NYC: Early morning “improvised explosive attack similar to previous

Security camera footage of explosion at Times Square

Secondary explosive device reportedly found at scene - undergoing forensic analysis.

Rambling letter, card & photo sent to Congressional offices on Capitol Hill

6 March 2008: Federal officials are reporting that at least eight House Democratic lawmakers received a rambling, 20-page “rant,” a holiday greeting card with the message “Happy New Year, We Did It” on the cards, and a photograph of a man standing by an undamaged recruiting center before the bombing took place. Investigators are currently searching for additional copies of the letters, suggesting that there could be more yet unopened. As a result of the letters, the U.S. Capitol Police are now involved in the investigation along with the FBI, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, and other agencies.

According to an official close to the investigation, the letters did not contain any specific threats and were all postmarked February 28, 2008.

Internal Memo sent to all congressional officesThe Northeast Intelligence Network received and authenticated a copy of the internal memo sent to lawmakers that states the following:

Attention All Members of the Congressional CommunityWithin the past twenty-four hours, a number of letters have begun arriving at various Congressional Offices on Capitol Hill. The letters contain a reference to the military recruiting office in New York City. At this time, none of the letters received have contained any threat to the Congressional Community or Members of Congress.

All of the letters have properly passed through Congressional mail security screening procedures before arriving at various Congressional Offices and have been determined to be safe.

These letters can be identified in the following manner:

All envelopes received have all been manila in color and are approximately five inches by eight inches in size.

All envelopes have two (one dollar) stamps affixed to them and a white label with a return address.

The United States Capitol Police want to preserve any possible evidence. Therefore, in the event that any envelopes arrive at your Congressional Office, please respond in the following manner:

Do not attempt to open the envelopeImmediately contact the USCP Command Center

The Command Center will have an officer dispatched to your office to take possession of the letter. Because this is an ongoing criminal investigation, please do not forward this email or release information outside your immediate office.


6 March 2008: It has a familiar “sound” to it - an early morning blast blows out the front window of a Midtown building. At about 3:45 a.m. today, a “small” explosion set off by an “improvised explosive device” blew out the front window of the Armed Forces recruiting center situated between 43rd and 44th Streets, and Seventh Avenue and Broadway at Times Square. Police and the FBI are investigating, while the Department of Homeland Security is said to be monitoring the situation.

Vehicle and pedestrian traffic was diverted until about 6:45 a.m. as police searched for possible secondary explosive devices. None were found. A motive for the blast was not yet established.

Similarities to 2007 & 2005 explosions

Authorities are looking into a possible connection to two earlier bombings at foreign consulates in Manhattan in 2005 and 2007. According to officials, a man in a gray hooded sweatshirt was seen leaving the scene on a bicycle after this morning’s bombing.

As noted in our report of 27 October 2007, the explosions in 2005 and 2007 had similar MO’s and a similar appearing suspect. At about 3:40 a.m. on 26 October 2007, two hollowed-out hand grenades filled with explosive material detonated outside of the Mexican Consulate located at 27 East 39th Street. At about the same time on 5 May 2005, two crudely made but more powerful improvised explosive devices detonated outside of the British Consulate situated at 845 Third Avenue in East Midtown, shattering windows and damaging a planter.

Each of these attacks were captured on video surveillance. In each case, a man appearing to be in his 20’s, riding a bicycle and wearing a hooded gray jacket was seen and captured on video leaving the scene at the time of the blasts.

The investigation is continuing.