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Old 05-02-2010, 09:17 AM   #1
JediAthos
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Car Bomb evacuates Times Square but fails to Explode

NEW YORK – Police found an "amateurish" but potentially powerful bomb that apparently began to detonate but did not explode in a smoking sport utility vehicle in Times Square, authorities said Sunday.

Thousands of tourists were cleared from the streets for 10 hours after a T-shirt vendor alerted police to the suspicious vehicle, which contained three propane tanks, fireworks, two filled 5-gallon gasoline containers, and two clocks with batteries, electrical wire and other components, Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly said.

"We avoided what we could have been a very deadly event," Mayor Michael Bloomberg said. "It certainly could have exploded and had a pretty big fire and a decent amount of explosive impact."

The bomb appeared to be starting to detonate but malfunctioned, top police spokesman Paul Browne said Sunday.

Firefighters who arrived shortly after the first call heard a popping sound, said Fire Commissioner Sal Cassano, who described the sound as not quite an explosion.

"I think the intent was to cause a significant ball of fire," Kelly said.

No suspects were in custody, though Kelly said a surveillance video showed the car driving west on 45th Street before it parked between Seventh and Eighth avenues. Police were looking for more video from office buildings that weren't open at the time.

Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said on NBC's "Meet the Press" that officials are treating the incident as a potential terrorist attack. The mayor said earlier Sunday, "We have no idea who did this or why" but said it's not surprising the city is a frequent target of terrorism.

"These things invariably ... come back to New York," Bloomberg said.

The SUV was towed early Sunday to a forensic lab in Queens, where it was being "thoroughly checked for prints, hairs and fibers," Browne said Sunday. Napolitano said fingerprints had been recovered from the vehicle.

The T-shirt vendor alerted police at about 6:30 p.m, the height of dinner hour before theatergoers head to Saturday night shows.

Smoke was coming from the back of the dark-colored Pathfinder, its hazard lights were on and "it was just sitting there," said Rallis Gialaboukis, 37, another vendor who has hawked his wares for 20 years across the street.

A white robotic police arm broke windows of the SUV to remove any explosive materials. A Connecticut license plate on the vehicle did not match up, Bloomberg said. Police interviewed the Connecticut car owner, who told them he had sent the plates to a nearby junkyard, Bloomberg said.

Heavily armed police and emergency vehicles shut down the city's busiest streets, choked with taxis and people on one of the first summer-like days of the year. Times Square lies about four traffic-choked miles north of where terrorists bombed the World Trade Center in 1993, then laid waste to it on Sept. 11, 2001.

The car was parked on one of the prime blocks for Broadway shows, with seven theaters housing such big shows as "The Lion King" and "Billy Elliot."

The curtain at "God of Carnage" and "Red" opened a half-hour later than usual, but the shows were not canceled, said spokesman Adrian Bryan-Brown.

Katy Neubauer, 46, and Becca Saunders, 39, of Milwaukee, were shopping for souvenirs two blocks south of the SUV when they saw panicked crowds.

"It was a mass of people running away from the scene," Neubauer said.

Said Saunders: "There were too many people, too many cops. I've never seen anything like it."

Bloomberg left early from the White House correspondent's dinner Saturday night. President Barack Obama, who attended the annual gala, praised the quick response by the New York Police Department, White House spokesman Nick Shapiro said.

He has also directed his homeland security and counterterrorism adviser, John Brennan, to advise New York officials that the federal government is prepared to provide support.

Brennan and others will keep Obama up to date on the investigation, Shapiro said.

The FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force in New York responded along with the NYPD, said agent Richard Kolko.

The latest terror threat in New York came last fall when air shuttle driver Najibullah Zazi admitted to a foiled homemade bomb plot aimed at the city subway system.

The theater district in London was the target of a propane bomb attack in 2007. No one was injured when police discovered two Mercedes loaded with nails packed around canisters of propane and gasoline.

Officials said the device found Saturday was crudely constructed, but Islamic militants have used propane and compressed gas for years to enhance the force of explosives. Those instances include the 1983 suicide attack on the U.S. Marines barracks at the Beirut airport that killed 241 U.S. service members, and the 2007 attack on the international airport in Glasgow, Scotland.

In 2007, the U.S. military announced that an al-Qaida front group was using propane to rig car bombs in Iraq.

Times Square has been a frequent target, if not for potential terrorists, then for rabble-rousers.

