May 7th, 2010
06:06 PM ET

All-clear given in Times Square scare

Police have blocked off parts of Times Square and evacuated people because of a suspicious cooler left in Times Square.

[Updated at 6:06 p.m.] Read the full story

[Updated at 2:32 p.m.] Mayor Michael Bloomberg of New York acknowledged after that incident that terrorists have targeted New York.

"We have to take every precaution, as you know, because we remain a prime target for terrorists," he said. "That's something all New Yorkers understand and it's something that we need Washington to understand as well."

"We will continue to doing everything we possibly can to protect New Yorkers from terrorist attacks. We have, as you know, built the most comprehensive and sophisticated counter terrorism operation of any local police force in the world."

[Updated at 2:24 p.m.] An all-clear was declared Friday after authorities investigated a suspicious package left in front of a hotel in Times Square and determined that it contained water bottles, police said.

[Updated at 2:10 p.m.] The New York Police Department has deployed a robot to X-ray the cooler that was abandoned in front of the Marriott Marquis hotel in Times Square, police told CNN's Susan Candiotti.

[Updated at 2:15 p.m.] A bomb squad robot has completed its X-ray of the suspicious cooler left in Times Square, CNN's Susan Candiotti reported. But, the results were inconclusive.

Members of the bomb squad are now suiting up to get a closer look. Are you there? Send photos, videos See photos from Times Square

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[Updated at 2:01 p.m.] CNN's Ali Velshi who is on 47th Street and Broadway reports: "Times Square is entirely empty" on certain blocks.

[Updated at 1:58 p.m.] Kathy Duffy, who is in her office at the Marriott Marquis hotel, told CNN the Times Square Alliance said there was an abandoned cooler left outside. Duffy said officials told her that the bomb squad was trying to determine if it was a threat. She said that the hotel has not been told to evacuate.

[Updated at 1:51 p.m.] A spokesman for the Times Square Alliance says, according to the NYPD, the following streets are closed:

  • East bound on 46th Street from 8th Ave
  • West bound on 45th Street from 6th Ave.
  • And the Broadway and 7th Avenue plaza between 44th and 47th.
  • 44th and 47th Streets themselves are not closed.

[Updated at 1:45 p.m.] The suspicious package that prompted evacuations in New York's Times Square is a white cooler that was left near the front of the Marriott Marquis Hotel, police told CNN.

The area is not far from where Faisal Shahzad left his SUV that had explosives in it.

People were evacuated from the streets of Times Square after a report of a suspicious package.

[Posted at 1:24 p.m.] Times Square has been evacuated after a suspicious package was found near 45th street, a New York Police Department official said.

The package was found near 45th Street and Broadway, officials said.

The evacuation comes six days after an SUV with explosives was left in Times Square resulting in the arrest of Faisal Shahzad.

This story is developing. We'll bring you the latest information as we get it.

soundoff (1,087 Responses)
  1. Melissa R.

    People who call us "Paranoid" were obviously nowhere near New York during 9/11 how soon you all forget. As a new yorker native born and raised in Brooklyn I will never forget those images. I ride the train ever day to and from work... I work in the heart of Manhattan. We are not frightened.... but we will not be sitting ducks either. We will look out for each other and if you came for a visit we would look out for you too.

    May 7, 2010 at 2:51 pm | Report abuse |
  2. dontcareforNYimnWA

    NY your not so important stop askin for attention this thing bored me so mch im going out back to make my own scarey box just so i can grab all of americas attention... wow mr taliban please drop the real thing on ny show em a real bomb go pick up a nuke on the black market and send it to ny they can have the attention then

    May 7, 2010 at 2:52 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Michael

    Osama bin Laden is sitting in a cave and LAUGHING HIS A** OFF.
    With a SINGLE reprehensible act, he got us to do exactly what he wanted.
    How embarrassing.

    May 7, 2010 at 2:52 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Bobby

    Everyone: "better safe than sorry" would not have helped you on 9-11. Everyone keeps quoting 9-11 and saying this same tired old phrase, however your mantra would have helped nothing with 9-11. You cannot stop a dedicated person from killing people if they are willing to die in the process.

    This is a different issue. You have to decide how much loss of freedom is necessary to strike the right balance of "security". Some would say that full searches of all vehicles entering times square would not be too much in the name of security. I sway the other way. I would give up security for freedom. I lived in New York at the time of 9-11 and and had a family member who worked close to the WTC. 9-11 wa a horrible thing, it was. But you cannot be willing to fall to complete paranoia and worry whats in every bag and cooler.... in that case you have already lost your freedom. We have to be strong AND vigilant. If someone sees something that they are wary of, sure go tell the police. But the police should not be evacuating the entire area unless you had something more to say than "there is a cooler in times square". If you said " I saw a very nervous looking guy set down a cooler and start running away from it, and it has wires hanging out of it" then maybe its worth doing something so drastic.

