The word “bomb” instantly ignites a series of horrifying images in the minds of Americans, as we’re sure it does for a lot of folks outside the U.S. After September 11, 2001, bombs of all shapes and sizes came to have a completely new meaning and the appalling sights of New York will be forever etched in our minds.
Needless to say, when a car bomb was found in a Nissan Pathfinder on a warm Saturday evening while tourists and residents alike enjoyed the evening, hysteria was sure to break out. On Saturday, May 1, 2010, two street vendors came running up to a mounted police officer with news of a car that was filling with smoke while parked on a curb with its engine running and lights flashing. The area was immediately cleared and backup was called.
The Nissan Pathfinder was discovered to have gasoline, propane, firecrackers and simple alarm clocks as well as eight bags of a granular substance inside a 55-inch-tall metal gun locker. The granular substance was later discovered to be non-explosive fertilizer. Officials have taken the bomb to a forensics center in Jaimaca, Queens to pan every inch of it for DNA, hairs, fiber, or fingerprints. No such evidence has yet to be found. The vehicle’s ownership has yet to be determined after a couple of leads turned out to be dead ends.
Hit the jump for the full story.
“The detonation device, it was believed that the timers would ignite the can of explosives, and that would cause the five-gallon cans to go on fire and then explode the propane tanks and have some effect on that rifle box,” Raymond W. Kelly, the New York City police commissioner said.
Had it exploded, said Paul J. Browne, the Police Department’s chief spokesman, “It would have been, in all likelihood, a good possibility of people being killed, windows shattered, but not resulting in a building collapse.”
A “person of interest” has surfaced as a white man who was caught by a surveillance camera leaving the scene on West 45th Street. This man was seen removing a layer of clothing, stuffing it in a bag, and glancing over his shoulder a couple of times. Police are now looking to identify this man in order to bring him in for questioning. They hope that if this man was not involved in the failed car bombing that he would at least witnessed something that could help detectives find the person responsible.
Mr. Kelly stated that if this bomb would have detonated it “would have caused casualties, a significant fireball.” Later he was asked whether he believed this was an attack by terrorists and he replied, “A terrorist act doesn’t necessarily have to be conducted by an organization. An individual can do it on their own.”