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. Gene

    "White Mail"? It's Big Brother himself, Mr. Zip. Robert Crumb warned us forty years ago.

    May 2, 2010 at 5:11 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Philip Ness

    Blind patriotism is pointless... The job of the people is not to trust the government, our job is to monitor and enforce the will of the people.

    If the country was focused on Iraq, insurance reform, or anything interesting I might assume this act was intended to divert our attention, but since at the moment we are all about reality television, this probably WAS some lone wolf who cant build a decent bomb trying to make some random point.

    Terrorist would have done a better job, the government would have frame someone by now, and domestic militia would only have talked about doing it... so this was undoubtedly a lone wolf crazy guy.

    May 2, 2010 at 5:13 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Edlandon

    I guess I am not concerned about the misspelled words, because everybody makes mistakes. That is petty! More importantly, I feel that Constance just like you and I have the right to speak her mind and should not be judged based on how she feels or thinks. This story is tragic and I believe that CNN is just trying to get the information out. After reading all of your comments, I am sad for our society and the ignorance within it.

    May 2, 2010 at 5:26 pm | Report abuse |
  4. DeltaNine

    "Hello My concern, is this could also be an excuse to declare Marshal Law, I really don not trust the goverment anymore. and feel they will do anything to get and keep us under control."

    LMAOROF!

    May 2, 2010 at 5:32 pm | Report abuse |
  5. sumedha

    hello Stenson,

    i read the cooments and i found the coomets made by stenson.

    I really do not where the hell is this person living .
    Oh my god , why you are so ignorant .

    May 2, 2010 at 5:34 pm | Report abuse |
  6. SadToBeAmerican

    Wow, it is more entertaining reading the response than the actual news article. Argument about spelling, yeah, American can't spell, not news. White mail. LOL. What kind of mail? What's inside the mail, hate letter?

    This just make my day, "In this article, why does CNN not even mention that a video has emerged where the Taliban in Pakistan has claimed responsibility? Sure it is unverified, but it is certainly a relevant update.", really, just the political parties and the government lied to us is not enough, we want all news media lie to us as well. Maybe CynicalTim get so used to Fox News' Make-Belief-News. No wonder tabloids rumor making idiots are claiming themselves journalists, we the people are so stupid and make them so. Oooooh, an ET just beam himself in front of me....

    May 2, 2010 at 5:35 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Gene

    No one is questioning Constance's right to speak her mind, no one! While I cannot tell how she "feels", it is quite proper to judge her on what she thinks, as expresses in her post.

    May 2, 2010 at 5:36 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Dan, TX

    I see a lot of people posting about how they don't trust the government and about the evils of blind patriotism. Surely we must make the party of blind patriotism, the republican party, never gains power again.

    Obama not wearing a US Flag pin? He is not patriotic enough! Obama wears a US Flag pin now? Don't trust the US Government! The US Government is corrupt and must be replaced by a dictatorship run by a Republican. Democracy is too dangerous because the people are too stupid.

    May 2, 2010 at 5:37 pm | Report abuse |
  9. SadToBeAmerican

    Well said Dan.

    Democracy is surely built on how well the citizens are educated. Sadly, today's Americans don't have the wisdom of our founding fathers or previous generations.

    May 2, 2010 at 5:39 pm | Report abuse |
  10. James

    I know it's a real foreign thought. But you ever think that things just happen, and that there is no conspiracy? Maybe, Someone did shoot JFK, Maybe some terrorists did fly planes into those buildings because they hate Americans, Maybe someone did try to blow up a truck and kill a bunch of people in times square. I know it doesn't help your purpose, but sadly those people felt it would help thiers. And why can't you people just say, Maybe it would help to release your anger, Just say it. It will be good for you. "I can't stand having a black president." And "I hope everything he does is a failure, or at least it is mad to look so." Thats where your joy comes from. It's easier and more honest to stae the real reasons, then to hide behind lies and conspiracy. I am off to hug someone, That's what s socialists do. Kisses.

    May 2, 2010 at 5:51 pm | Report abuse |
  11. dcfromct

    To the first few comments – although I did not vote for Obama and have not liked any of the decisions or policies he has come up with, I don't believe he will be that stupid as to use this for marshall law control. I can understand your concern though, his bailout, UN-stimulus, job depletion and constant lies have damaged the little credibility and grace the public and the media has granted Obama thus far.
    I think he needs to put his lobbyist agenda's aside and start listening to the people.
    You can say what you want about Bush (they'll blame him for anything and everything anyway) but Bush put fear into the minds of the terrorists, seems the only ones afraid of Obama are the American public.
    So far we have dodged two terrorist attempts which only failed due to the incompetence of the terrorist, not anything our security did to prevent it.
    I could care less whether or not Obama wears a flag pin, but he better care about protecting americans, here and abroad.

    May 2, 2010 at 5:53 pm | Report abuse |
  12. James

    I know it's a real foreign thought. But you ever think that things just happen, and that there is no conspiracy? Maybe, Oswald did shoot JFK, Maybe some terrorists did fly planes into those buildings because they hate Americans, Maybe someone did try to blow up a truck and kill a bunch of people in times square. I know it doesn't help your purpose, but sadly those people felt it would help thiers. And why can't you people just say it, Maybe it would help to release your anger, Just say it. It will be good for you. "I can't stand having a black president." And "I hope everything he does is a failure, or at least it is made to look so." Thats where your joy comes from right? It's easier and more honest to state the real reasons your so anger, then to hide behind lies and conspiracy. I am off to hug someone, That's what us socialists do. Kisses.

    May 2, 2010 at 5:55 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Miles

    False Flag

    May 2, 2010 at 6:01 pm | Report abuse |
  14. SadToBeAmerican

    Fear alone is a deterrent against terrorists.

    Unfortunately, neither President Bush nor President Obama has put effort on strengthening our intelligent collection capability, I am not talking about tweaking the law, rather train our intelligent agencies for Arabics, or any language that will help us collect intelligent better.

    Both Bush Administration and Obama Administration have made the governmnet bigger, but people only see it one-sided. I bet, if Republican regain control of the White House, they will make the government even bigger, on the defense side, as nobody will question them on that. Talk about Martial Law.

    May 2, 2010 at 6:03 pm | Report abuse |
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