Posted on | May 3, 2010 | 22 Comments
Federal authorities are closing in on the man they say is a person of interest in the Times Square car bomb attempt this weekend, who is described as a naturalized American citizen who hails from Pakistan and just returned after spending five months there. . . .
There is growing evidence the bomber did not act alone and had ties to radical elements overseas, with one senior official telling ABC News there are several individuals believed to be connected with the bombing and that at least one of them is a Pakistani-American. . . .
When someone pointed out that the bomb was parked near the New York headquarters of Viacom (i.e., Comedy Central), I figured the perp might be a Muslim trying to avenge the “South Park” Mohammed episode, but I didn’t blog that hunch — or anything else about the Times Square bomb attempt — because I didn’t want to jump to a conclusion in the absence of evidence.
And I still don’t want to jump all the way to a conclusion. Ace of Spades notes that NYC Mayor Mike Bloomberg guessed “somebody with a political agenda that doesn’t like the health care bill or something.”
And who knows? Maybe there are lots of Pakistani-Americans upset about the health care bill. “Or something,” as Mayor Bloomberg said.
The source said forensic evidence uncovered in the vehicle led them to a Middle Eastern man’s name that was familiar to counter terrorism investigators.
So it’s apparently somebody who was already on their list. Will keep an eye on this story, now that the investigation has proceeded past the point where we’re not merely guessing about the perps and their motives. More at Memeorandum.
UPDATE II: A Green Room poster comments on the reluctance of Attorney General Eric Holder and some in the media to label the botched car-bomb an act of terrorism. That reluctance may have been mainly due to the crudeness of the bomb, which was so amateurish as to be an embarrassment to any terrorist organization that claimed credit for it.
It’s only speculation that [the feds rushed to arrest the suspects] because there was pressure from the Administration to generate some militia-threat headlines precisely at the time that the “militia threat” was the talking-point of the day. But it’s not unreasonable speculation, based on what we know so far . . . .
Like I say, not jumping all the way to a conclusion.
UPDATE IV: Speaking of professors, William Jacobson notices that New York Gov. David Patterson is expressing concern about the rights of criminal immigrants. Excellent timing, governor!
UPDATE V: Associated Press:
The vehicle identification number had been removed from Pathfinder’s dashboard, but it was stamped on the engine, and investigators used it to find the owner on record.
“The discovery of the VIN on the engine block was pivotal in that it led to identifying the registered owner,” Browne said. “It continues to pay dividends.” . . .
(More amateurism — the perp evidently didn’t realize that the VIN is stamped on every engine block.)
The SUV was parked near offices of Viacom Inc., which owns Comedy Central. The network recently aired an episode of the animated show “South Park” that the group Revolution Muslim had complained insulted the Prophet Muhammad by depicting him in a bear costume.
Location, location, location. Here’s an AP video report:
Evan Kohlmann, a terrorism analyst who has served as a consultant for the U.S. government, said the device — as described by police — is extremely crude and bears little likeness to the work of al-Qaeda.
“Calling this thing a bomb may be giving it too much credit,” he said. “This appears more like a glorified Molotov cocktail.
“I don’t think this looks like al-Qaeda,” he said, “but you have to be careful. Even organized terror groups are not always foolproof.”
We might consider the possibility that eight years of a global war on terror has degraded the ability of al-Qaeda to recruit members and organize attacks.
UPDATE VI: Allahpundit:
It’s almost not worth speculating on whether this is jihadis or domestic terrorists at work, since drawing the wrong conclusion either way will leave the left or right screaming at you.
Meh. I don’t care who screams at me, as long as I’m right. The evidence is “mixed,” as Allah says, and it’s too early to jump all the way to a conclusion, but if they’ve traced the car and ID’d the buyer as a Pakistani . . .