An alert T-shirt vendor in NYC might have prevented a major catastrophe. New York City bomb squad was called to Times Square Saturday night as an SUV was identified as suspicious. A Nissan Pathfinder that was parked in the vicinity of the intersection of 45th Street and 7th Avenue, at around 6:30 pm was noticed to have smoke coming from the back of the vehicle.
“This is a bomb. This is a car bomb. A crude device that includes gasoline, propane and is wired together,” NYPD spokesman Paul Browne said.
“There were explosive elements, including powder, gasoline, propane and some kind of electrical wires attached to a clock,” Browne said. “No motive has been identified.”
Browne said no one was in custody, but police were checking security cameras to see if they could identify a possible suspect.
Video via the Gateway Pundit of individuals at the scene being evacuated.
UPDATE I: NYC Police to check cameras in the area for possible suspects connected to the SUB bomb attempt. The SUV was left abandoned, loaded with explosives with it’s hazards light on.
Packed inside the dark green Nissan Pathfinder were three propane tanks, consumer-grade fireworks, two full five-gallon gasoline containers, two clocks, some electrical wire, and a metal gun locker.
The vehicle was abandoned with its engine on and hazard lights flashing, but police don’t yet know who was driving it.
“We’re in the process of identifying additional cameras which may have captured images of the vehicle and more important, people seen driving or leaving the vehicle,” said NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly.
UPDATE II: Comments from NYC Mayor Bloomberg regarding the attempted bomb attempt, “We are very lucky.”
Press Conference video can be seen HERE.
Mr. Bloomberg was joined by Gov., Police Commissioner and other officials at the early morning press conference to give a chronology of the vehicle’s discovery, its disarming, and the investigation that has been launched. The mayor and police commissioner had returned early from the annual White House correspondents’ dinner in Washington.
At 6:28 p.m., Mr. Kelly said, a video surveillance camera recorded what was believed to be the dark green Nissan S.U.V. driving west on 45th Street.
Moments later, a T-shirt vendor on the sidewalk saw smoke coming out of vents near the back seat of the S.U.V., which was now parked awkwardly at the curb with its engine running and its hazard lights on. The vendor called to a mounted police officer, the mayor said, who smelled gunpowder when he approached the S.U.V. and called for assistance. The police began evacuating Times Square, starting with businesses along Seventh Avenue, including a Foot Locker store and a McDonald’s.
UPDATE III: This is a rather interesting observation from the UK Telegraph via NRO. The SUV was parked near Viacom, was this a retaliation against the recent South Park cartoon which recently depicted Prophet Muhammad in a bear suit.
UPDATE V: CLUES: The vehicle’s VIN had been removed from the dashboard; however, they are located in other areas of the vehicle. Also, The Pathfinder’s license plate was taken from another truck.
The vehicle’s Vehicle Identification Number had been removed from the dashboard, but officials recovered the VIN from another location on the car, a federal law enforcement official told CNN.
With that information, they can trace the history of the SUV to some degree.
The official said investigators were looking at the vehicle and device for fingerprints and fibers that could provide clues.
The Pathfinder’s license plate was taken from another truck, Bloomberg said.
Authorities interviewed the truck owner who told them he had taken it to a junkyard.