Hunt is on for missing Conn. man who bought car bomb Nissan just 2 weeks ago on Craigslist
BY ALISON GENDAR, ROCCO PARASCANDOLA AND CORKY SIEMASZKO
DAILY NEWS STAFF WRITERS
Originally Published:Monday, May 3rd 2010, 4:46 PM
Updated: Monday, May 3rd 2010, 4:53 PM
A mystery man paid $1,800 cash for the Nissan Pathfinder last month after meeting the seller through craigslist.com.
This "person of interest" bought the 1993 Nissan Pathfinder that was abandoned with the engine running - and with primitive, but potentially deadly payload in the rear - just two weeks ago, law enforcement and police sources told The Daily News.
Investigators aren't certain whether he is the same man who drove the rolling bomb to the Crossroads of the World, but he has not been seen by his girlfriend - and has not shown up at his home or job - since the frightening incident on Saturday night.
Detectives from the NYPD and FBI identified the SUV owner after tracking down the registration of the previous owner, who told investigators he'd sold the vehicle.
The mystery man met the seller through craigslist.com and paid $1,800 cash for the Pathfinder, the Daily News has learned.
The revelation came as:
- The News learned from sources that forensic evidence found in the Pathfinder points to the possibility that whoever prepared the car bomb has links to foreign terrorists.
- The White House uttered the T-word for the first time in connection with the failed plot that sent a scare through the city. "I would say that was intended to terrorize, and I would say that whomever did that would be categorized as a terrorist," White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said.
- Vehicular traffic in and out of Manhattan slowed to a crawl as officers checked suspicious looking trucks entering the East River tunnels - and gave New Yorkers a jarring flashback to the tense days after the 9/11 attacks.
- Police were still trying to identify a man who was caught on tape moments after the SUV - packed with enough fuel, fertilizer and explosives to ignite a massive fireball - was abandoned in Times Square.
Mayor Michael Bloomberg warned the person on the tape may not be a suspect.
"It was a hot day," he said. "Maybe he was just changing his shirt. And this is Times Square, where you have the Naked Cowboy."
Security cameras captured a white man who appears to be in his 40s leaving the scene on W. 45th St. while the Pathfinder sat with its engine running, hazard lights flashing - and smoke curling from its vents.
On the video, the man takes off a dark shirt to reveal a red one underneath as he hurries along Shubert Alley.
"He looks around, takes off that shirt, puts it in a bag and continues to walk south, looking a couple of times in a furtive manner," Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly said.
A Pennsylvania tourist who was videotaping mounted cops in Times Square reported he also may have filmed the suspect "lunging" away from the car. But the NYPD detectives who checked out the film found nothing of value, police said.
Cops found dozens of M-88 firecrackers, three tanks of BBQ-style propane, two red plastic jugs of gasoline and a metal locker densely packed with eight supermarket bags of fertilizer inside the Pathfinder.
The whole shebang was wired to two cheap yellow old-fashioned travel alarm clocks set to work in tandem - one to blow up the propane tanks and the other to explode the contents of the locker.
Experts are investigating why the bomb didn't detonate.
The fertilizer was not explosive-grade and would not have produced the kind of devastation associated with ammonium nitrate bombs - like the one in Oklahoma City in 1995.
But the propane tanks pack an explosive punch that could have shattered windows and done all kinds of damage in Times Square, officials said.
Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) called for federal funding for a Midtown surveillance program that would use security cameras and license plate scanners to record and track every vehicle moving between 34th and 59th Streets.
Cops continue to look into a possibility that the car bomb was payback to Comedy Central for airing a "South Park" cartoon that lampooned censorship by showing the Prophet Muhammed in a bear suit, sources told the Daily News.
The Pathfinder was parked by the "Lion King" marquee on W. 45th St., right next to the 1515 Broadway headquarters of Viacom, which owns Comedy Central.
The plot to set Times Square ablaze was foiled by two sharp-eyed street vendors who spotted smoke seeping from the car just after 6:30 p.m. Saturday and alerted mounted Officer Wayne Rhatigan, who sounded the alarm.
Police quickly discovered that the plate on the Pathfinder was stolen and came back to a different car that was being repaired at Kramer's Used Auto Parts in Stratford, Conn.
The SUV's vehicle identification number was defaced, but detectives were able to find it stamped on the engine block to get a lead on the current owner.
