The NYPD continues to investigate the failed car bomb found in Times Square on Saturday evening. They have released surveillance video of a “person of interest,” a white man in his 40s seen near the bomb scene, removing his shirt.
Police Commissioner Ray Kelly has said that the bomb would have caused casualties — “a significant fireball” — had it detonated. Authorities are treating the incident as a potential terrorist attack but said “there was no evidence of a continued threat to the city.”
Bloomberg said that “so far, there is no evidence that any of this has anything to do with one of the recognized terrorist organizations,” and had dinner in Times Square last night to prove it.
The Daily News has a timeline of the incident.
A car bomb in New York is something that the city has been “eerily” free from in the last decade, points out the New York Times. Prior to Saturday’s incident, the NYPD had already been planning a high-tech security network for midtown that would involve surveillance cameras, license plate readers, and chemical sensors that could record and track every vehicle moving between 34th and 59th Streets, river to river. (There’s a similar network under development in Lower Manhattan.)
However, “because neither the S.U.V. used in the attempt nor the license plate on it had been reported stolen, it would not have raised any immediate red flags.”
The New York Times also reports,
The S.U.V. was parked near the headquarters of Viacom, fueling suspicions that the attack was related to a controversy surrounding South Park, the Comedy Central cartoon program that recently censored an episode that portrayed the Prophet Muhammad. Viacom owns Comedy Central, and police have not ruled out the connection.