Images Of Times Square Bomb Suspect
New York police have releases surveillance images of a man wanted in connection with planting a car bomb in Times Square this weekend. We have close ups of the person of interest.
The man is described as white, balding and in his 40s. He is seen on tape taking off a T-shirt and then walking down an alley.
Slideshow: Images Of Times Square Bomb Suspect
There may also be a local connection to the New York Times Square bomb threat, as a man from Bucks County may have caught the bomber on tape. Those images have yet to be released.
New York City Police Commissioner Ray Kelly said officers went to Bristol Township in Pennsylvania to speak with a man who was a tourist Saturday night and believes he may have recorded a bombing suspect on his video camera.
Officials also said they had no evidence of a Taliban connection to the failed attack.
Police found the SUV parked on one of the prime blocks for Broadway shows such as “The Lion King” on Saturday night. Thousands of tourists were cleared from the area for 10 hours. The bomb was dismantled, and no one was hurt.
The SUV contained three barbecue-grill-sized propane tanks, fireworks, two filled 5-gallon gasoline containers and two clocks with batteries, electrical wire and other components, police said. Timers were connected to a 16-ounce can filled with the fireworks, which were apparently intended to set the gas cans and propane afire, Kelly said.
“Clearly it was the intent of whoever did this to cause mayhem, to create casualties,” Kelly said at a news conference at police headquarters. “It’s just a sober reminder that New York is clearly a target of people who want to come here and do us harm.”
He said New Yorkers are lucky that the bomb did not fully detonate because it “looks like it would have caused a significant fireball.” He said the vehicle, which had Connecticut license plates that didn’t match it, would have been “cut in half” by an explosion and people nearby could have been sprayed by shrapnel and killed.
“It wasn’t an accident,” he said. “It was somebody who brought this to the location to send a message to terrorize people in the area.”
Police also found eight bags of an unknown substance in a gun locker that was in the smoking SUV, Kelly said. The substance “looks and feels” like fertilizer, he said, but tests were pending.
Kelly said surveillance video shows the vehicle entering the area at 6:28 p.m. Saturday, and a vendor pointed the SUV out to an officer about two minutes later, at the height of dinner hour before theatergoers head to Saturday night shows. He said the license plates on the SUV belong to a car that is being repaired in Connecticut.
Duane Jackson, a 58-year-old handbag vendor from Buchanan, N.Y., said he noticed the car and wondered who had left it there.
“That was my first thought: Who sat this car here?” Jackson said Sunday.
Jackson said he looked in the car and saw keys in the ignition with 19 or 20 keys on a ring. He said he alerted a passing mounted police officer.
They were looking in the car “when the smoke started coming out and then we heard the little pop pop pop like firecrackers going out and that’s when everybody scattered and ran back,” he said.
“Now that I saw the propane tanks and the gasoline, what if that would have ignited?” Jackson said. “I’m less than 8 feet away from the car. We dodged a bullet here.”