UPDATED: Bomb Scare in New York’s Times Square

I missed this last night; because I went to bed early. Which I have been doing for a good long while now.

Video of reaction on the Street: (H/T Gateway Pundit)

The New York Times Reports:

A crude car bomb of propane, gasoline and fireworks was discovered in a smoking Nissan Pathfinder in the heart of Times Square on Saturday evening, prompting the evacuation of thousands of tourists and theatergoers on a warm and busy night. Although the device had apparently started to detonate, there was no explosion, and early on Sunday the authorities were still seeking a suspect and motive.

“We are very lucky,” Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg said at a 2:15 a.m. press conference. “We avoided what could have been a very deadly event.”

A large swath of Midtown — from 43rd Street to 48th Street, and from Sixth to Eighth Avenues — was closed for much of the evening after the Pathfinder was discovered just off Broadway on 45th Street. Several theaters and stores, as well as the South Tower of the New York Marriott Marquis Hotel, were evacuated.

Mr. Bloomberg was joined by Gov. David A. Paterson, Police Commissioner Raymond W. Kelly 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.

Police officers from the emergency service unit and firefighters flooded the area and were troubled by the hazard lights and running engine, and by the fact that the S.U.V. was oddly angled in the street. At this point, a firefighter from Ladder 4 reported hearing several “pops” from within the vehicle. The police also learned that the Pathfinder had the wrong license plates on it.

Members of the Police Department’s bomb squad donned protective gear, broke the Pathfinder’s back windows and sent in a “robotic device” to “observe” it, said Deputy Commissioner Paul J. Browne, the police department’s chief spokesman.

Inside, they discovered three canisters of propane like those used for barbecue grills, two five-gallon cans of gasoline, consumer-grade fireworks — the apparent source of the “pops” — and two clocks with batteries, the mayor said. He said the device “looked amateurish.”

Mr. Browne said: “It appeared it was in the process of detonating, but it malfunctioned.”

Bomb squad officers also discovered a two-by-two-by-four-foot metal box — described as a “gun locker” — in the S.U.V. that was taken to the Police Department’s firing range at Rodman’s Neck in the Bronx to be destroyed, Mr. Kelly said. It was not immediately known what, if anything, was inside it.

Officials said they had no reports of anyone seen running from the vehicle. Mr. Kelly said police were scouring the area for any additional videotapes but noted that the S.U.V.’s windows were tinted, which could further hamper any efforts to identify those inside. Some of the surveillance cameras nearby were located in closed businesses, and the mayor made clear it would take time to review all available tapes.

Obviously, I am glad that this idiot or these idiots were not successful. Hopefully, the FBI nabs these guys. As you can imagine; The right is hollering “Jihad!” and the left, of course, is playing it down. Personally, I am not going to do either. Because obviously someone intended to cause some pain here. As to whom it was, I am sure the FBI either knows by now or is close to finding out.

What I now look for, is for the media, especially Fox News and the rest of the Conservative talkers to politicize the crap out of this. Which I think is sad; for all we know these idiots could have been just some people trying to scare people. I think everyone should just wait until the investigation is complete; then have at it. But they will not; which is sad.

Update: Bloomburg is on it, as usual:

Good catch by AllahPundit, NYC Police and FBI are checking a possible South Park link. Bomb was set off near Viacom’s offices, which owns that Cartoon:

The device, which failed to detonate, was left near the offices of Viacom, which owns the irreverent cartoon series.

Last month postings on an Islamic website warned the creators of South Park – Matt Stone and Trey Parker – that they could face violent reprisals after an episode of the show featured Muhammad in a bear suit.

A posting on the website of a US-based group called Revolution Muslim warned Stone and Parker that they would “probably wind up like Theo Van Gogh”, the Dutch film-maker who was murdered in 2004 by a Muslim angered by his film about Muslim women.

Images of the Prophet are strictly forbidden in Islam, and Comedy Central, which broadcasts South Park, has banned Stone and Parker from depicting Muhammad in the past. In 2006 the network stopped them from featuring Muhammad in an episode which followed worldwide protests over a caricature of the Prophet by a Danish cartoonist.

Detectives are also understood to be investigating striking similarities between the New York bomb and two car bombs planted by Islamic terrorists outside the Tiger Tiger nightclub in London in 2007.

In both cases, the devices comprised cylinders of propane gas and cans full of petrol intended to be ignited by electronic detonators.

David Paterson, the Governor of New York, described the Times Square incident as an “act of terrorism.”

Wouldn’t it be nice, if they tied that to the guys at Revolution Muslim and put those idiots in jail?

Update #2: Video of the SUV:

AllahPundit Says:

“a Brazilian tourist was right there with camera rolling as the “firecrackers” in the back of the SUV went off. My understanding of the incident until now was that only the local street vendors noticed something amiss and that the cops moved people in the area way back before anything happened in the vehicle. Not so. As you’ll see, there were still crowds around and the firecrackers themselves were heavy duty enough to cause a serious boom. Listen to the guy off-camera shouting about the Taliban 30 seconds in; bystanders clearly knew what the risk was here. If you’re a New Yorker, especially a New Yorker who was in the city on 9/11, this is tough to watch.”

…and Obama says this is nothing to get excited about. :mad:

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