In December, a parked van without license plates led police to block off part of the area for about two hours. A police robot examined the vehicle, and clothes, racks and scarves were found inside.

In March 2008, a hooded bicyclist hurled an explosive device at a military recruiting center, producing a flash, smoke and full-scale emergency response. No suspect was ever identified.

Police have spent years trying to crack down on street hustlers and peddlers preying on tourists. But there have been two major gunfights in recent months. A street hustler armed with a machine pistol exchanged shots in December, shattering a Broadway theater ticket window, before police fatally shot him.

Four shootings and more than 50 arrests on a mile-long stretch of Manhattan last month around Times Square prompted the mayor to call the mayhem "wilding."


*edit* source: the AP via Yahoo! News


Scary situation here that could have been much worse had the bomb actually exploded. Amateur or not, it could have done some serious damage and killed people. Yet another reason why we can't get complacent with security.


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Old 05-02-2010, 10:19 AM   #2
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It's still hard to believe that this kind of stuff is still happening in the time we live in. It's 2010... The world as never before is united together through a massive global communications network where information and knowledge can be transferred from one end of the world to another in the blink of an eye. Technology industries are thriving and science is leading to a rate of discoveries far faster than in the centuries past. As a race humanity has built amazing cities like Hong Kong, New York, Tokyo, and Dubai. Killing people (or attempting too as in this case) for any reason other than self defense is just plain wrong. I can't understand how someone could attempt or engage in a terrorist attack, much less murder a fellow brother or sister of their species over flawed ideologies, to ignore their common sense and capacity for ethical decency - especially in the stark light of what has been achieved. Given the human race still has its problems to deal with and isn't perfect, I reiterate - it's 2010.


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Old 05-02-2010, 10:28 AM   #3
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It's still hard to believe that this kind of stuff is still happening in the time we live in. It's 2010... The world as never before is united together through a massive global communications network where information and knowledge can be transferred from one end of the world to another in the blink of an eye. Technology industries are thriving and science is leading to a rate of discoveries far faster than in the centuries past. As a race humanity has built amazing cities like Hong Kong, New York, Tokyo, and Dubai. Killing people (or attempting too as in this case) for any reason other than self defense is just plain wrong. I can't understand how someone could attempt or engage in a terrorist attack, much less murder a fellow brother or sister of their species over flawed ideologies, to ignore their common sense and capacity for ethical decency - especially in the stark light of what has been achieved. Given the human race still has its problems to deal with and isn't perfect, I reiterate - it's 2010.
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Old 05-02-2010, 11:07 AM   #4
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@Arc--I agree, somewhat w/PX above. Why do you think that the calendar date really makes any difference? The only thing that has probably kept mankind from completely destroying itself is that we got a glimpse of it in Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Were it not for nukes, we might very well have had WW3 before now. Basically, man's nature is largely unchanged from what it was millenia ago. Just that now....we can blow up more **** than we ever could back then. Doubt we'll seriously be any more "evolved" in 500 years either.


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Old 05-02-2010, 11:16 AM   #5
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I would second PastramiX in this event...sadly idealism is not reality in the world we live in. Whether it should be or not is simply beyond the point. Human beings have been killing each other for centuries and sadly it's not likely to stop any time soon.

As I mentioned, this event only reinforces my belief that we, be it America, Britain, France, Russia etc...cannot become complacent when dealing with the kind of people that plan any attempt to carry out these attacks.


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Old 05-02-2010, 11:30 AM   #6
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World peace is admittedly an unrealistic idealistic hope, I'm just saying it boggles the mind that things like this are still happening/being attempted given how much has been achieved. The 20th and the early 21st centuries have been a major step towards a better future. Space exploration, computers, genetic research, innovation, industry, and creativity. The act of even terrorizing people - how can someone not see how wrong that is when committing it?


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Old 05-02-2010, 11:35 AM   #7
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Unfortunately Arc, terrorists do not think logically...at least not in terms that most people understand. Somehow, to them, their actions are completely logical whether it's Muslim fanatics or "home grown" terrorists like Timothy McVeigh.


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Old 05-02-2010, 12:05 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Arcesious View Post
The 20th and the early 21st centuries have been a major step towards a better future. Space exploration, computers, genetic research, innovation, industry, and creativity.
That same innovation, industry and creativity has also been used during the last century to create ever-more imaginative ways to destroy each other -that's even been the springboard for innovation.

