Car Bomb Shuts Down Times Square Overnight - Cleveland 19 News Cleveland, OH

Pakistani Taliban Claims Responsibility for Times Square Car Bomb

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NEW YORK CITY, NY (CBS) - New York Police found a suspected car bomb in a smoking sport utility vehicle Saturday evening in Times Square.

Heavily armed police and emergency vehicles shut down the city's busiest streets while a police robot broke windows of the black Nissan Pathfinder to remove any explosive materials.

Police Commissioner Ray Kelly said at an early morning newser Sunday (5/2) that investigators found three propane tanks, two five gallon full gasoline containers, two clocks, electrical wire and other components in the rear of the vehicle. He also said that authorities found a metal box that resembles a gun locker as well.

A T-shirt vendor noticed the unoccupied SUV around 6:30 p.m. and informed a police officer. The officer then noticed smoke coming from the vehicle and began clearing the streets.

Authorities learned the Nissan Pathfinder's license plates do not match the car's registration. At this time there are no suspects but NYPD are reviewing their security tapes as well as surveillance video from surrounding businesses.

New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg said at the newser that police officers searched other boroughs but found nothing suspicious. "We are very lucky. We avoided what could have been a very deadly event" said the Mayor. 

At this point, authorities have no idea who did this or why but that New Yorkers should go about their normal routine.

FBI agents are on the scene with the New York Police Department while the Homeland Security Department is aware of the situation.

Meanwhile, Pakistani intelligence officials on Sunday downplayed a purported Taliban claim of responsibility for the attempted car bomb attack in New York's Times Square as lacking credibility.

"There is no credible way to prove that the Taliban have this kind of capacity to attempt such an attack in the heart of the United States," a Pakistani intelligence told CBS News on condition of anonymity.

 "A claim is far easier to make than to be carried out in real life," he added.

The intelligence official was responding to a statement on a website commonly used by Islamists in which the Pakistani Taliban claimed responsibility for the attempt, "in revenge" for two Islamist leaders named as "Al-Baghdadi and Al-Mahajer and Muslim martyrs."

 A Western diplomat in Islamabad who also spoke to CBS News on condition of anonymity said, "The Taliban have no demonstrated ability to strike in distant places. Structurally, they are far from being a global organization like al Qaeda."

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