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News Car bomb in Times Square NY

  1. May 2, 2010 #1

    jtbell

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  3. May 2, 2010 #2

    russ_watters

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    They are calling it "amatuerish". My first thought that it was unlikely to be an Islamic terrorst because "amateurish" isn't something that usually describes groups that are typically pretty well organized. However, the article also said that propane tanks have been used by Islamic terrorists in the past...so we'll just have to wait and see.

    Times Square is buried in cameras so I'd be surprised if the police don't get a good look a the perps, at the very least.
     
  4. May 2, 2010 #3
    Wow, that's crazy.

    Also in one of the videos the hot dog vendor said there was an explosio from the car... how credible is that claim? I mean I've seen propane tanks go explode and there's no way that it would have left the vehicle in one piece. Not even a shattered window :/
     
  5. May 2, 2010 #4
    I don't know. Box cutters don't seem very professional either. I'd imagine that a properly effective car bomb would likely require military grade explosives, which would be difficult to get one's hands on here in the US, or chemical components for creating similar, difficult again since purchase and theft of these things is likely monitored. It may be that the components used for the bomb were those most easily accessible under the circumstances and required a less than ideal design and fabrication.
     
  6. May 2, 2010 #5
    Possibly a detonator going off? It does not seem that the bomb went off as it was supposed to. So the detonator may have gone but the bomb as a whole did not.
     
  7. May 2, 2010 #6
    Oh, my understanding was that the detonator was fireworks which had already gone off to no effect.
     
  8. May 2, 2010 #7

    Astronuc

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    NYTimes. Clearly there is an intent to cause damage and harm, or at least a depraved indifference as to the consequences of 10 gallons of gasoline and exploding propane tanks.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/05/03/nyregion/03timessquare.html

     
  9. May 2, 2010 #8

    Kerrie

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    My husband and I will be staying right off 41st and 7th in just 8 weeks. At least we know security will be tight!
     
  10. May 2, 2010 #9
    Amateurish or not, propane blasts would be devastating, and with the mixture of gasoline and air you could have a truly nasty fireball. Given the low investment apparent in this bomb, I'm not sure that "amateurish" is such a fine statement. Unsophisticated, yes, but amateurish?... someone got a damned car bomb into Time's Square and hasn't been caught yet...
     
  11. May 2, 2010 #10

    russ_watters

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    Seriously? The 9/11 attack was highly organized and the terrorists were well trained. Don't let the fact that the weapon was low tech fool you: it was exactly the right tool for the job.
    I'm not sure why you would think that. The Oklahoma city bombing was done mostly with fertilizer and nitromethane.

    Using fireworks for a bomb doesn't even work against the roadrunner.
     
  12. May 2, 2010 #11
    I'm not sure what you meant by this statement. What I think your implying is that fireworks can not be explosive enough.

    Generally I agree a few fireworks won't cause any troubles but they can ignite other explosions. As well fireworks in large amounts will definitely be devastating, you ever seen a fireworks warehouse go up?

    Something that SHOULD be noted by everyone posting here is that the comment about it being amaturish wasn't in regard to the choice of explosives. It was how it was assembled. I assure you a bomb expert can tell these types of things just from seeing the device(s) even just how they are tied can lead to such an assumption. I'd assume that if this car bomb was sent by a terrorist organization that it would be far from set up in an amaturish way. It wouldn't use high-grade explosives but so what? I also doubt that it would fail, these organizations are pretty much experts in the field of assembling bombs that are effective at getting the job done.
     
  13. May 2, 2010 #12

    Office_Shredder

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    That guy with a bomb in his pants over Christmas was sent from a terrorist organization. Same with the shoe bomber. I think you give these guys too much credit
     
  14. May 2, 2010 #13

    Kerrie

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    Intention is the key here! Regardless of the bomb going off or not, regardless of the knowledge of the bombmaker, it doesn't distract from the fear this causes in a sensitive place like New York City.
     
  15. May 2, 2010 #14
    Apparently the detonator was 16 oz aerosol can, and the fireworks seem have been intended as a means to ignite the propane after the containers ruptured. In addition, they've found 8 bags of what "feels like and appears to be" fertilizer. Given that the detonator is always the most complex and failure-prone element of a bomb, I find everything but the detonator very disturbing.
     
