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. Sher

    Torgo my friend... certain people WORK for us. Not the other way around. They are supposed to FIX things not terrorize the citizens and involve themselves in other peoples ie: bankers wars.

    The pen is mightier than the sword.
    This means that people know truth hurts far more than a bullet and it will be truth that sets us free from tyranny, no matter how 'moderated' this site is.
    Yes, you block my comments
    but you can't block the truth EVEN if your brigade is after me.

    At least they'll know that it was because I spoke truth on the CNN forum
    that got me killed.

    God Bless. Karma to everyone and every'thing' be that beast or human.

    May 2, 2010 at 9:17 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Julie

    I am very upset that Mayor Bloomberg has time to take the responding officer and his wife to dinner at a fancy NYC bistro but neither a word nor any time for the tee shirt vendor who lived up to the add campaign "if you see something, say something" splayed over this city since 9/11.

    This man is the true hero.

    The police officer is a paid and trained NYC employee whose job it is to respond and act in this situation . This cop was doing the job he signed on to do when he joined the Police Adademy and has been trained to do over the past 19 years.

    If the media ever interview the poor tee shirt vendor, I am absolutely sure New York's finest made his life hell with accusations until the NYPD finally figured out what they were dealing with.

    Look up the defintion of hero, then, look up the definition of pandering.

    For shame , Mayor Bloomberg

    May 2, 2010 at 9:20 pm | Report abuse |
  3. OK

    Ok time out! My Intel Assessment is as follows:

    A. This was probably set by someone mad at Iran president Amedinijad (I am sure I spelled it wrong but i think you know who I am referring to) being in town for the UN Visit.

    B. A diversion created by operatiives of the Iranian president to defocus attention on himself or for something more sinister.

    Either A. or B is correct. The events are as follows:

    1. The president of Iran arrives in town
    2. There is an incident in Times Square

    That is too much to be coincidence.

    May 2, 2010 at 9:20 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Clarksville

    Just turned on my TV to Jonh King speaking with Susan candiotti.....Ms Candiotti (and your producer) are you guys stupid??? lets tell the bombers how to properly make the explosives AND give a step by step of what they did wrong....again I ask are you stupid or just inept?

    May 2, 2010 at 9:23 pm | Report abuse |
  5. torgo

    truth n., pl., truths (trūTHz, trūths).
    Conformity to fact or actuality.
    A statement proven to be or accepted as true.
    Sincerity; integrity.
    Fidelity to an original or standard.

    Reality; actuality

    May 2, 2010 at 9:24 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Pat Klinert

    Man– too bad this wasn't in front of AIG or Goldman Sachs ;(

    May 2, 2010 at 9:26 pm | Report abuse |
  7. OK

    Too bad would be bad for anybody..wishing others hurt is never good because innocent people still get hurt anyway

    May 2, 2010 at 9:28 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Moe Syzlac

    Is Cleetus, the slack-jawed teahadist to blame?

    May 2, 2010 at 9:32 pm | Report abuse |
  9. OK

    Tea Party Express just like the difference in human nature since the fall of Adam and Eve

    May 2, 2010 at 9:35 pm | Report abuse |
  10. quadman

    Roger from Atlanta,

    The problem is that the gov is "not for the people" anymore and have not been for a long time, Constance has a right to feel like she does. It is true, THEY control, monitor and will pursue you if you say anything bad about the gov, Last TEA PARTY Meeting, the SWAT team showed up. Sounds like Hitler, Hussian is ruling our country. Their is no more America, it is ran by a bunch of idioits who will be removed from office very soon and I am fully ready along with many many other real Americans. You should get out while you can, go to Russian or China ( more Freedom there ).

    May 2, 2010 at 9:43 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Sir thrustwasher

    Looks like either a "dry-run" or a "set-up". Next time there could be real explosives and people might approach the vehicle with their guard down.

    I wonder if this is one of those "Cash for clunkers" vehicles that should have been immobilized. Where are all those cars now?

    May 2, 2010 at 9:43 pm | Report abuse |
  12. OK

    American Patriots Party

    "Recogizing the Achievements of every American :), and the rule of law"

    That might even work but there is no unit without Christ, without self-examination and looking only in the mirror.

    I am afraid the world has gone crazy (what am i talking about, its always been crazy !), this kind of stuff will get worse..I am afraid folks unless everyone on earth examines him/herself relative to the warnings we have received through the centuries in the bible and world events..we will be like those in the days of Noah....outside the ship.

    Get on board please, get on board..give your life to Christ today and share the good news with others far and wide.

    Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.

    May 2, 2010 at 9:46 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Sir thrustwasher

    maybe this is just one of those divert your attention actions.

    A company like –say, BP, hires a dirty tricks type of guy to stage an event to get everyone's attention focused on something other than the never-ending
    leakage of deep sea crude.

    Besides, who else can afford to waste 10 gallons of gas today.

    It's just a joke people.

    May 2, 2010 at 9:53 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Billy B.

    Either they are dealing with the "Short Bus" brigade of the Taliban having their revenge for some B.S. reason and have yet to brag about disrupting a major metro area and costing taxpayers boats of money, or it was nothing more than a traveling meth lab with a customer as a cook setting up a Double D boobie-trap.

    I aint claimin to be as smart as the federal gubment, but dang it, REALLY?!?

    Later Dayz

    May 2, 2010 at 9:55 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Cheez Wiz

    Whether it was the "Taliban" or any "home-grown terrorist group", if I am supposed to be threatened by a 3-year old's toy clock, a retard's wiring schematic and some non-explosive fertilizer, then I should also develop an innate fear of buying bananas in the supermarket for fear they will explode.

    What's wrong with America? Maybe lack of education IS a good thing, we are safe from terrorism because no one can build a simple explosive device. However, the spelling and grammar mistakes are interestingly explosive, especially by those who make mistakes in their tirades against other's mistakes...

    I LiKe TeA! So gib mi bak my werd cuz u guyz distroyed it bye yer muvmint!

    May 2, 2010 at 10:08 pm | Report abuse |
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