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. SadToBeAmerican

    Typo. I meant "Fear alone is NOT a deterrent against terrorists."

    May 2, 2010 at 6:16 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Steve of TX

    Constance, No need to worry, W isn't president anymore.

    May 2, 2010 at 6:28 pm | Report abuse |
  3. namseer

    I think, most sadly, we are going to find out that the perpetrator was a middle-aged, white, angry, racist, Obama hating, lone wolf, domestic terrorist right-wing fringe nut job who was pushed over the edge and led to violence by the hate-speech incitement of Fox News and people like Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck. AND I would not at all be surprised if the guy is a Tea Bagger as well.

    If all of this is the case–and at the moment it appears quite possible–I hope the Justice Department, FBI and ATF conduct the mother of all raids and lock up all the dangerous, militia loving crazies so that maybe for once the normal people in society can feel safe again.

    May 2, 2010 at 6:43 pm | Report abuse |
  4. chris

    Hey folks.

    Remember the day. It was Mayday a day of international protest and public demonstration in Russia China and etc. Maybe someone is trying to capitilize on this day just because it is a day of protest. We have to not always jump on the Arab connection in these public terror scares.
    Just another Canadian.

    May 2, 2010 at 6:46 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Jeff

    Owner of the vehicle was located, was it reported stolen? This video from Pennsylvania that may show the individual, is this video taken in New York? Anyone hearing anything more?

    May 2, 2010 at 6:49 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Tom

    Just saw another comments posting at
    US Intelligence sources confirm that Friday's
    Taliban Video Posting on You Tube was for real.
    On it; a major Taliban Official in Pakistan says
    that the upcoming weekend bombing in Times
    Square is going to be in revenge against America.
    His message was video taped earlier. Seeing lots of
    You tubers posting online today who watched
    the video on Friday. If the Taliban video is real,
    their warning was real, their attempt was real and
    US Intelligence assessment of that warning is real,
    doesn't that mean that it was probably a real
    Muslim Terrorist Attack? Doesn't that mean that
    anybody who says it wasn't is a liar? Or a fool? Or both?

    May 2, 2010 at 6:50 pm | Report abuse |
  7. D39

    Be concerned if you want to be Constance. But when martial law doesn't happen, I hope you get a little hope and faith back.

    May 2, 2010 at 6:50 pm | Report abuse |
  8. D39

    Tom, If they find DNA or other evidence that verify who the white guy dropping off the vehicle is, it won't be hard to figure out whether he was in cahoots with anyone or not. Let those chips fall where they may. Its as easy to be lied to via YouTube as it is via anyone else.

    May 2, 2010 at 6:59 pm | Report abuse |
  9. BGko

    With soldiers in our streets being used in the G20 and other protests, posse comitatus being revoked, and the Army now training in Kentucky to fight against US citizens, some would say we already have one foot in the martial law box.

    May 2, 2010 at 7:01 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Liz Galea

    This should be a wake-call and reminder that it is our responsibility as Americans to act with vigilance at all times when out in public places. We are smarter than those deplorable terrorists, and we need to always be aware and ready to take action.

    Praises to the t-shirt vendor for his proactive response!

    May 2, 2010 at 7:06 pm | Report abuse |
  11. James and Peg

    I can't wait until all you paranoid peeps are rounded up! that a black sedan parked across the street?

    May 2, 2010 at 7:06 pm | Report abuse |
  12. SadToBeAmerican

    The police are still doing investigation. Why all these speculation? Opinion is one thing, but baseless ranting is entirely different story.

    May 2, 2010 at 7:06 pm | Report abuse |
  13. WEAVER




    May 2, 2010 at 7:09 pm | Report abuse |
  14. BGko

    @SadToBeAmerican – All the speculation is because many of us 'paranoid' types who follow whats happening have been saying for the last 2-3 weeks that there would be a 'terrorist' attack soon and it would be blamed on patriots who were anti-big government and would be classified as terrorists. The reason we've been expecting it is because the media and government have been setting up for it over the last month or two. Put two and two together, we came up with four. I guess we will just have to wait and see who they rush to pin this on.

    "We don't know who the terrorists are, but they look just like this."

    May 2, 2010 at 7:15 pm | Report abuse |
  15. truther

    could have been a stage event by the goverment to blame on the tea parties.

    May 2, 2010 at 7:20 pm | Report abuse |
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