Times Square Bomb Suspect Seen on Video, Mayor Dines with Hero Cop
By Kiratiana Freelon on May 2, 2010 9:23pm |
By Leela de Kretser
DNAinfo Managing Editor
MANHATTAN — Police and federal investigators were reviewing a video Sunday that they said shows a white man in his 40s leaving the scene of the attempted Times Square bombing and furtively looking over his shoulder as he takes off his shirt.
Investigators were on their way to Pennsylvania to talk to a man who may have recorded the possible suspect in an Shubert Alley, about half a block from the the W. 45th Street and Broadway location where a Nissan Pathfinder packed with a makeshift bomb was parked Saturday night.
The video, on which the man is seen taking off a black shirt and stuffing it into a bag, was just one in hundreds of hours of video, much of it surveillance footage, that investigators were searching on Sunday, police said.
NYPD Commissioner Raymond Kelly said investigators had also recovered eight bags of an unknown substance — that had the "look and feel" of fertilizer — inside a gun locker also found in the SUV.
Combined with the three propane tanks, two five-gallon containers of gasoline, firecrackers and a makeshift timer that were also found in the SUV, Kelly said that the Pathfinder could have caused serious damage in the busy tourist destination.
“We were lucky it didn’t detonate,” Kelly said at a press conference Sunday. “In my judgment, it would have caused casualties, a significant fireball. I’m told the vehicle itself would have been cut in half.”
Kelly said there was no evidence of a link to the Taliban, despite a video released to an Islamist website on Sunday in which a group known as the Pakistani Taliban claimed responsibility.
Mayor Michael Bloomberg reiterated that there was no evidence that the failed bombing was the work of a terrorist organization, such as al-Qaeda.
Bloomberg made the statement Sunday night before having dinner with mounted police officer Wayne Rhatigan, whose quick actions are believed to have help avert a major catastrophe, at Blue Fin in Times Square.
Rhatigan, mounted on his horse Migs, helped move hundreds of people away from the Pathfinder about 6:30 p.m. Saturday after he was alerted that smoke was coming out of the car by t-shirt vendor Lance Orton, according to the New York Times.
Separately, the AP credited Duane Jackson, a Vietnam veteran, for alerting the police, while Aliou Niasse, a Senegalese vendor, was being lauded by the Times of London.
The Daily News reported that after his heroic actions Saturday night, Rhatigan, who has 19 years on the force, spent Sunday morning watching his daughter's lacrosse game.