Huh? So if a U.S. citizen who has been radicalized by ISIS committed a terror attack, what is that considered? Because that is one very real possibility here. Why is he so afraid to say it could be ISIS?
FBI investigators are still collecting evidence from the scene of a bombing Saturday in New York City’s Chelsea neighborhood. “The evidence we’ve collected is being taken to our lab at Quantico for review, and we are following every available lead,” FBI Assistant Director in Charge William Sweeney Jr. said Sunday.
Investigators have not found any evidence that an explosion in New York Saturday was tied to an earlier blast in New Jersey, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said Sunday.
“We do not have any specific evidence of a connection, but that will continue to be considered. We’re not taking any options off the table,” de Blasio said.
“We know there was a bombing. That much we do know. We know it was a very serious incident,” he said.
“But we have a lot more work to do to be able to say what kind of a motivation was behind this. Was it a political motivation? Was it a personal motivation? We do not know that yet.”
“A bomb exploding in New York is obviously an act of terrorism,” Gov. Andrew Cuomo told reporters Sunday, vowing that authorities will catch whoever is responsible.
The governor said there’s no evidence of an international terrorism link to Saturday’s blast, which shook New York City’s Chelsea neighborhood and sent panicked people scrambling for cover.
Mayor: Explosion was ‘intentional act’
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio called the explosion Saturday night “an intentional act.” But he told reporters there was no evidence tying it to known terrorism groups.
“There’s no specific and credible threat against New York City at this time from any terror organization,” he said.
Authorities believe the blast was caused by an explosive device in or near a dumpster, a law enforcement source told CNN.
The explosion occurred at 23rd Street and 6th Avenue. A few blocks away, investigators found one possible clue: a pressure cooker, with dark-colored wiring protruding, connected by silver duct tape to what appears to be a cellphone, officials said.
Authorities haven’t yet revealed whether they believe that suspicious device has any connection to the blast.
Investigators are also combing through surveillance video for clues, but so far they haven’t found anything pointing to a suspect, a senior law enforcement official said. Some of the video is not helpful because the cameras are either too far away or the footage is too grainy to tell what’s on it, the official said. Investigators will be canvasing for additional video Sunday.
“We will find whoever did this or whatever group did this and they will be brought to justice, period,” Cuomo said. “We will not allow these type of people and these type of threats to disrupt our life in New York. That’s what they want to do. We are not going to let them do it. This is freedom. This is democracy, and we’re not going to allow them to take that from us.”
Is it terrorism?
Investigators are still waiting for the results of forensics tests to reveal more details about the New York explosion, the senior law enforcement official said.
CNN law enforcement analyst Tom Fuentes said the information authorities have revealed so far about the blast leads him to a troubling conclusion.
“It tells me that it was a rather large explosive device that someone built and someone detonated and caused the injury of dozens of people. … It shows me it’s a deliberate act and indicates an act of terrorism,” he said. “Whether it’s domestic terrorism or international, we don’t know, but it certainly would have an appearance that somebody made an attempt to kill people, on purpose.”
But CNN national security analyst Juliette Kayyem said it’s too soon to label the blast a terror attack without knowing the motivations behind the explosion. Terrorism, she said, generally has political or religious motives behind it.
“I think it’s premature to call it terrorism until we know — unless you want to define terrorism as any violent act in an urban area — but given that there’s no proof of motivation, you wouldn’t be able to bring a terrorism case, so to speak, today,” she said. “You certainly would be able to bring other types of cases if you found the culprit.”