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27/04/2009

Blue Ross bicycle in a trash in Times Square

 

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The police think the 10-speed bicycle, left near the trash on Thursday morning, belongs to the person who bombed the army recruiting center in Times Square. The bike, left on East 38th Street, was found by some workers who heard about the bombing and contacted the police, who learned of the bike at 7 a.m. (the bombing occurred around 3:45 a.m.).

 

 

Surveillance footage shows the suspected bomber on a bicycle near the recruiting center at the time of the bombing and later near where the bicycle was dumped. More footage shows "the bomber walking with another person, although it is unclear if he or she was involved."

Police believe the suspect planned out the attack and his escape route; one source told the Post the suspect "seems to be toying with everyone." The Ross bicycle, in "fairly good" condition, has been traced to the shop where it was sold. The business is currently closed, so the police are trying to find the owner.

The police are also determining whether the bombing is linked to five other bombings in the past 11 years. Besides the 2005 British Consulate and October 2007 Mexican Consulate bombings, where a bicyclist threw a bomb in the 3-4 a.m. time period (and these bombs used black powder, like Thursday's bomb), there's also a 2000 bombing outside the Barclays Bank on Wall Street (an ammunition box - like the Times Square bomb - was used), a 1997 bomb outside 222 Broadway - across from City Hall - used "coffee cans packed with black powder" and another 1997 bombing using a coffee can outside of Planet Hollywood, when it was located on West 57th Street.

As for the letters sent to members of Congress, featuring a photograph of a man outside the Times Square Army recruiting center and a 30-page manifesto, the FBI does not believe the letter writer - and man in the photo - lawyer David Karnes is connected to the attacks.

Karnes mailed his letters from Los Angeles in late February and, due to mail sorting and inspection on Capitol Hill, they didn't arrive until Thursday, creating a rather remarkable coincidence. The letter's phrase "Happy New Year, We Did It" apparently refers to the Democrats' wins in Congress; the letter also has suggestions for winning this year's election.

Still, authorities swarmed 50-year-old Karnes' Hollywood Hills home and questioned him. The Harvard graduate and lawyer who has worked in entertainment (including for Universal on shows like Law & Order!) told reporters, "I'm working with the FBI, and they've advised me not to talk. I'm really not going to talk."

His 82-year-old mother, Frances Karnes, spoke to the NY Times. "He sent it and the timing was wrong. He had no idea. He didn’t even really know there was a bombing that took place the other day. He is just completely innocent of any of that. This all had to do with his personal conviction.”

“I’ll tell you, he is the most gifted, creative person,” Mrs. Karnes said. “He’s been writing letters since he was 13 years old in school.” Mrs. Karnes said she had received a Christmas card that featured a photo of her son standing in front of the Times Square military recruiting station, on Broadway between 43rd and 44th Streets. “I know when he said, ‘We did it,’ he was talking about the Democratic Party,” she said. “He’s a very moral kind of a guy. I know very few kinds of people I would put in the category of my son David. He’s really in his own wonderful world.”

And recruiters are carrying on at the center as some people posed for pictures "while pulling hoodies over their heads and making handlebar gestures."

 

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Captain Charlie Jaquillard, commander of recruiting in Manhattan, said, "If it is something that is directed toward American troops, then it's something that's taken very seriously and is pretty unfortunate," he said. The recruiting center, in the heart of Times Square at West 43rd Street and Broadway, has been the site of many protests, from the Granny Brigade to 2004 Republican Convention events.

Last October, grenades were thrown at the Mexican consulate, and, in 2005, an explosive was set off outside the British Consulate.

Update: During a press conference, Police Commissioner Ray Kelly mentioned the witness's account, "The [suspect] (on the bicycle) was wearing a hood and dark colored clothing, also carrying a backpack. He did not see the individual’s face." And Mayor Bloomberg said, “Whoever the coward was that committed this disgraceful act on our city will be found and prosecuted to the full extent of the law. We will not tolerate such attacks."

 

To: Cindy

MARCH 2008 : (NY : RECRUITING STATION BOMBING INVESTIGATION —) The police are also determining whether the bombing is linked to five other bombings in the past 11 years. Besides the 2005 British Consulate and October 2007 Mexican Consulate bombings, where a bicyclist threw a bomb in the 3-4 a.m. time period (and these bombs used black powder, like Thursday’s bomb), there’s also a 2000 bombing outside the Barclays Bank on Wall Street (an ammunition box - like the Times Square bomb - was used), a 1997 bomb outside 222 Broadway - across from City Hall - used “coffee cans packed with black powder” and another 1997 bombing using a coffee can outside of Planet Hollywood, when it was located on West 57th Street.

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