Sunday, May 2, 2010

Car Bomb in New York City's Times Square: An Update

Two updates on yesterday's incident in New York City's Times Square.
"Car bomb found in New York's Times Square"
BBC (May 2, 2010, 13:07 GMT/UTC)

"New York City police have defused an improvised car bomb parked in Times Square, one of the city's busiest tourist areas.

"They say propane tanks, fireworks, petrol and a clock device were removed from a parked sports utility vehicle.

"So far, there is no evidence that it was more than a "one-off event", the US homeland security chief said.

"Forensic evidence including fingerprints had been recovered, Janet Napolitano told NBC television.

" 'We're treating it as if it could be a potential terrorist attack,' she said.

"Early on Sunday the vehicle was towed to a forensic lab in the city's Queens district and Times Square was reopened...."
I'm often - impressed? - at how local news becomes national news in America: if it happens in New York City, Los Angeles, or another 'important' big city. (Places like Chicago, Kansas City, or Dallas - not so much. But that's another topic.)

In this case, even if this had been another case of an abandoned vehicle setting off an alert, I think this international coverage might have been warranted - at least for the initial clearing of Times Square. After the 9/11 attack, anything that might be an attack in New York City is "news."

While I'm thinking of it: The Associated Press gave an ultra-brief recap of some related recent incidents:
"...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...."
Reuters has more detail on yesterday's near miss:
"Failed NY bomb a potential terrorist attack: Napolitano"
Reuters (May 2, 2010, 9:39am EDT/13:39 UTC)

"The United States views a car bomb that failed to go off in New York's Times Square as a potential terrorist attack, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said on Sunday.

"Police tipped off by a street vendor found and defused the bomb inside a sport utility vehicle in the business, shopping and entertainment area of Midtown Manhattan when it was packed with tourists and theater-goers on a warm Saturday evening.

" 'We're taking this very seriously,' Napolitano told CNN's 'State of the Union' program. 'We're treating it as if it could be a potential terrorist attack.'

"Police said no motive or suspect had been identified. Napolitano and other officials have not specified whether the suspects are Americans or foreigners.

"Authorities said the failed bomb -- made of propane, gasoline and fireworks -- could have killed many people.

" 'This wasn't make believe. This wasn't a false alarm. This was the real deal -- to hurt people,' said Fire Commissioner Sal Cassano, adding the force of the bomb could have taken down the front of a building if it had gone off.

"New York has been on high alert for an attack since the September 11 attacks in 2001 in which hijacked airliners toppled the World Trade Center's twin towers, killing thousands of people...."
The really good news in this incident is that nobody got hurt.

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Note! Although I believe that these websites and blogs are useful resources for understanding the War on Terror, I do not necessarily agree with their opinions. 1 1 Given a recent misunderstanding of the phrase "useful resources," a clarification: I do not limit my reading to resources which support my views, or even to those which appear to be accurate. Reading opinions contrary to what I believed has been very useful at times: sometimes verifying my previous assumptions, sometimes encouraging me to change them.

Even resources which, in my opinion, are simply inaccurate are sometimes useful: these can give valuable insights into why some people or groups believe what they do.

In short, It is my opinion that some of the resources in this blogroll are neither accurate, nor unbiased. I do, however, believe that they are useful in understanding the War on Terror, the many versions of Islam, terrorism, and related topics.