News / Asia

Police See No Evidence of Al Qaida, Taliban Involvement in NYC Bomb Scare

Search is on for white man suspected of planting crude bomb in a sports-utility vehicle, parked in the heart of Times Square.

New York City police say there is no evidence that al-Qaida or the Taliban were responsible for Saturday's attempted car bombing in Times Square.

Instead, police say they are searching for a white man suspected of planting the crude gasoline and propane bomb in a sports-utility vehicle, parked in the heart of Times Square.  The bomb did not explode, but caused authorities to evacuate thousands of tourists from the busy district famous for its flashy advertising billboards and Broadway plays.

Security cameras filmed the suspect changing his shirt near the vehicle. Police chief Raymond Kelly says the man was acting in what described as a "furtive" manner as he hurried away from the area.

U.S. president Barack Obama is vowing to track down those responsible for the attempted bombing. Speaking on the windy Louisiana coast Saturday, the president said security forces are taking every step necessary in the investigation.

"We're going to do what's necessary to protect the American people to determine who's behind this potentially deadly act and to see that justice is done," said the president. "And I'm going to continue to monitor the situation closely and do what it takes to safeguard the security of the American people."  

The Pakistani Taliban says it was responsible for Saturday's incident, but police chief Kelly dismissed the claim.

Separately, two videos have surfaced apparently showing the leader of the Pakistan Taliban, months after he was reported killed in a U.S. air strike. The videos, released Monday by the U.S. monitoring group the INTELCENTER, show Hakimullah Mehsud flanked by two gunmen.

Speaking in Pashto with English subtitles, Mehsud assures viewers he is alive and healthy. He denied the reports of his death, calling them "lies and propaganda."

Mehsud says he is speaking on April 4th of this year. He does not specifically mention New York, but promises attacks "coming to major American cities soon."  The video shows animated bombs exploding across a map of the United States.

U.S. and Pakistani officials had said Mehsud was killed during a missile strike in Pakistan in January.

Authorities have not verified the authenticity of the video, but the IntelCenter says it appears to be real.

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