US investigators hunt New York car bomb culprits

* Police reviewing surveillance camera video, bomb parts

* New York mayor confident that culprits will be caught

By Michelle Nichols

NEW YORK, May 3 (BestGrowthStock) – Investigators were combing
through evidence on Monday in the hunt for suspects in a failed
car bombing in New York’s busy Times Square and officials
expressed optimism that the culprits will be found.

New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg said there was no evidence
of a link to al Qaeda or any other militant organization in the
failed bomb attack on Saturday evening that prompted the
evacuation of the teeming entertainment and shopping district.

“It’s unfortunate that this happened. I’m confident that we
will find out who did it,” Bloomberg told reporters outside a
Times Square restaurant.

New York Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly said a white man
in his 40s was spotted in security video footage and was seen
removing a dark shirt about half a block from where the vehicle
was left with its engine running and hazard lights flashing.

Bloomberg had dinner with policeman Wayne Rhatigan, who was
tipped off by an alert street vendor about a suspicious Nissan
sport utility vehicle on West 45th Street near Broadway.

The Taliban in Pakistan said 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.
[ID:nLDE6410IH]

Investigators were poring over surveillance camera footage
and a device made of propane, gasoline and fireworks after
officers found the bomb in the vehicle as Times Square in
Midtown Manhattan was packed with tourists and theater-goers.

‘WHATEVER IS NECESSARY’

President Barack Obama received regular updates on the
incident as he visited Louisiana to assess the response to the
huge oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. [ID:nN01215194]

“We’re going to do whatever is necessary to protect the
American people, to determine who’s behind this potentially
deadly act and to see that justice is done,” said Obama, who
was accompanied on the trip by his counterterrorism chief John
Brennan.

Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano called the
scare a “potential terrorist attack” but she and other
officials held off saying whether there was a link to Islamist
groups or to a domestic cause in the United States.

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.

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

Investment Tools

(Writing by JoAnne Allen; editing by Chris Wilson and Will
Dunham)

US investigators hunt New York car bomb culprits