The New York Times ı The bombing in New York City does not appear to be tied to international terrorism, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said ||| The Washington Post ı NY blast: ‘no early evidence’ of terror link – Mayor

Manhattan Blast That Injured 29 Does Not Appear to Be International Terrorism

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo said that a powerful explosion that rocked the Chelsea neighborhood in Manhattan on Saturday night, injuring 29 people, did not appear to be linked to international terrorism, but that it was a powerful bomb designed to kill.

“This is one of the nightmare scenarios,” he said at a news conference on Sunday. “We really were very lucky that there were no fatalities.”

He said all of those injured had been treated and released from the hospital.

A few hours after the explosion, the authorities found and removed what they described as a second explosive device four blocks away, raising the possibility that two bombs had been planted in the heart of the city. Mr. Cuomo said the devices appeared to be similar in design.

Mr. Cuomo said the blast was so strong that it caused extensive property damage on both sides of the street, shattering windows up and down the block and sending shrapnel and debris flying.

The police were reviewing surveillance video and continued to scour the area for clues while trying to understand the choice of location for the bomb: Pointedly not Times Square, a commuter hub, train or landmark that have been spectacular targets of terrorism in the past.

The nondescript area — a sidewalk near some Dumpsters in Chelsea, a residential area — held its own significance.

“You’ve got to go somewhere,” said a law enforcement offcial who agreed to speak about the continuing investigation only on the condition of anonymity. “So the question is: Is the location significant, in terms of motive? And we don’t know that 23rd street has any particular significance.”

Mr. Cuomo said that while “there is no evidence of an international terrorism connection with this incident,” it was still early in the investigation.

“Whoever placed these bombs,” he said, “we will find them and they will be brought to justice.”

Mr. Cuomo said that while no terrorist group had claimed credit for the attack, placing a bomb on a bustling city street was by its very nature a terrorist act.

Shortly after making his remarks, Mr. Cuomo toured the neighborhood with Mayor Bill de Blasio, seeking to ease the concerns of residents who remained on edge.

Mr. de Blasio, speaking on Saturday night, called the explosion — which occurred about 8:30 p.m. on West 23rd Street — “an intentional act” but said there was no connection to terrorism and no immediate claim of responsibility.

Police officers swarmed Chelsea’s streets after the blast, which reverberated across a city scarred by terrorism and vigilant about threats, just days after the 15th anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks.

As the authorities sought to identify what had caused the explosion, they described the second device as a pressure cooker resembling the one used in the deadly Boston Marathon bombings in 2013, according to a police official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss a continuing investigation.

Mr. Cuomo said there did not appear to be an ongoing threat to the city but in an abundance of caution he was ordering an additional 1,000 State Police and National Guard to be dispatched to major commuter hubs.

The explosion took place on a mild Saturday evening, drawing residents and tourists alike to the streets and the bars and restaurants in the neighborhood.

Luke McConnell, who was visiting from Colorado, was headed toward a restaurant on West 27th Street when the blast occurred. “I felt it, like a concussive wave, heading towards me.”

“Then there was a cloud of white smoke that came from the left side of 23rd Street near Sixth,” he said. “There was no fire, just smoke.”

Witnesses said they could feel the explosion from several blocks away. Daniel Yount, 34, said he was standing on the roof of a building at 25th Street and the Avenue of the Americas with friends.

“We felt the shock waves go through our bodies,” he said.

It was a startling scene, full of dark possibilities, for a city that endured the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, but has so far been spared the kind of mayhem that has terrorized city after city around the world in the 15 years since.

The closest New York has come to an attack was in 2010, when the police found a crude car bomb of propane, gasoline and fireworks inside a sport utility vehicle in Times Square. Although the device had apparently started to detonate, there was no explosion.

Many of the injuries were caused by shrapnel from the explosion, which witnesses said seemed to have started inside a sidewalk Dumpster near the Avenue of the Americas. Images of a twisted Dumpster in the middle of West 23rd Street quickly proliferated on Twitter.

