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Governor: No apparent link between NYC blast, overseas terror

  • ASSOCIATED PRESS

    Heavily armed police guard the area as they search for an explosive device on West 27th Street and 7th Avenue in Manhattan’s Chelsea neighborhood.

NEW YORK » Gov. Andrew Cuomo said today a blast that injured 29 people in Manhattan was caused by some kind of bomb, but the attack didn’t appear to be linked to international terrorism.

Cuomo, speaking near the scene of the Saturday night blast, told reporters a second device found blocks away from the first explosion appeared “similar in design” to the first, though investigators are still testing its remnants after it was removed by a bomb squad robot and blown up at a police facility in the Bronx.

The bombing rocked the city’s Chelsea neighborhood, a mostly residential part of Manhattan’s west side known for its art galleries and large gay population. Witnesses described hearing a deafening blast, and surveillance video footage captured images of nearby windows being blown out by the explosion as people sprinted away from the scene.

“We will find whoever planted these explosives and they will be punished,” said Cuomo, a Democrat. He said all 29 people who were injured have been treated and released from a hospital.

Members of the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force are investigating the blast along with New York Police Department detectives, fire marshals and other federal investigators. As a precaution, Cuomo said he was deploying an additional 1,000 state troopers and members of the National Guard throughout New York City.

The first device, which exploded on West 23rd Street at about 8:30 p.m., appeared to have been caused by an improvised explosive device placed inside a toolbox in front of a building undergoing construction, according to a law enforcement official who spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the official wasn’t authorized to discuss an ongoing investigation.

The second device, found later inside a plastic bag on West 27th Street, appeared to be a pressure cooker with wiring and a cellphone attached to it, the official said. A spokesman for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives in New York said investigators are examining the remnants of the device to determine how it was comprised, including whether it was real or fake.

Investigators were also probing whether the Manhattan blast was in any way related to a pipe bomb explosion in Seaside Park, New Jersey, before a charity 5K race to benefit Marines and sailors earlier Saturday. The race was canceled and no one was injured.

Mayor Bill de Blasio, speaking at the scene of the explosion Saturday night, said that there didn’t appear to be a connection between the two incidents. He called the explosion an “intentional act” but said there was no known “specific and credible threat against New York City.”

“Now, I want to be clear: Whatever the cause, whatever the intention here, New Yorkers will not be intimidated,” he said.

Chris Gonzalez, visiting from Dallas, was having dinner with friends at a restaurant in the area.

“We felt it. We heard it,” Gonzalez said. “It wasn’t like jolting or anything. Everyone just went quiet.”

Rudy Alcide, a bouncer at Vanity Nightclub at 21st Street and 6th Avenue, said he, at first, thought something large had fallen.

“It was an extremely loud noise. Everything was shaking, the windows were shaking,” he said. “It was extremely loud, almost like thunder but louder.”

Associated Press writers Karen Matthews, Ezra Kaplan and Maria Sanminiatelli in New York and Eric Tucker and Kevin Freking in Washington contributed to this report.

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        • Good catch – now we can place this Klastri character in the same bucket as the female impersonator, Allie.

        • The commenter wrote that Mr. DiBlasio was “so sure” about no terror connection. That was not true, since his statement went on to explain that the investigation had just started.

          It might help to have a literate friend read the complete statement to you.

          The ignorance here, for adults, is really shocking.

      • Gov. Andrew Cuomo said “attack didn’t appear to be linked to international terrorism.” By what criteria did he make that judgment? As you said, the investigation is just starting.

        • Just because he doesn’t reveal all of the data related to an ongoing investigation to you, that doesn’t mean his statements aren’t true.

        • advertiser1,
          you know what, most of the general public have no trust of it’s public elected officials. The Mayor definitely holding back info not wanting to link this incident to overseas terrorists. He’s for Democrats and Hillary so how could I believe him?

        • Pocho, I think what you say is probably true, that most of the public does not trust elected officials. But, don’t you think that goes for officials of both parties? What if this happened in Texas or Florida, do you think the result would be any different?

  • Mayor Bill de Blasio called the blast an “intentional act,” but said there was no terrorist connection.

    Wanna take bets on weather it was done by a Muslim or a Nun? Just saying…if the shoe looks like it fits maybe it does.

    • How can it be an “intentional act” and the an terrorist bomb? Terrorists intend to create chaos and kill people? This mayor has been a dud from a dud from the fit go. Darling of the Liberals and the voters fell for it. Pressure cooker bombs are terrorist trademark as demonstrated in the Boston Marathon tragedy. Yet this mayor is denying the facts. New York City voters must pay heed and not re-elect his nin-com-poop!

  • “no terrorist connection”
    Really? Well, it wasn’t an act of love and caring. Regardless of a person’s ideology, planting a bomb is an act of terrorism.

  • Interesting that a pressure cooker was used in recovered incident. Boston bombers used pressure cooker. Receipts to build this type of device was posted on jihadi magazine ” Inspire” a few years ago. Most bombers in America use pipe bombs. What will be interesting will be type if explosive used, type of firing system, and if any bio-evidence recovered.

  • Who would believe anything Cuomo and DeBlasio say? They downplay Islamic extremism, under orders from Obama, to the point of absolute denial. It’s more of the “workplace violence” charade…it’s not Islamic terrorism unless the perp has written orders from ISIS that have been notarized.

      • Yes, and Hillary Clinton has said she will increase the numbers, the bulk of them are sunni muslim males.
        Remember, Hillary stated at a CFR meeting, “we are not at war with Islam, why, Muslims are wonderful, peace loving, and tolerant people.”
        I have never seen a more INtolerant bunch.

        • How many muslims do you know? Do you really think that most are extremists? Most are like us, ultimately powerless victims and citizens of the governments and systems we live under. Most are refugees of conflicts we have a hand in both starting and perpetuating.

        • advert, they are not like us, they are extremists. To say radical islam is to infer there is a moderate islam. There isn’t. Islam is Islam. To be a secular muslim is apostasy, and apostates are marked for death. Two of the three guys who did the Charlie Hebdo wipe out were brothers, whose parents were Algerian immigrants.
          They were well educated, spoke French, and for all purposes were French until they turned. I don’t trust them.

        • Advertiser – most of us don’t know any Muslims since there’s not alot of them here in Hawaii. They make up only 7% of the total US population but represent almost all of the terrorist acts committed in the US in the last decade. I think that’s reason enough to halt all Muslim immigration to the US until we can figure out a solution to this problem. Common sense really but not politically correct.

  • I.guess he’s the Mayor, so he can make these statements. Maybe they have other evidence. In any case smart move not to close the books on this investigation or to comment any further until it’s done. A bomb is terrorism. Now it’s a matter of culprits and intent.

    • you know what. Like Hillary said when she was Sec. of the US on the matter of the Benghazi Embassy attack. LIke Benghazi this event was just due to a video and wasn’t planned. What difference does it make

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