Authorities seek man in New York car bomb incident

By Michelle Nichols

NEW YORK (BestGrowthStock) – Investigators in the New York Times Square car bomb attempt sought on Monday to track down a man seen on a surveillance video nearby as police combed through evidence looking for the culprits.

Police said that a white man in his 40s was spotted in security video footage about half a block from where the sport utility vehicle that contained the bomb was left with its engine running and hazard lights flashing on Saturday evening.

In about 19 seconds of video released by police, the man, who appears to be thin, is seen removing a dark shirt, stuffing it into some sort of bag and walking away down the sidewalk, carrying the bag and glancing at least twice over his shoulder.

Times Square, the well-known entertainment and shopping area in Midtown Manhattan, was packed with tourists and theater-goers on a warm Saturday evening.

“He was seen leaving the scene,” Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said on CNN on Monday.

“So he may have been a witness. He may have observed something. He may be someone who was involved. We don’t know. It would be premature to suggest that. We do know (that) what we would like to do is be able to identify him and speak with him,” Napolitano said.

New York Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly on Monday declined to call the man a suspect in the failed bombing.

Speaking on CNN, Kelly also said police planned to release later on Monday a second videotape — this one taken by a tourist — showing a man running near the scene at about the time of the incident.

Investigators were poring over the vehicle and the explosive device, which was made of propane, gasoline and fireworks.

New York and its 8 million people have been on high alert since the September 11 attacks in 2001 in which airliners hijacked by al Qaeda militants toppled the World Trade Center’s twin towers, killing more than 2,600 people.

NO EVIDENCE OF AL QAEDA, TALIBAN

New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, speaking on ABC’s “Good Morning America” program, reiterated on Monday that there was “no legitimate evidence” of a link to al Qaeda, the Taliban or any other group in the incident, which prompted the evacuation of the area.

Kelly and Napolitano both said it is unclear whether the failed attack was staged by a single person or by a group of people.

The Taliban in Pakistan said on Sunday it planted the bomb to avenge the killing in April of al Qaeda’s two top leaders in Iraq. But Kelly said there was “no evidence” to support that claim.

Security at U.S. East Coast airports was boosted in the wake of the incident to counter possible vehicle-borne improvised explosive devices at airports and crowded public spaces, a Department of Homeland Security official said.

Michael Cheah, senior portfolio manager at SunAmerica Asset Management, said the car bomb was an “isolated incident” that was not likely to spark any Treasury market reaction.

Stock Market Today

(Additional reporting by Will Dunham and Deborah Charles)

Authorities seek man in New York car bomb incident