The impact shattered windows, damaged cars and sent crowds running from the scene at an hour when Chelsea, always a popular destination, was filled with residents and tourists.

“It was the biggest blast I ever would imagine, lights flashing, glass shattering,” said a woman who was injured in the explosion.

The force of the explosion, she said, flung her into the air.

“It happened so fast I was thrown up and landed down, I didn’t know where it had come from,” said the woman, who would give only her first name, Helena, as she hobbled out of Bellevue Hospital Center about 4 a.m. after she was treated for injuries to her eye and legs. “I realized there was blood streaming down my face, and I couldn’t see out of my eye.”

Images shared on social media and confirmed as authentic by a senior police official showed a silver-colored piece of cookware with wires and a cellphone attached.

The official said the Police Department’s bomb squad was taking the device to a department facility in the Bronx, where robots would inspect it.

Around 2:25 a.m., a Police Department truck towing a spherical chamber, which contained the device, headed east on West 27th Street and turned up the Avenue of the Americas. Several police officers who had spent the evening on alert were visibly relieved, as one by one they let the few residents who had been waiting all night beside the caution tape return home.

The sidewalk where the explosion occurred is in front of a nondescript building wedged between a church and an apartment building.

Video captured before the explosion shows a man crossing “the street in the direction of where the device was found,” the same official said. But no video had yet been obtained clearly showing anyone placing the device in the spot where it detonated.

“We don’t understand the target or the significance of it,” the police official said. “It’s by a pile of Dumpsters on a random sidewalk.”

The law enforcement official said on Sunday morning that explosives investigators at the New York Police Department range were still analyzing the pressure cooker device.

“They are going to take their time,” the official said. “It’s safety first and preservation of evidence first, so they have not looked into it yet.”

They will try to peel apart the device to see what it is made of, what its components are: If it has signature properties that can link it to the kind of device used by terrorists in the past.

“Depending on what that shows, we’re going to be able to say if that is an active bomb or if that is a hoax device,” the official said. “That’s going to be the key here.”

Officials said the New York explosion was not connected to a blast that happened 11 hours before when an improvised device exploded in a garbage can near the course of a charity race that was about to start in a small town on the Jersey Shore. That device went off around 9:30 a.m. near the boardwalk in Seaside Park, N.J., according to the Ocean County sheriff, Michael G. Mastronardy.

There were no injuries. The race, the Seaside Semper Five, a five-kilometer run and charity event along the waterfront that raises money for members of the United States Marine Corps and their families, was canceled.

Officials said it did not appear that the New York and New Jersey incidents were related.

Chelsea Explosion: What We Know and Don’t Know

A powerful explosion went off on West 23rd Street in Manhattan around 8:30 p.m. on Saturday, injuring 29 people, shattering windows and prompting widespread street closures.

By Sunday morning, all of those injured were released from the hospital, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo of New York said in a news conference. Officials said the explosion was intentional but the governor said that it did not appear linked to international terrorism.

Here is the latest:

Where was the explosion?

The police commissioner, James P. O’Neill, said it happened in front of 131 West 23rd Street around 8:30 p.m. Witnesses said the explosion seemed to have come from a Dumpster on a sidewalk.

Officials said they believed the explosion had been caused by a homemade bomb.

Where was the second device found?

Second device found here. Seventh Ave. West 27th St.

Explosion in this area Sixth Ave. West 23rd St.

It was found on West 27th Street between the Avenue of Americas and Seventh Avenue almost three hours after the explosion. The authorities described it as a pressure-cooker device like the one used in the Boston Marathon bombings in 2013.

A photograph of the device that was shared on social media showed a silver piece of cookware with wires and a cellphone attached. The police confirmed the photo was authentic.

What happened to that device?

