Following the explosion last night in the Chelsea area of New York City, which sent a dumpster flying across the street and injured at least 29 people, investigators are still following leads on the motive.
Pictures of the damaged dumpster have been released, and police noted that they no longer believe that the explosive device was placed inside of it, since the metal was bent inward.
The explosive device may have been placed directly alongside the dumpster, as the twisted metal now indicates.
The NY Post reports that shortly after the explosion around 8:30pm, an anonymous caller to 911 claimed that there was another device that has not yet detonated.
“I’m looking at the explosion down the block. There will be more,” the unidentified male said, claiming to be standing at 23rd Street and Seventh Avenue in the aftermath of the terrifying incident, according to law-enforcement sources Sunday.
Afterwards, law enforcement found a pressure cooker wrapped in duct tape with a cell phone attached to it. Police believe the first explosion in Chelsea was the results of a pressure cooker bomb, and have taken this second device to the firing range for investigation.
Also, investigators are claiming that they found a hand-written letter in Arabic found alongside the second explosive device, although details of it’s contents have not been revealed.
Witnesses who were dining nearby where the explosion went off told police they saw a suspicious looking Arab man carrying a suitcase, who appeared out of place.
The witnesses were dining at the Krush bar and grill on 32nd Street about a half-hour before the 8:30 p.m. Saturday explosion when they saw an Arab-looking man who was carrying a suitcase and appeared out of place, sources said.
Meanwhile, as Vocativ reports, ISIS is celebrating the explosion (along with the stabbing of 8 in Minnesota on the same day) as an attack made on their behalf by a supporter of their cause, who heard their call for “lone wolf” attacks.
“The lions of the Caliphate roar in New York, we cause you pain inside your house, the carrier of the Cross,” wrote one Twitter user who went by the name “I am ISIS, come and block me.” The account was soon suspended. Another, called “The Lone Wolves,” tweeted with the Arabic hashtag #ExplosionManhattanNewYork “Oh God burn America, take revenge in the name of your oppressed slaves and believers’ blood.”
Others tweeted about “good tidings that keep coming” from New York, and one user affiliated with al-Qaeda in Syria tweeted: “Oh God go against America, the head of infidels. Oh God, count them and kill them one by one, and do not spare anyone of them.”
In yet another twist, police are investigating a posting on Tumblr in which a person claimed that they were responsible for the bombing in Chelsea, New York City, because they were angry by the way LGBT’s were “looked down upon” by society.
“I did it because I cannot stand society. I cannot live in a world where homosexuals like myself as well as the rest of the LGBTQ+ community are looked down upon by society,” one post says.
The posting was taken down this morning, but law enforcement are following up on this claim. If this turns out to be true, I except it would be the first terrorist attack on US soil in support of LGBT rights…which leads me to believe this is a hoax.
Considering the evidence that has come forth so far, the suspicious “Arab-looking” man with a suitcase, the hand-written note in Arabic and online ISIS chatter, it’s probably a good chance that both the Chelsea and New Jersey trash can bombs are related to the same terrorist’s plot. Possibly two “lone wolves” communicating with each other and placing their improvised explosive devices on the same day in two different states.
Last night, Hillary Clinton chastised Donald Trump for jumping to conclusions by using the word “bomb” in his description of the events…although it seems at this point Trump was absolutely correct.