Political News

The Latest: Suspicious device checked at NJ train station

Posted September 19

— The Latest on an explosion hitting a crowded Manhattan neighborhood (all times local):

12:30 a.m.

Investigators are examining a suspicious device found in a trash can near a New Jersey train station, and service on the busy Northeast Corridor line has been suspended.

Elizabeth Mayor Christian Bollwage says two men called police and reported seeing wires and a pipe coming out of the package after finding it at about 9:30 p.m. Sunday.

Bollwage says the Union County bomb squad's robotic device indicated the package the men left under a train trestle could be a live bomb. He says the FBI and state police will decide how to remove the device.

New Jersey Transit says service has been suspended between Newark Liberty Airport and Elizabeth. New York's emergency management department says that New Jersey-bound Amtrak trains are being held at New York Penn Station.

—By Josh Cornfield

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11:30 p.m.

Authorities say FBI agents pulled over a car on a highway in Brooklyn and are questioning the vehicle's occupants in connection with the investigation of the bombing in Manhattan.

FBI spokeswoman Kelly Langmesser says agents stopped "a vehicle of interest in the investigation" at 8:45 p.m. Sunday.

She wouldn't provide further details, but a government official and a law enforcement official who were briefed on the investigation said five people in the car were being questioned at an FBI building in lower Manhattan.

The two officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to talk about an ongoing investigation.

Langmesser said no one has been charged with any crime and the investigation is continuing.

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9 p.m.

A team of five FBI agents have searched an Uber driver's vehicle that had been damaged in the Manhattan blast, ripping off the door panels inside as they examined it for evidence.

The driver, MD Alam, had just picked up three passengers and was driving along 23rd Street when the explosion occurred, shattering the car's windows and leaving gaping holes in the rear passenger-side door.

Alam said Sunday he hit the gas and tried to take his passengers to their destination in Queens, but pulled over along Madison Avenue and 39th Street. He went to a local police precinct to file a report for his insurance company and police contacted the FBI.

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8 p.m.

New York City police say they've blown up the second device found blocks away from where a bomb exploded in Manhattan.

The New York Police Department says the controlled detonation took place at a police facility in the Bronx on Sunday evening. They said the device has been rendered safe and that a forensic examination of the device will be conducted at the FBI Laboratory at Quantico, Virginia.

The second device was discovered Saturday night by state troopers after a bomb exploded in Manhattan's Chelsea neighborhood. Twenty-nine people were injured in that blast. They've all since been released from hospitals.

The second device was described by a law enforcement official as a pressure-cooker with wires and a cellphone attached to it. It was taken from the scene by a bomb removal robot.

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6:15 p.m.

Los Angeles Police Chief Charlie Beck is asking Emmys attendees to remain vigilant in the wake of explosions in New York City and New Jersey.

Beck says there are no known credible threats to security in Los Angeles, but those attending Sunday's Emmys in downtown Los Angeles should report any suspicious activity.

Downtown LA is an especially busy place Sunday, with the Rams playing their first home football game in 22 years at the nearby Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum.

Beck says Los Angeles police are constantly assessing security threat levels in the wake Saturday's two explosions.

Officials in New York are trying to determine who was responsible for an explosion that injured 29 in Manhattan's Chelsea neighborhood. New Jersey law enforcement is trying to determine if a pipe bomb that exploded at a seaside community was related to terrorism.

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5:30 p.m.

A law enforcement official says federal investigators have discounted a claim of responsibility for the New York City bombing on the social blogging service Tumblr.

The official says investigators looked into it and don't consider it relevant to the case. The official was not authorized to discuss an ongoing investigation and spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity

Earlier in the day, another official said that the FBI was aware of the posting and evaluating its authenticity.

The Saturday night blast in Manhattan injured 29 people. Authorities have not yet determined who is behind the blast or a motive. Gov. Andrew Cuomo said it didn't appear to be linked to international terrorism.

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Associated Press writer Eric Tucker in Washington contributed to this report.

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5:20 p.m.

New York City police say they're going to blow up the second device found blocks away from where a bomb exploded in Manhattan on Saturday night.

The New York Police Department says the controlled detonation will take place at a police facility in the Bronx on Sunday evening.

The second device was discovered by state troopers after a bomb exploded in Manhattan's Chelsea neighborhood on Saturday night. Twenty-nine people were injured in that blast. They've all since been released from hospitals.

The second device was described by a law enforcement official as a pressure-cooker with wires and a cellphone attached to it. It was taken from the scene by a bomb removal robot.

Police have not said what, if any, forensic evidence they've collected from that device.

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4:15 p.m.

