TIMES SQUARE — Authorities have boosted the reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the bike-riding bomber who attacked an Armed Forces Recruiting Center in Times Square in 2008, the FBI and NYPD announced Tuesday.
Investigators are offering up to $65,000 for information that can help them track down the bomber who rode past Midtown office buildings, hotels and bodegas early on the morning of Thursday, March 6, and tossed an explosive device in front of the recruiting center, officials said.
Authorities also released never-before-seen video of the alleged bomber, which shows the suspect riding a blue Ross bicycle across 37th Street, up Sixth Avenue, and along 47th Street, before turning down Seventh Avenue toward the recruitment center, authorities said.
As the bomber approached the building near 43rd Street, he or she hopped off his bike, placed the bomb outside the center's front doors, lit a fuse, then fled on the bicycle, authorities said in a statement.
"Although the suspect appears to be working alone, he or she may have had a lookout or surveillance team of as many as five other individuals in Times Square at the time of the attack," officials said in a statement.
Authorities believe as many as six people were involved in the incident, which occurred about 3:40 a.m. outside the front doors of the recruitment center on Broadway near West 43rd Street. No one was injured in the explosion.
The bomb was built "using an ammunition can commonly found on the battlefields in Iraq and Afghanistan," officials said in a statement. "It was filled halfway with black powder and detonated using a time fuse."
“While published reports have repeatedly cited the early morning time of the attack and the lack of casualties, the fact is the bomber narrowly missed killing or injuring passers-by who can be seen clearly in the vicinity, moments before the blast,” said NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly said in a statement.
Police believe the suspect or suspects may be connected to two similar unsolved bicycle bombings in New York City, one at the Mexican Consulate in 2007, the other at the British Consulate in 2005. No one was injured in those attacks, which also each occurred early in the morning.
Officials urged anyone familiar with the identity or whereabouts of the suspect or suspects to contact authorities, even introducing a Twitter hashtag #BikeBomber to spread and solicit information on the attack.
“Someone, somewhere, knows something about a bomber who’s still on the run," FBI Assistant Director-in-Charge George Venizelos said in a statement. “Today we’re asking for the public’s assistance in finding those responsible and encouraging the public to look closely at these photos and video, which could be the key to breaking the case.”