 am | Report abuse |
  9. Brian L Price

    Wow – reading this thread makes me very afraid for the future of this country. So much hatred and anger, so much ignorance, so little compassion or understanding. Does it really matter that much to be 'right' that we have poison each other with these vitrolic comments? And who really cares about all this? It looks like just of opinions will few facts and little basis in reality – mostly with the intention of making someone else feel bad. What's that about? This is very scary. Why don't we imagine that when we are writing or speaking something that we are talking to our father, or son, or a dear friend. Because in actuality – that's really what we are doing – we are all fellow humans passing our brief time on this earth – looking for love and respect.

    May 3, 2010 at 2:19 am | Report abuse |
  10. Aerobee

    Doesn't anyone watch Mythbusters? Those propane tanks will not explode unless you remove the safety valve. A big fire, yes. Gasoline, propane tanks, and fireworks do not make what a terrorist would call a bomb. Keep feeding the fear people! Now where did I put those marshmallows?

    May 3, 2010 at 2:26 am | Report abuse |
  11. maretzo

    This is the end, I am going to buy a 1-bio green ticket and fly to Tibet asap!!!!

    May 3, 2010 at 2:28 am | Report abuse |
  12. BGko

    CNN please stop censoring my comments

    May 3, 2010 at 2:40 am | Report abuse |
  13. BGko

    Every time I post something with proof that this is a setup they are censoring me.

    May 3, 2010 at 2:42 am | Report abuse |
  14. BGko

    They are trying to make me look like I don't know whats happening. All my opinion posts have gone up. All the posts containing facts that prove what they are saying is wrong have been blocked.

    May 3, 2010 at 2:49 am | Report abuse |
  15. BGko

    In the video of them showing the 'person of interest changing shirts', the guy obviously comes from across the street and not from the Nissan Pathfinder. Why would the guy change shirts right in front of the the crime scene? ridiculous

    May 3, 2010 at 2:53 am | Report abuse |
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