 A Police Department truck, which was towing the second explosive device in a spherical chamber, drove away with it around 2:25 a.m. Sunday. CreditSandra Garcia/The New York Times

The Police Department bomb squad removed the device around 2:25 a.m. to the department’s firing range at Rodman’s Neck in the Bronx. On Sunday, the governor said that some evidence would be sent to a lab in Quantico, Virginia for analysis.

What was the nature of the injuries?

Many of the injuries were caused by shrapnel from the explosion. One person was seriously hurt, officials said. By Sunday morning, all 29 of those injured had been released from the hospital, according to Mr. Cuomo.

Was this an act of terrorism?

Mayor: ‘Injuries Are Significant’

Mayor Bill de Blasio said Saturday night that there was no specific and credible threat to New York City from any terror organization.

 

 

On Sunday, the governor said that there was no evidence of an international terrorist connection to the incident and said that no groups had claimed credit. Still, Mr. Cuomo cautioned that it was early in the investigation and said that whether it was an act of terrorism depended on how the word was defined: “A bomb exploding in New York is obviously an act of terrorism,” he said.

Are there any suspects?

The police commissioner said at the news conference that there was no suspect. “We are still in the process of trying to figure that out,” he said.

Mr. O’Neill said the authorities had collected video of the explosion but asked the public for any footage it might have, as well as eyewitness accounts and tips.

What streets were closed after the explosion?

The Police Department issued an advisory around 1 a.m. on Sunday that 14th Street to 32nd Street was closed eastbound and westbound to vehicular traffic between Fifth and Eighth Avenues.

Was there a connection to an explosion in New Jersey?

Officials said the New York explosion was not tied to a blast that happened 11 hours before when an improvised device exploded in a garbage can near the course of a charity race that was about to start in Seaside Park, N.J.

That device went off around 9:30 a.m. There were no injuries. “We don’t believe at this time that there’s any evidence connecting this to the attacks in New York,” Governor Chris Christie of New Jersey told CNN on Sunday.

What we don’t know

• Who was responsible for the explosion.

• A motive behind the explosion.

• What was inside the pressure cooker.

• Why the site of the explosion was selected.

=ROJOenAZUL
September 18 at 9:20 AM

Authorities in New York are investigating a second location blocks away from where a blast Saturday night left at least 29 people hurtReuters 2

NEW YORK — Dozens of people were injured Saturday night in the Chelsea neighborhood of Manhattan in an explosion that New York Mayor Bill de Blasio called “an intentional act.”

At least 29 people suffered non-life-threatening injuries in the blast, which occurred on the street, according to the New York Police Department. One person was seriously injured, said Daniel A. Nigro, the New York fire commissioner.

Not long after the blast, police said they had found another possible explosive device just blocks away. This device appeared to be similar to a pressure cooker and had wiring on it, according to a law enforcement official who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss the ongoing investigation. Pressure cookers were used in the two bombs detonated at the Boston Marathon in 2013.

The bomb squad safety removed the second device, New York police tweeted early Sunday.

Police officers, firefighters and other first responders had rushed to the scene of the blast, which closed a major roadway and forced people out of nearby buildings.

De Blasio (D) said Saturday night that in the initial aftermath of the explosion, authorities had found “no evidence at this point of a terror connection to this incident.”

In his briefing, De Blasio said the explosion was intentional and not an accident, but he noted that few details were available because the investigation was in its early stages.

“The exact nature and cause of this explosion has not yet been determined,” Police Commissioner James O’Neill, marking his first day in the position, said at the news conference late Saturday. O’Neill did say that natural gas had been ruled out as a possible cause.

The New York Police Department’s counterterrorism bureau said it was responding to the explosion, which occurred hours after a pipe bomb exploded in a Jersey Shore garbage can shortly before a scheduled charity race there benefiting Marines and Navy sailors. Officials with the FBI and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives also said they were heading to the explosion scene.

De Blasio said authorities had not found anything connecting the Chelsea and New Jersey incidents. He also said that there was no specific, credible threat against New York from any terrorist group.