It has been hot and humid in the northeast and there may be nothing to the video of the bald guy taking off his shirt.ReplyDelete
A bald guys who is a terrorist without a ball cap and sun glasses? If that was him, maybe he intended to be with his virgins.
Used the wrong kind of fertilizer?ReplyDelete
So it is a BIG deal when a HOMEMADE, CRUDE, EXPLOSIVE DEVICE, that didnt even scare one kindergardener is discovered?ReplyDelete
I guess if the car was found in Tel Aviv, the NY Times would be saying the Israelis were overreacting and Rat would be agreeing...
Craig Harrison, a member of the Household Cavalry, killed the insurgents with consecutive shots — even though they were 3,000ft beyond the most effective range of his rifle.ReplyDelete
In a later incident during the tour, Harrison’s patrol vehicle was hit 36 times during a Taliban ambush. “One round hit my helmet behind the right ear and came out of the top,” he said.
“Two more rounds went through the strap across my chest. We were all very, very lucky not to get hurt.”
Uh...FYI, there's no name calling or sexual content allowed on this blog. That's why Allen left.
Sun May 02, 01:44:00 AM EDT
But I did notice you. Consult Freud.
Authorities were closing in on a man who they said was a naturalized U.S. citizen from Pakistan, according to a senior Obama administration official. The man is believed to have used cash to purchase the Nissan Pathfinder that was set ablaze but failed to detonate Saturday night on a tourist-crowded block in Midtown Manhattan.ReplyDelete
Investigators and agents also were scouring international phone records showing calls "between some of the people who might be associated with this and folks overseas," according to a U.S. official who has discussed the case with intelligence officers. Investigators uncovered evidence -- a piece of paper, fingerprints or possibly both -- that also indicates international ties, according to a federal official briefed on the investigation. The material points to "an individual who causes concern to [investigators] who has overseas connections, and they are looking for him," the official said.
"So it is a BIG deal when a HOMEMADE, CRUDE, EXPLOSIVE DEVICE, that didnt even scare one kindergardener is discovered?ReplyDelete
Seemed pretty much like a one to two day story to me. Look in today's NYT and WaPo online and you see like one story each in follow-up (bomb material provides lots of clues, looking for a Pakastani, stuff like that.)
Nothing in Opinion. Nothing today in The Detroit News. Nothing to compare with immigration or the oil slick.
I don't see it.
Judge orders release of 9 Hutaree militia membersReplyDelete
Pakistan Taliban leader 'killed by CIA drone' surfaces on internet to threaten U.S.
Are you serious?ReplyDelete
Why would it be a one or two day story as long as the perps are out there?
But investigators appeared to have begun to assign less significance to a man who appeared to be in his 40s who was seen on one video. That man was seen walking away from the area where the Pathfinder was parked and through Shubert Alley, which runs between 44th and 45th Streets.ReplyDelete
He looked over his shoulder at least twice and pulled off a shirt, revealing a red T-shirt underneath.
The New York police commissioner, Raymond W. Kelly, said investigators still wanted to speak to that man, but acknowledged that he might not be connected to the failed bombing. Paul J. Browne, the department’s top spokesman, said the police had stopped looking for additional video in the area that might have tracked the man’s movements.
These thwarted and botched attempts are like the Doolittle raids. They may not accomplish much but are highly symbolic.ReplyDelete
The message to attack has been received and is being acted upon. It's only a matter of time before someone more just a little more skilled or professional pulls off a successful slaughter. Meanwhile, our leaders are ridiculously loathe to use the I word. I think that they would actually be relieved if they could pin this on the domestic right.
The fricken' whirled has turned upside down.
Investigators are confident the attack is not part of a wider threat. New York police have searched parked cars in nearly every city block, looking for other bombs.ReplyDelete
"We went through all of the places where we thought there might be a target in all five boroughs, we found nothing out of the ordinary," said New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg.
Meanwhile, investigators continue to scroll through hours of videotapes captured by Manhattan surveillance cameras. And they are still trying to identify a man seen changing his shirt in an alley about a half block away from the smoking SUV.
That's why we have police Whit. They will continue to do their job until they get the guy.ReplyDelete
Highly symbolic? Only if the media makes it so.
You think Al Quaeda did this? If so, it appears we have overestimated their competance. Since it was near the Comedy Central organizations headquarters, sounds more to me like those jerks from that muslim blog got some wacko riled up.
Just my opinion.
