Is Times Square Bomb Muslim revenge for South Park Muhammad?

An NYPD mobile command post in Times Square

The New York bomb that led police to evacuate Times Square Saturday night was parked near Viacom headquarters, home of Comedy Central and South Park. Flickr photo.

The Times Square bomb that failed to explode in New York Saturday night would have likely killed people if it had, according to the New York Police department. As law enforcement authorities look for a person of interest captured on video, the owner of the SUV packed with explosives has been tracked down. As the investigation and manhunt resulting from the Times Square bomb 2010 continues, a group calling itself the “Pakistani Taliban” chimed in to take credit for the botched bombing.

Times Square bomb/South Park Muhammad

The Pathfinder holding the Times Square bomb — a vehicle that was stolen, not bought with an auto loan —  was parked near the headquarters of Viacom, the parent company of Comedy Central. Recently, Comedy Central censored an episode of South Park that portrayed the Prophet Muhammad. The South Park Muhammad episode, and the fact that the Times Square bomb was planted near Viacom, is  fueling suspicions that the attack was related to the controversy surrounding  the Comedy Central cartoon program.

The Times Square bomb scare

The Times Square bomb was transported into Times Square in a 1993 Nissan Pathfinder that a surveillance camera captured on video Saturday. Saturday night, a street vendor noticed smoke coming from the vehicle and alerted police. The Times Square bomb scare led to thousands of people getting evacuated from Times Square. New York Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly told CNN that had the bomb exploded, it “would have caused casualties, a significant fireball.”

The New York bomb was made from gasoline, firecrackers, analog alarm clocks and propane canisters. Police said the canisters of propane were of the type commonly used for barbecue grills. The firecrackers were consumer-grade M-88s, legal in some states.

Taliban claims Times Square bomb plot

The Pakistani Taliban claimed responsibility for the Times Square bomb plot on an Islamist website, Reuters reports that the statement, which has since been taken down, said “The Pakistani Taliban announces its responsibility for the New York attack in revenge for the two leaders al-Baghdadi and al-Muhajir and Muslim martyrs.”  The statement also said that Qari Hussain Mehsud, known as the master mentor of Taliban suicide bombers, accepted responsibility for the New York bomb plot “with great pride and utmost bravery.” Federal and local officials said there was no evidence to support the Pakistani Taliban’s statement.

New York bomb plot and Iraq

Investigators were checking parallels between the New York bomb and coordinated attacks in the summer of 2007, Fox News reports. The attacks were at an airport in Glasgow, Scotland, and a London neighborhood of nightclubs and theater. Both attacks involved cars containing propane and gasoline that also failed to explode. Authorities believe those attacks had roots in Iraq.

Times Square bomb plotters’ blunder

The Pathfinder that held the New York bomb 2010 was brought to a forensics center in Jamaica, Queens, where investigators were scouring it for DNA evidence and hairs, fibers and fingerprints. No fingerprints had been found as of Sunday night, officials told the New York Times. The owner of the Pathfinder was identified through the vehicle identification number. Thieves had stripped the VIN number from the dashboard but they didn’t realize it was stamped in other places, such as the engine block and axle.

Is he the Times Square bomber?

The FBI is studying hundreds of hours of surveillance footage from more than 80 cameras, including images of a man leaving the vicinity of the Pathfinder in Times Square shot by a tourist. The person of interest in the video was seen taking off a shirt and walking away shortly before the vehicle began to smolder.

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