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The act of even terrorizing people - how can someone not see how wrong that is when committing it?
As JediAthos says, because they don't believe it's wrong in the first place?






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Old 05-02-2010, 01:41 PM   #9
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Were it not for nukes, we might very well have had WW3 before now.
Now there's a disputed view.


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Old 05-02-2010, 06:13 PM   #10
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I'll be interested to see what forensics finds. As far as complacent with security, I can buy the anarchists cookbook at my local book store or do a simple google search and create a decent bomb in a few weeks out of household objects and park my car somewhere. Really, the only thing that stopped this one from going off is that it appears to have malfunctioned.

The saving grace here is that many of the would be terrorists seem to be idiots.

Last edited by True_Avery; 05-02-2010 at 06:21 PM.
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Old 05-02-2010, 07:23 PM   #11
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Quote:
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Now there's a disputed view.
No more so than that AGW is real.

@TA--that has been something of a saving grace so far.


Now, I want you to remember that no bastard ever won a war by dying for his country. He won it by making the other poor, dumb bastard die for his country.---Patton

There is no room in this country for hyphenated Americanism.---Teddy Roosevelt

I never forget a face, but in your case I'll make an exception.---Groucho

And if you all get killed, I'll piss on your graves.---Shaman Urdnot

How would you like to own a little bit of my foot in your ass.---Red Foreman
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Old 05-02-2010, 07:53 PM   #12
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BTW, The Anarchist's Cookbook is a wealth of misinformation, unless you think that pine tar is a suitable hash ingredient or that trying to get high by smoking banana peel scrapings is a good idea. The only person that a prospective terrorist could end up harming by reading it and following its instructions is himself, which was probably its intended purpose.


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Old 05-02-2010, 07:57 PM   #13
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BTW, The Anarchist's Cookbook is a wealth of misinformation, unless you think that pine tar is a suitable hash ingredient or that trying to get high by smoking banana peel scrapings is a good idea. The only person that a prospective terrorist could end up harming by reading it and following its instructions is himself, which was probably its intended purpose.
Haha, yeah, its a pretty ****ty book but its more the concept than the end result. Google, the cookbook, or, well, a book on chemistry, etc. Point is, don't have to throw too many stones to find a source, and guerrilla attacks such as this car can be essentially unnoticeable until they start smoking.
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Old 05-02-2010, 08:38 PM   #14
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The saving grace here is that many of the would be terrorists seem to be idiots.
Exactly. I'd say that a great number of terrorist attacks have been prevented by terrorist's idiocy rather than any real security. I suppose religious extremism and terrorism don't really appeal to most intelligent people.

As for the Anarchist's Cookbook, I applaud it for allowing would-be McVeighs to self-terminate in their own homes. It always brings joy to my heart when someone has a premature martyrdom without anyone else hurt.

That said, this story really drives home the amount of devastation a very small terror cell could cause with just a little competence. It's nigh-impossible to fight defensively against an enemy who can show up anywhere, plop a bomb down in an area of high human density, and disappear. You can defend against a few attacks, but to truly end the threat, you need to take the initiative and go on offense. We need to do everything right the first time around, they only need to get lucky once.

Edit: Forgot to mention that at least the forensics people will have plenty of material to go on. Gives me some hope that the person or persons responsible will be caught.



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Last edited by Liverandbacon; 05-02-2010 at 09:17 PM.
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Old 05-02-2010, 08:54 PM   #15
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Quote:
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Exactly. I'd say that a great number of terrorist attacks have been prevented by terrorist's idiocy rather than any real security. I suppose religious extremism and terrorism don't really appeal to most intelligent people.

As for the Anarchist's Cookbook, I applaud it for allowing would-be McVeighs to self-terminate in their own homes. It always brings joy to my heart when someone has a premature martyrdom without anyone else hurt.

That said, this story really drives home the amount of devastation a very small terror cell could cause with just a little competence. It's nigh-impossible to fight defensively against an enemy who can show up anywhere, plop a bomb down in an area of high human density, and disappear. You can defend against a few attacks, but to truly end the threat, you need to take the initiative and go on offense.
Indeed...the next car bomb could be a suitcase nuke...and that would just f*** up everyone's day.


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Old 05-04-2010, 05:18 AM   #16
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Caught a suspect:
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/36892505...news-security/
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