However, when we eventually are hit by a terrorist, and it will happen some day, I assume you will blame it on me for not taking this screw up seriously enough.
What. I have to use Spellcheck now even when Trish isn't on the blog?ReplyDelete
These rules are getting kinda tough Deuce.
Next you'll be asking me to spell Israel correctly and to capitalize US.ReplyDelete
The recent sale of the Pathfinder began online. An advertisement that appears to be for the vehicle, which had 141,000 miles on the odometer and was listed for sale at $1,300 on at least two Web sites, emphasized that it was in good condition — “CLEAN inside and out!!” — with a recently repaired alternator and a new gas pump, distributor and front tires.ReplyDelete
“It does have some rust as you can see in the picture,” the seller allowed on NothingButCars.net, “but other than that, it runs great.” The other advertisement appeared on Craigslist.
In Bridgeport, the seller refused to answer questions. “You can’t interview her,” said an unidentified man at the woman’s two-story, white clapboard house.
A "Naturalized" citizen.ReplyDelete
One presumes, he immigrated to do a Job that an American wouldn't do.
Total Derelection of Duty, more that a week later.ReplyDelete
Rush carried this this morning:
FED PLAN TO BURN AWAY SPILL NOT IMPLEMENTED...
NOT A SINGLE FIRE BOOM ON GULF COAST...
FLASHBACK: TEAM OBAMA CLAIMS ACTION 'DAY ONE'...
"At the time, former National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration oil spill response coordinator Ron Gouguet -- who helped craft the 1994 plan -- told the Press-Register that officials had pre-approval for burning. "The whole reason the plan was created was so we could pull the trigger right away."ReplyDelete
Gouguet speculated that burning could have captured 95 percent of the oil as it spilled from the well.
Bohleber said that his company was bringing several fire booms from South America, and he believed the National Response Center discovered that it had one in storage.
Each boom costs a few hundred thousand dollars, Bohleber said, declining to give a specific price.
Made of flame-retardant fabric, each boom has two pumps that push water through its 500-foot length. Two boats tow the U-shaped boom through an oil slick, gathering up about 75,000 gallons of oil at a time. That oil is dragged away from the larger spill, ignited and burns within an hour, he said."
Top of Drudge now:ReplyDelete
Can MSM spin this away?
One of the shitbirds got pinched at the airport trying to return to the mother ship:ReplyDelete
New York (CNN) -- An arrest has been made in a failed attempt to set off a car bomb in New York's Times Square over the weekend, a law enforcement official told CNN early Tuesday.
The identity of the suspect was not immediately known.
The arrest took place at JFK Airport in New York, while the suspect was trying to board a plane to go overseas. It's destination was not immediately known, a federal law enforcement official said.
Monday evening, another law enforcement official said the buyer of a sport-utility vehicle used in the bomb attempt is considered a potential suspect in the case.
The buyer of the Nissan Pathfinder is a naturalized U.S. citizen from Pakistan, and investigators are looking at more than one person in connection with the unsuccessful bombing, the source said.
The report came as CNN learned that the Joint Terrorism Task Force investigating the bombing attempt is considering the possibility that the attempt involved more than just a "lone wolf." The identity of the person under scrutiny was not known, however.
On Sunday night, a second video was posted by apparent representatives of the Taliban, showing the group's commander, Hakimullah Mehsud, promising to launch attacks in the United States.ReplyDelete
Mehsud, who U.S. and Pakistani authorities initially believed was killed in a January drone strike, was recorded saying, "The time is very near when our fedayeen will attack the American states in their major cities . . . in some days or a month's time."
The video is marked with the logo of the Pakistani Taliban's official media wing, Umar Studios, and appears to be credible, according to Evan F. Kohlmann, a terrorism consultant at Flashpoint Partners.
Looks like they got the dumbo bomber. From Ace:ReplyDelete
Shahzad Faisal is apparently the genius who used his own email account to set up the buy. Sometimes you get lucky that evil bastards are stupid.
Sounds like a home grown guy. He's of Pakistani heritage but sounds like he was born and raised in CT (FNC says he's a naturalized citizen). Arrested on LI at JFK. No word about his stance on Arizona's immigration law or his political donations.
Coulda built a respectable bomb if he'd grown up in Pakistan.ReplyDelete
I'm expecting a weasel to pop out of the next Home Grown Device.
The more sand that has escaped from the hourglass of our life, the clearer we should glom from one end to the other it.ReplyDelete