That’s kind of the message I’m getting concerning the attempt Saturday to detonate a VBIED near Times Square in NYC.
Now, I’ve watched the video of the alleged suspect. I’m having a tough time with a description of “furtive” to describe his activities. Yes, he pulled a sweatshirt off and went with the T-shirt below, but he didn’t seem hurried, or “furtive”. He could have been hot though.
And I don’t get this:
Mayor Bloomberg said the planned mayhem did not appear to be the work of al Qaeda or any other large terror network.
Really? Why’s that? Because the alleged perpetrator was a balding white guy? The mayor really ought to consider the term “outsourcing” and its implications.
The bomb certainly was crude. Bags of fertilizer, propane tanks, fireworks and gasoline. I know enough about fertilizer bombs to know that leaving it in the bag isn’t the way to make a bomb. However, had the propane gone off, it would have definitely had the potential to create a mass casualty situation.
Add to that the Taliban leader’s claim – in a video made before the attempt on Times Square – that he was responsible (that is to say he “commissioned” the job) and it is hard for me, at this early date to rule out “al Qaeda or any other large terror network”.
But authorities sure do seem intent on trying to do exactly that. Unless they know alot more than they’re saying, it isn’t clear to me at all that you can rule anyone or any organization out.
In fact, even more evidence turned up today suggesting that the Taliban are, in fact, involved in targeting US cities:
Two tapes were sent today to The Long War Journal by a group identifying itself as Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan, or the Movement of the Taliban in Pakistan. The same group sent a link earlier today to The Long War Journal to a YouTube video of Qari Hussain Mehsud claiming that the Taliban carried out the failed May 1 car bomb attack in New York City’s Times Square.
The two Hakeemullah tapes consist of a videotape of Hakeemullah flanked by two masked fighters, and an audiotape with images of Hakeemullah superimposed over a map of the US with explosions in the background. In both tapes, Hakeemullah claimed that the Taliban have infiltrated the US and that their operatives would launch attacks in American cities.
The videotape was produced on April 4, while the audiotape was produced on April 19, according to Hakeemullah.
While I think it is entirely possible that the man seen leaving the SUV on Saturday is indeed a “middle aged, balding white man”, I also think it is entirely possible that the Taliban claims of responsibility are real.
If so, watch for other attempts in other cities soon. As for the ostriches out there – pretend this isn’t a larger plot by international terrorist organizations at your own peril. Such thinking can blow up in your face fairly quickly – no pun intended.
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In this podcast, Bruce, Michael, and Dale discuss the economy, Charlie Crist, and the Times Square bombing attempt. Billy Hollis checks in, too.
The direct link to the podcast can be found here.
The intro and outro music is Vena Cava by 50 Foot Wave, and is available for free download here.
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It appears it was a Taliban of Pakistan attempt:
A top Pakistani Taliban commander took credit for yesterday’s failed car bomb attack in New York City.
Qari Hussain Mehsud, the top bomb maker for the Movement of the Taliban in Pakistan, said he takes “fully responsibility for the recent attack in the USA.” Qari Hussain made the claim on an audiotape accompanied by images that was released on a YouTube website that calls itself the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan News Channel.
The tape has yet to be verified, but US intelligence officials contacted by The Long War Journal believe it is legitimate. The Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan News Channel on YouTube was created on April 30. Officials believe it was created to announce the Times Square attack, and Qari Hussain’s statement was pre-recorded.
All indications are the tape is legitimate. YouTube has pulled the video and shut down the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan News Channel since this article was published.
The details are still a bit sketchy, but NYPD has evacuated Times Square after discovering a car bomb.
Police said a Nissan Pathfinder at West 45th Street and Seventh Avenue was loaded with a bomb made of electrical components, three propane gas tanks and two additional gas canisters. They received the call about the suspicious vehicle around 6:30 p.m. and blocked the area from West 43rd to 47th streets along Broadway and Seventh Avenue with metal railings. Parts of 48th Street were also closed.
A press conference from NYPD is scheduled momentarily.
UPDATE (22:24 PST): Apparently, the bomb had been activated. The vehicle was smoking, and an NYPD mounted officer kicked off the evacuation. No injuries, and NYPD cleared Times Square in record time. I suspect NYPD will have some questions for the vehicle’s owners, but it seems the license plate on the vehicle didn’t match the one originally issued.
According to MSNBC, cameras captured the car being parked at approx. 6:30PM ET and smoke coming out a few minutes later.
UPDATE (23:19 EST): Press Conference:
An T-Shirt vendor, who is a Viet Vet, called the cops. Cops arrived, saw smoke, and evacuated the area, then called the bomb squad.
Bomb materials and such were found in the car.
It seems like the materials, though, are evidence of an amateur job. Gas cans, propane tanks, consumer fireworks, etc. In other words, it wasn’t stuffed to the gills with nitrates.
Mayor Bloomberg says the set-up was “amateurish”. So, it seems like more of a whack-job doing something nutty, than some sort of al-Qaeda deal.
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