- May 29, 2002
- Best answers
http://www.cnn.com/2008/US/03/06/times.square/index.htmlNEW YORK (CNN) -- Authorities are searching for a man on a bicycle as a possible suspect in the Thursday bombing at a military recruiting station in Times Square, investigators said.
The blast, around 3:45 a.m., caused no injuries, officials said.
A witness and an officer at a police substation just steps away from the recruiting office saw a man riding a bicycle, Police Commissioner Ray Kelly said at a news conference.
They did not see the man's face, but he was wearing a backpack, he said.
The bomb consisted of some kind of "low order explosive" contained in a military-style ammunition box, Kelly said.
"This was not a particularly sophisticated device," he said.
No one saw the device being placed, and no one has taken responsibility for the attack, Mayor Michael Bloomberg said.
"Whoever the coward was that committed this disgraceful act on our city will be found and prosecuted to the full extent of the law," Bloomberg said.
Authorities were reviewing tapes from security cameras, but the process "will take many hours," the mayor said.
The recruiting office, one of the nation's busiest, has been the site of periodic anti-war protests, The Associated Press reported.
"If it is something that's directed toward American troops, then it's something that's taken very seriously and is pretty unfortunate," Army Capt. Charlie Jaquillard, commander of Army recruiting in Manhattan, told AP.
"The fact that this appears deliberately directed at the recruiting station insults every one of our brave men and women in uniform stationed around the world fighting to defend our freedoms and the things we hold so dear," Bloomberg said.
After the incident, the Army sent an alert to the 1,650 Army recruiting stations across the country, said Douglas Smith of the U.S. Army Recruiting Command.
The blast is similar to two other incidents in New York, one in October and one in May 2005.
Both times an explosive device was detonated around 3 a.m.
In the October incident, a bomb was detonated near the Mexican consulate, shattering windows. At that time the authorities said the explosive device was similar to the ones used in a May 2005 blast at the British consulate.
In both cases, authorities were looking for a person spotted riding a bicycle in the area.
Police stopped several bicyclists for questioning Thursday morning near Times Square, but no one was detained, WABC-TV reported.
The recruiting office, whose neon lights help it blend in with the bright atmosphere of Times Square, sits on a triangular traffic island across the street from the Hard Rock Cafe.
Two witnesses, a man and a woman, told a local TV station they heard a "huge bang" from their hotel rooms, but there were no police or fire reports of serious damage or injuries.
"I was on the 44th floor and I heard it. I could feel it from up there," a woman told WABC-TV.
The office's front door and window were shattered by the explosion, and the door's metal frame was bent. A large television screen above the door was working intermittently.
Investigators from the New York police and fire departments as well as the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives sifted through the shattered glass by hand, placing small pieces of material into evidence bags.
The evidence was sent to the FBI's crime laboratory in Quantico, Virginia, Kelly said.
Police and fire squads initially cordoned off part of an area around Times Square. Later, vehicular and foot traffic resumed in the area, but the traffic island was closed to pedestrians.
Before the mayor's news conference, several people in military uniforms walked unimpeded through the scorched door. Recruiters will work from an office in Union Square until repairs are made, Pentagon spokesman Bryan Whitman told AP.
Subway service to Times Square was briefly halted but resumed in time for the morning rush hour.
"New York City is back and open for business," the mayor said. To prove his point, Bloomberg walked across the busy street after the news conference and bought a cup of coffee at a cafe. E-mail to a friend
This is about as a pathetic as an attack can get. But, the media will blow it out of proportion as much as they can.
It's sad that the media helps terrorists without realizing it, for the most part.