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NYPD: Bomb Crude Attempt To Cause Mayhem; Second Pressure-Cooker IED Trigger Malfunctioned, Spared NYC “Disaster”

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This story has since been updated. Click HERE for latest version

New York Police Department officials called Saturday night’s dumpster explosion that rocked a trendy Chelsea neighborhood in Manhattan a “crude attempt to cause serious mayhem,” according to NYPD sources investigating the detonated improvised device.

And if a second pressure-cooker-type explosive device similar to the one employed in the Boston Marathon attack in 2013 hadn’t malfunctioned Saturday night, things would have gone very bad in lower Manhattan, NYPD sources said.

“We (New York City) got lucky tonight,” the NYPD source said. “This could have been a disaster.”

The strong blast was triggered at 8:30 pm in a busy 23rd Street neighborhood between 6th and 7th avenues. Police sources said the IED was placed inside of a construction dumpster. When it detonated, the blast sent the dumpster flying into traffic and rained shrapnel from the construction refuse onto and into pedestrians. As of 6 am, 29 people were transported to area hospitals for treatment of a range of injuries. No fatalities were reported.

Chief Harry Wedin, head of the NYPD’s Special Operations Divisions said a second IED was later reported nearby on 27th street. Sources said that unit was sitting inside of a locked car. Sources described the device as a pressure cooker with a cell phone detonator. That device was safely removed by NYPD Bomb Squad along with ATF agents and driven to a remote section of the Bronx near the Hutchinson River at approximately 2 am.

Perhaps even more alarming than its discovery of a second IED, NYPD sources said the pressure cooker trigger device appeared to be wired incorrectly or its cell pone trigger mechanism malfunctioned, otherwise it likely would have detonated on 27th Street.

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Second IED that reportedly failed to trigger, per NYPD Intel sources.

The blast shattered store and hotel windows, shook the block, and stymied subway travel and blocked bus transportation for hours.

beforeafter-dumpster
Left: Exact dumpster in a before shot in front of the W 23rd Street explosion location and then
pictured right, mangled after blowing into in the middle of the street following the blast.

NYPD counter-terrorism unit, NYPD Bomb Squad, NYPD bomb-sniffing K9s, FBI, ATF, Homeland, and JTTF converged on scene but NYPD maintained tactical command as events unfolded Saturday night into early Sunday morning. The explosion occurred in front of a host of businesses at 131 W 23rd St, including the Townhouse Inn of Chelsea boutique hotel and its neighboring King David Gallery 23.

Law enforcement sources said they were combing the guest list of the hotel’s 13 booked rooms for any possible links to the blast or prior links to terror-related activities. Sources said one individual traveled to Jerusalem and Bat Yam in Israel recently for the summer and they planned to question that person early Sunday morning. Law enforcement sources said that person would be treated as more of a potential target than actor, based on preliminary intelligence gathered Saturday night. Law enforcement sources did not know whether that individual was a US Citizen or an Israeli.

“We will look at everything and every one, especially links to foreign nationals,” the NYPD source said.

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NYPD, FBI comb through the debris on 23rd Street in Manhattan. Photograph: Jason Szenes/EPA

Sources said NYPD will remain on a heightened the United Nations General Assembly convening Monday and several dignitaries in the city. NYPD said they are likewise monitoring an IED explosion Saturday in New Jersey where a bomb ripped through a large plastic trash can during a US Marine Corps 5K race in Seaside.

In perhaps the understatement of the decade, Mayor Bill de Blasio called a hastily-arranged late-night press conference in the middle of the street to share this nugget of intelligence: “Early indications are this was an intentional act.”

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  • Do you realize all the attacks this weekend in other cities also even on Police Officers.. And the car full of little gas containers ? The Media is not reporting on all the attacks