    May 7, 2010 at 2:52 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Ryan

    I probably have a greater chance of having a piano fall on my head than being killed by a "terrorist".

    By the way, it is a far less effective tactic when there isn't breathless and irresponsible coverage by the media, and frantic interest by the populace.

    There is a giant oil blob floating threatening a huge swath of the continent's coastline, maybe cover that and not a Styrofoam cooler some tourists forgot on the sidewalk.

    May 7, 2010 at 2:52 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Republican

    Man i have opened sooo many abandoned coolers in my life, and not once have i died... or blown up.

    May 7, 2010 at 2:52 pm | Report abuse |
  7. the edge

    hey jgg #911 (911, how ironic), you stupid fockers do suck ... so bring it on tough guy!

    May 7, 2010 at 2:52 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Old Man McCain

    This same irrational behavior is evident in the events leading into the Iraw war? Why did DEMs such as John Kerry and Hillary Clinton think there were WMDs in Iraq...oh yeah, they just wanted to keep their jobs and not get voted out the next election round. They must not have actually thought there were WMDs, because even I was not fooled back then.

    May 7, 2010 at 2:52 pm | Report abuse |
  9. exodus

    @ Raul.. Please please once again there is really no talk of Hindu/Indians here. Your country India is the best (terrorist free and progressing) then go back as it is the best country in the world. And true patriotism should lie with America without the mention of wanting praise for your own religion/national origin or country.
    And please do not try to incite a religious war here. Assuming you practice hinduism u would not know that the 'Abrahamic religions' have been at war throughout history beginning with the crusades.
    I have gone to Bangalore for work several times and know how India compares itself with America all the time and even go on to call us dumb and believe they are better than us. Yet they all want to work here in our US and send back money home. India is a great country and can do mighty darn well without our support.

    May 7, 2010 at 2:53 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Karl Blessing

    Seems to me the terrorist are winning...

    May 7, 2010 at 2:54 pm | Report abuse |
  11. RM

    So, all that the terrorists need to do to strike fear into our hearts and bring a city to its knees is plant a few empty coolers on the sidewalks around town. Fine. If the owner of that cooler is found, he or she should be fined the entire cost of the Times Square lock-down. That will accomplish two great objectives. It will stop idiots from dropping their trash off anywhere they feel like it and it will make false alarms much less likely.

    May 7, 2010 at 2:54 pm | Report abuse |
  12. notamoron

    some of you need to look up afraid and fear in the dictionary. they are not the same as cautious – which we aren't being, the cops are. that's their job. and what freedom did we lose? freedom to leave random cooler in major tourist area? diverted some car and foot traffic for a couple of blocks. until you work down the street from any prime target in nyc, get a life.

    May 7, 2010 at 2:54 pm | Report abuse |
  13. CB

    Glad To Be Canadian, I had thought the same thing. Granted the 9/11 move was orchestrated way ahead of time. Heck, some pilots got flight time on US soil down the street from where I live, and that does take time. Shahzad, on the other hand, looks like someone with all bluster and no real heart for this stuff. Even an middle schooler would have done a lot better had they been so driven. I believe Shahzad was given the assignment to see how far HIS resolve went as well as to test the US DHS response time to such a threat. I think Shahzad is a kind of test to really see what kind of resolve today's government administration and key departments have when an actual "incident" occurs. The fact that Shahzad got as far as he did means (1) we still have security holes about peoples awareness on the street, (2) the response time from emergency agencies is a window of 15 to 20 minutes (timing...Timing...TIMING!), (3) all these incidents, whether large or small, provides information to someone planning something a lot more fine-tuned than what Faisal Shahzad could pull off. As citizens on the street, we need to be more vigilant about our own surroundings.

    May 7, 2010 at 2:54 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Michael

    It's frustrating and disappointing to read all the comments stating we're all "paranoid" now. If we were a bit more paranoid on September 11th, maybe more of those people in the WTC who lost their lives would have left the buildings the moment they were struck rather than stay inside and think nothing of it.

    May 7, 2010 at 2:54 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Greg

    Factoid – pure water does not conduct electricity. But don't drink it either, it will give you the runs.

    May 7, 2010 at 2:55 pm | Report abuse |
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