May 3rd, 2010
09:20 PM ET

Latest Updates: Times Square car bomb scare

[Updated 6:32 a.m. ET] Authorities removed three passengers from a Dubai-bound flight late Monday, according to a spokesman for Emirate Airlines. An airline official said the three included Faisal Shahzad, the suspect arrested in connection to the foiled bomb attempt at Times Square. The other two passengers were allowed back on the flight, the official said.

[Updated 5 a.m. ET] Investigators searched a house in Bridgeport, Connecticut, early Tuesday morning in connection with the foiled bomb attack in New York's Times Square over the weekend.

Speaking to reporters, FBI Special Agent in Charge Kim Mertz would not disclose any details of the search.

"Our first misison was to ensure the safety of the public and our law enforcement officials," she said. "That is complete and the public is safe."

Along with several patrol cars, a Connecticut State Police bomb squad truck was called to the two-story building at Sheridan Street and Boston Avenue.

[Updated 4:19 a.m. ET] Faisal Shahzad is believed to be the person who drove the sports  utility vehicle into Times Square, a law enforcement official said.

The  Nissan Pathfinder had its Vehicle Identification Number removed from the dashboard. Police climbed under the SUV and retrieved the VIN from  the bottom of its engine block. This, said the official, led  investigators to the registered owner of the vehicle and then to Shahzad  who purchased the SUV.

Another law enforcement source  said Shahzad is claiming he acted alone in the incident.

[Updated 1:46 a.m.] A U.S. citizen has been arrested in Times Square bombing probe, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder announced early Tuesday.  Faisal Shahzad was arrested at JFK airport in New York as he prepared to board a flight to Dubai, Holder said.

[Updated 12:39 a.m.] An arrest has been made in a failed attempt to set off a car bomb in New York's Times Square over the weekend, a law enforcement official told CNN early Tuesday.

[Updated 9:18 p.m.] CNN has learned the Joint Terrorism Task Force (JTTF) is considering the possibility that the incident in Times Square was more than just a lone wolf and that there is a connection to Pakistan according to a source familiar with the investigation.

Investigators believe this was an intended terrorist attack to set off explosives in Times Square—that the individuals intended for the tanks to explode but didn’t have the expertise to detonate it.

[Updated at 6:07 p.m] From CNN's Alan Chernoff: Former NYPD Bomb Squad member Kevin Barry says the bomb found in an SUV Saturday night in Times Square "had no known signature," meaning it was not constructed in a fashion used by known terror organizations. In particular, Barry refers to the fact that the bomb had two timers.

"It's the first device of this type in quite a while. So we have no signature yet. Were we to see two or three more of these in the area, or within the U.S. then we might say, 'Listen we have a new group and they have somebody that is building these for them,'” said Barry.

In addition to the timers, bomb designers may differ in “how they twist wires, how they solder them, how they connect batteries, what products they use,” he said. That leads him to believe this was the work of either an individual or a new organization.

Barry says he trained the lead bomb squad technician who handled Saturday's explosive and spoke with him this morning about his dismantling of the device.

He says it did not detonate because the igniter did not have enough energy to detonate the bomb. Instead of detonating, it deflagrated (burned rapidly), Barry said. That would be consistent with the explosions, flames and smoke inside of the SUV that eyewitnesses described.

Barry is now on the Board of Advisors with the International Association of Bomb Technicians and Investigators.

[Updated at 6:02 p.m.]

[Updated at 4:36 p.m.] The sport-utility vehicle used in the unsuccessful Times Square bomb plot was sold three weeks ago in a cash deal with no paperwork exchanged, a law enforcement source with knowledge of the investigation said Monday.

A seller in Connecticut put the Nissan Pathfinder up for sale through the online classified ad site Craigslist and sold it to a buyer who paid $1,800 for the vehicle, the source told CNN. The $1,800 deal was closed at a Connecticut shopping mall, where the buyer handed over the money and drove off, the source said.

In the heart of midtown Manhattan on Saturday night, the Pathfinder was found packed with propane tanks, gasoline and fertilizer that had failed to explode when someone attempted to detonate it. The registered owner of the Pathfinder is not a suspect in the bombing attempt, New York Police Commissioner Ray Kelly told CNN earlier Monday.

[Updated at 10:10 a.m.] A U.S. official also told CNN it would be "surprising" if the group was behind the attack in New York. The official cannot be identified because of the sensitivity of the information, but is directly aware of the latest U.S. understanding of the incident.

The group has never shown "trans-national capabilities" like other groups such as al Qaeda, but such a possibility is "not something one can rule out at this early stage." The official also said there was no intelligence information beforehand of a Pakistani Taliban operation.Attorney General Eric Holder said it's too early to characterize the investigation as involving terrorism, though he also said that "there is no doubt that the person who did this intended to spread terror."

Investigators have some "good leads," he said, though he declined to elaborate. He pledged that authorities would bring to justice the person or persons who are responsible.

[Updated at 8:29 a.m.] There is still no "credible evidence" that the Pakistani Taliban was responsible for the Times Square bomb incident, a senior U.S. military official told CNN on Monday.

'We assess the claim to be of low credibility," said the source, who emphasized that the investigation is in its early stages.

[Updated at 8:06 a.m.] Authorities looking for clues in the failed Times Square bombing attempt plan to release another video in the case, New York Police Commissioner Ray Kelly told CNN's American Morning Monday.Kelly said the person in the video "is seen, we believe, running north on Broadway."

He said the video was obtained from a tourist.

[Posted at 7:58 a.m.] A man spotted near the scene of a car bomb in Times Square could be a witness or may have been involved in the attempted attack, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said Monday.

"He was seen leaving the scene... we would like to be able to identify him and speak to him," she told CNN's "American Morning."

Authorities released videotaped images of the man.

New York Police Commissioner Ray Kelly has said the video shows a man acting in a "furtive" manner but that his actions "could be perfectly innocent."

It is "highly premature" to speculate about who's behind the incident, which prompted the closure of the area on a busy Saturday night, Napolitano said.

Sunday's Roundup: Reports on the Times Square car bomb scare

soundoff (137 Responses)
  1. Rob Cook

    i think they just wants to make aware to US people that still they can damage after world biggest attack on the WTC. after all the securities if they can come & place the bomb in car at a place like time square from where all the world are attached with the current affairs of the activity of the world, so it make us directly to the point is that. they just want to to set a big challenge against US Government.

    Rob Cook

    July 1, 2010 at 12:42 am | Report abuse |
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