  16. May 2, 2010 #15

    russ_watters

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    http://www.pyrodirect.com/ecom-catshow/042-0010.html

    That's two parts of the same thing. You can't assemble fireworks in a professional way.
     
  17. May 2, 2010 #16

    russ_watters

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    Was it just plain fertilizer - no diesel fuel mixed-in? If that's the case, it may simply be the work of some random nutcase who isn't thinking clearly enough to know what you're supposed to do with fertilizer to turn it into a bomb!
     
  18. May 2, 2010 #17
    Yes you can, as with any packing of black powder. I'm not saying it's hugely complicated, but there are professionals and there are hacks with full thickness burns.

    As for amateurish, it seems that this individual was aware of cameras, and has used changes of clothing to make tracking him/her harder. Given that anyone here could probably assemble this kind of explosive, and far more besides, I have to conclude that this person was either sending a message, or had no concept of fuel-air mixtures required for ignition.

    Amateur to me is: "I can't figure out how to detonate PETN! Durrr."
    Unsophisticated is: "I'm gonna get everything that can explode in one car and hightail it out of there"

    This is clearly someone who, if allowed to run free, may learn from this mistake and would probably not make the same error. I find that deeply disturbing. The level of disregard for life and limb is clear when someone makes an explosive/incendiary/shrapnel bomb out of a car. If any part of this had burned and the propane's relief valves had been disabled, there would have been a very nasty shockwave, and the fireworks would likely have ignited the propane. After that, the fertalizer and gas would at least burn.

    I just saw a Mythbusters episode where they (for reasons that are still unclear to me) detonated BBQ sized propane containers. Even without ignition of the propane, the blast from pressure vessel was enough to throw significant chunks of .8" steel up to 300 feet from the blast site.
     
  19. May 2, 2010 #18
    I don't know, but given what was being said, it sounds as though this was JUST fertilizer, and no fuel oil. As you say, that's not a bomb, that's just a load of... heh... ****. This definitely seems like someone took everything they considered explosive and stuffed it into a car. Now, whether or not that is a sign of a nutcase who is lucky he didn't blow himself straight to hell (lucky for him at least) is up for grabs.

    The change of clothing (at least 2 on camera), indicates some measure of forethought. I think this is why there is a lot of speculation as to whether this is a message, or a lone wolf learning the ropes. Lets face it, if this person isn't apprehended, the latter is going to learn from this, and may not make similar mistakes. I have to say, if I were an insane *** trying to kill a bunch of people in Time's Square, it wouldn't be with fireworks, propane, gasoline and fertilizer, but how does that track with his ability to leave the area apparantly aware of the surveillance?

    Maybe amateurish is the right term, but... I don't know.

    P.S. One purely speculative notion that's been floated was that this was aimed at Viacom, who carries South Park. If so, the "message" concept could be possible, but more likley the "nutcase who doesn't know how to make a bomb" starts to make sense. A really angry person with only fragmented knowledge and acting rapidly in response to a proximal event, thinking "even if this just burns, it'll hurt a lot of people" does seem to fit the bill. I don't know how to reconcile that with remaining unidentified however. Either way, this SCREAMS "home grown", whether Islamic or not.
     
  20. May 2, 2010 #19

    russ_watters

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    Sorry, maybe I worded that badly, but I would have thought my intent was clear: What I meant was you can't assemble a pile of fireworks into a bomb in a professional way.
    Do you have a source for that? I didn't hear that.
    In that case then perhaps they really should be looking for Wiley Coyote.
     
  21. May 2, 2010 #20

    Borg

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    http://www.cnn.com/2010/CRIME/05/02/times.square.closure/index.html" [Broken]

    "The Pathfinder's vehicle identification number had been removed from the dashboard, but officials recovered it from another location on the car, a federal law enforcement official told CNN.

    ...officials have identified the registered owner of the Pathfinder, but were not yet making his name public."


    Let me guess there first question, Where were you on Saturday evening?
     
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