Hillary Clinton is condemning what she calls "apparent terrorist attacks" in New York, New Jersey and Minnesota.

Officials in New York said Sunday they were still trying to determine who was behind an explosion that rocked the Chelsea neighborhood and what the motivation was. New Jersey law enforcement would not say if a pipe bomb that exploded at a seaside community was terror-related.

Officials said an attack at a Minnesota mall in which a man stabbed nine people was being investigated as a possible act of terrorism; an Islamic State-run news agency called the attacker a "soldier of the Islamic State."

In a statement Sunday, the Democratic presidential candidate said law enforcement officials in New York and New Jersey need support as they investigate.

Clinton said of the Minnesota attack, "this should steel our resolve to protect our country and defeat ISIS."

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2:30 p.m.

A spokesman says the United Nations is assessing security in the wake of an explosion in New York's Chelsea district as the organization prepares to host world leaders arriving for the General Assembly.

U.N. Spokesman Stephane Dujarric said Sunday that security inside the complex "is being assessed on a constant basis."

He pointed out that security outside the U.N. is the responsibility of the host country.

"We receive great cooperation and appreciate the support from the federal authorities and the NYPD throughout the year, and especially during the General Assembly to keep staff, delegates and visitors safe," Dujarric said.

Twenty-nine people were injured in the Saturday night blast. They have been treated and released from a hospital.

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2:05 p.m.

The FBI is evaluating a claim of responsibility for the New York City bombing on the social blogging service Tumblr.

A law enforcement official told The Associated Press on Sunday that the FBI is aware of the posting and was working to determine its authenticity. The official wasn't authorized to discuss an ongoing investigation by name and spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity.

The bomb went off Saturday night in Manhattan's Chelsea neighborhood, injuring 29 people. All of them have been released from the hospital.

A second device was later found inside a plastic bag blocks away, and it appeared to be a pressure cooker with wiring and a cellphone attached to it. A robot removed the device safely.

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Associated Press writer Eric Tucker in Washington contributed to this report.

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1:45 p.m.

Federal investigators in Quantico, Virginia, are examining evidence from Saturday's explosions in New Jersey and New York.

According to one federal law enforcement official, devices in both explosions included cellphones, but the New Jersey device contained evidence of a black powder explosive. The official says in the New York incident, the device that exploded had residue from an explosive called Tannerite.

The official wasn't authorized to discuss details of the ongoing investigation and spoke to The Associated Press on the condition of anonymity.

Tannerite is often used in target shooting to mark a shot with a cloud of smoke and small explosion.

New York Mayor Bill de Blasio says there's no evidence that the two incidents are related, but a connection hasn't been ruled out.

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Associated Press writer Alicia A. Caldwell contributed to this report from Washington, D.C.

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12:35 p.m.

New York City's mayor says an explosion that rocked a Manhattan neighborhood Saturday night was caused by a bomb.

But Bill de Blasio said Sunday that authorities don't yet know who made it, who set it off or the motivation behind it.

An explosion on a residential street in the Chelsea neighborhood injured 29 people. All of the injured have been released from the hospital.

Earlier Sunday, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said the bombing didn't appear to have any link to international terrorism.

A second device was discovered blocks away, removed by a bomb squad robot and is being examined at a police facility.

Investigators want to determine how it was made and whether it is similar to the device that caused the first blast.

Authorities say there was no structural damage from the blast.

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10:35 a.m.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo says there's no evidence that an explosion that rocked a crowded Manhattan neighborhood, injuring 29 people, had any link to international terrorism.

Cuomo spoke Sunday morning near the site of the Saturday night blast on West 23rd Street in the Chelsea neighborhood. He noted that the device in Manhattan appeared to be different than a pipe bomb explosion earlier Saturday in New Jersey and said he didn't believe the two were connected.

Authorities found a second device in Manhattan a few blocks away from the one that exploded and removed it.

Cuomo says the injured have been released from the hospital. Most of the injuries were minor.

The Democratic governor also said that 1,000 additional law enforcement officers were being deployed as a precaution.

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3:45 a.m.

An explosion rocked a crowded Manhattan neighborhood and injured 29 people, and a suspicious device discovered blocks away from the scene was safely removed. Mayor Bill de Blasio ruled out any terror connections, but called the blast an "intentional act."

Early Sunday, police said an investigation into a third suspicious package turned up a bag of trash.

An explosion rocked the block of West 23rd Street between Sixth and Seventh Avenues at about 8:30 p.m. Saturday. Officials said 29 people were injured. Most of the injuries were minor.

The blast is under investigation. A law enforcement official tells The Associated Press that the second device discovered a few blocks from the scene appeared to be a pressure cooker attached to wiring and a cellphone.

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