Is There an Active Terror Cell Operating in New York and New Jersey?

Derek Caney
Send in e-mailSend in e-mail
Send in e-mailSend in e-mail
Credit: CNN
Derek Caney

REUTERS - Investigators are trying to piece together clues behind a series of bombs planted in New York and New Jersey over the weekend.

Federal authorities are searching for Ahmad Khan Rahami, a 28-year old naturalized U.S. citizen from New Jersey, for his possible role in the bombing of a Chelsea neighborhood in Manhattan. The blast injured 29 people, none of them fatally. But another bomb was found several blocks away, but it never went off.

Separately, a series of bombs were found in Elizabeth, New Jersey, overnight. One was detonated by a robot sent in by authorities, but no one was injured.

One exploded in the Chelsea neighborhood of Manhattan and injured 29 people, none of them fatally.

- A pressure cooker bomb, similar to the ones that killed three people at the Boston Marathon in 2013 and injured hundreds of others, was planted a few blocks away but did not detonate.

- Eleven hours before the Chelsea bomb went off, a bomb exploded in Seaside Park, N.J., before a charity race to benefit the Marines. The race hadn’t started at the time the bomb went off and no one was injured.

- A series of pipe bombs was found in Elizabeth, N.J., One of them detonated when a robot sent by authorities tried to defuse it. Again, no one was injured.

“The crudity of the devices in all three cases certainly doesn’t point to any group that’s been developing (improvised explosive devices) for years,” said a U.S. official involved in the investigation who requested anonymity to discuss the inquiry.

The official added that the crude nature of the devices and the apparent low level of planning had some investigators concerned that the blasts were just a test of New York’s security.

“That’s what worries us: Was this some kind of test run, not just of the devices, but also of the surveillance in New York and the response?” the official said.