NEW YORK (Reuters) – Kitchen home equipment resembling stress cookers have been left in two Manhattan places on Friday, disrupting vehicle and subway journey in the course of the morning rush hour earlier than police deemed them innocent and commenced investigating the potential for a hoax.
The discoveries of the gadgets, which the town’s chief counterterrorism officer known as “rice cookers that could possibly be mistaken for stress cookers,” raised concern due to the latter’s earlier use as makeshift bombs in New York and Boston.
Surveillance video exhibits a dark-haired man in his 20s or 30s with a procuring cart inserting the gadgets at two places contained in the busy downtown Fulton Avenue subway station, mentioned John Miller, the New York Police Division’s deputy commissioner of intelligence and counterterrorism.
“Due to the timing and the position and objects we’re carrying this proper now as a hoax gadget,” Miller informed reporters on the scene. “That’s the investigative class.”
The unidentified man is “not a suspect however definitely somebody we’d wish to interview,” he mentioned. Police posted two images on social media of the cookers at Fulton Avenue.
Officers mentioned that they had not decided whether or not the invention about an hour later of a 3rd implement resembling a stress cooker subsequent to a rubbish can on a avenue nook within the borough’s Chelsea neighborhood was associated, Miller mentioned.
Miller famous that in September 2016 the so-called “Chelsea Bomber,” Ahmad Khan Rahimi, wounded 30 folks utilizing a tool comprised of a stress cooker and a cellphone timer that exploded on Manhattan’s West 23rd Avenue. One other stress cooker bomb was left close by however didn’t explode.
Rahimi was sentenced final 12 months to life in jail.
There was additionally an explosion in Midtown Manhattan in December 2017 when a Bangladeshi man, Akayed Ullah, detonated a home made bomb in a pedestrian tunnel connecting two subway strains and a bus terminal. Three folks have been wounded.
Strain cookers have been changed into bombs by a pair of ethnic Chechen brothers after they killed three folks and injured greater than 200 on the 2013 Boston Marathon.
The discoveries, which have been first reported at about 7 a.m. EDT (1100 GMT) created havoc for 1000’s of motorists and commuters on the quite a few subway strains that converge at Fulton Avenue as police and bomb squad automobiles swarmed to the scene.
Even after police deemed the gadgets innocent on the Fulton Avenue station complicated, which is near the World Commerce Middle, officers warned of residual delays for commuters.
Reporting by Peter Szekely; Modifying by Daniel Wallis and Steve Orlofsky