While O’Neill said authorities were still trying to determine what, precisely, exploded, the NYPD counterterrorism bureau posted a photo online earlier Saturday showing what appeared to be a dumpster or garbage container mangled by a blast:

View image on Twitter Police in New York also reported shortly after 11 p.m. that they had found the “possible secondary device” a few blocks away from the Chelsea explosion scene. Police directed people away from that intersection, and one officer could be heard telling pedestrians that “there is a possible explosive” in the area.

Not long after midnight, police said in a statement that they were asking people in the area of this potential explosive to move away from their windows “until we clear the suspicious package,” although officers did not fully evacuate the area.

According to the Associated Press, the second device was removed with a robot and taken to the department firing range in the Bronx.

Reports of another suspicious package at 28th Street and Fifth Avenue turned out to be a false alarm — the package was only garbage, J. Peter Donald, a police spokesman, posted on Twitter around 12:30 a.m. Sunday.

The explosion in the area of 23rd Street between Sixth and Seventh avenues occurred about 8:30 p.m. police said. Several of those injured were brought to area hospitals, Donald posted on Twitter.

Eleven patients were taken to Bellevue Hospital with non-life-threatening injuries. By 5:20 a.m. Sunday, all of those patients had been treated and released, the hospital said in a statement on Twitter.

Photos and accounts posted on social media Saturday night showed large crowds — as well as a large law enforcement presence — in the area near where the explosion occurred.

Soleil Filomena, 64, was leaving a convenience store at Seventh Avenue and 23rd Street when she heard the explosion.

“It was so loud it just went through my whole body,” she said. “People started running up 23rd Street, and I started running with them.”

Filomena said she saw a “big black cloud in the sky.” After the explosion, she said her “ear was ringing for 15 minutes.”

“We didn’t know what it was and so, at first, we just kept eating,” said Salomon, 52, who was visiting his son in the city. “But then we realized something was wrong.”

View image on Twitter

“I didn’t know what was going on, but everyone looked so panicked. I started running. too,” said Schulman, 26, who has lived in the neighborhood since 2014.

Two blocks from the blast scene, a group of people emerged from a screening of the animated movie “Beauty and the Beast” and saw the flashing lights. One man who came out of the theater said he could not hear anything and had no idea about the explosion not far from where he was sitting.

View image on Twitter

Speaking in Colorado not long after the explosion, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump quickly commented on the situation before much information was known.

“I must tell you that just before I got off the plane, a bomb went off in New York and nobody knows exactly what’s going on,” said Trump shortly after getting off of his plane. His comments were made before authorities confirmed the nature of the explosion.

Clinton: ‘Important to know the facts’ of NYC blast

Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton said it was “wiser to wait” for information on the blast in New York City September 17, before reaching any conclusions about the situation. (Reuters)

Late Saturday, Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton said it was important to “know the facts” before drawing conclusions about such incidents.

Early Sunday, posts on social media from people in New York showed the area of the explosion to be relatively calm and quiet. Authorities had closed large swaths of roads in the area Saturday night. By 8 a.m. Sunday, only West 23rd Street was closed between Sixth and Seventh avenues, according to the city transportation department.

Just before 9 a.m. Sunday, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo posted several pictures on Twitter of police and the FBI briefing him on the incident at the scene.

View image on TwitterView image on TwitterView image on Twitter The explosion in New York comes as foreign leaders, including many heads of state, are heading to Manhattan for the United Nations General Assembly. Secretary of State John F. Kerry arrived Saturday, while Obama is scheduled to head to the city on Monday.

This annual meeting — held more than two miles from the site of the explosion in Chelsea — is traditionally a challenging time for New York, as many roads are shut down and the heavy security leads to traffic jams.

Authorities urged any witnesses with tips, video or other credible information about the explosion to call 1-800-577-TIPS.

Berman and Wang reported from Washington. Karen DeYoung in Washington contributed to this report.