5 people taken into custody in connection with Chelsea explosion

Sources say 5 people were taken into custody in connection with Saturday’s bombing in Chelsea.

At 8:45 p.m. Sunday the FBI and NYPD conducted a traffic stop of a vehicle of interest in the investigation into the bombing. The men were in a car stopped on the Belt Parkway. They were headed from Staten Island to Brooklyn on the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge.

We did a traffic stop of a vehicle of interest in the investigation. No one has been charged with any crime. The investigation is continuing — FBI New York (@NewYorkFBI) September 19, 2016

State Senator Marty Golden posted on Instagram of a “possible connection to the bombing last night in Chelsea”:

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State Senator Marty Golden posted on Instagram of a “possible connection to the bombing last night in Chelsea”:

The New York City explosion, which injured at least 29 people, occurred on West 23rd Street around 8:30 p.m. in an area frequented by shoppers and diners. All of those injured have been released from hospitals, New York City Mayor de Blasio said.

The discovery of Tannerite in materials recovered from the Saturday night explosion may be important as authorities probe whether the blast was connected to an unexploded pressure-cooker device found by two former state troopers just blocks away, as well as a pipe bomb blast in a New Jersey shore town earlier in the day.

In the block-by-block search after the New York blast, two former state troopers found a possible secondary device a few blocks away on 27th Street, between Sixth and Seventh avenues, said James O’Neill, the city’s police commissioner. The second device, a pressure cooker, was in a white plastic bag with tape, wiring and a cell phone or other electronic device.

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State Senator Marty Golden posted on Instagram of a “possible connection to the bombing last night in Chelsea”:

That second device was sent to the NYPD’s bomb squad facility in the Bronx, and on Sunday around 7:45 p.m., the NYPD spokesman J. Peter Donald tweeted, “NYPD and FBI Bomb Technicians rendered the device safe. A forensic examination of the device and its components will be conducted at the FBI Laboratory at Quantico, Virginia.”

“We have two separate crime scenes,” O’Neill said, adding that the FBI and the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) are involved in the investigation.

Cellphones were discovered at the site of both bombings, but no Tannerite residue was identified in the New Jersey bomb remnants, in which a black powder was detected, said the official, who spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the official was not authorized to comment on an ongoing investigation.

Authorities said the Manhattan bombing and the blast 11 hours earlier at the site of a 5K race to benefit Marines and sailors in Seaside Park, New Jersey, didn’t appear to be connected, though they weren’t ruling anything out. The New Jersey race was cancelled and no one was injured.

Officials haven’t revealed any details about the makeup of the pressure-cooker device, except to say it had wires and a cellphone attached to it.

The bomb in Manhattan appeared to have been placed near a large dumpster in front of a building undergoing construction, another law enforcement official, speaking on condition of anonymity to discuss the ongoing investigation, told the AP. The second device, described by the same official as a pressure cooker with wires and a cellphone attached to it, was removed early Sunday by a bomb squad robot and New York City police blew it up in a controlled explosion Sunday evening, authorities said.

An additional 1,000 state troopers and members of the National Guard were placed at transit hubs and other points throughout New York City and extra police officials were patrolling Manhattan, officials said. Members of the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force were investigating the blast along with New York Police Department detectives, fire marshals and other federal investigators.

 

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