U.S. officials eye links between weekend bombings

USA – (warsoor) – U.S. investigators on Sunday were studying possible links between a pair of bombs detonated in New York City and New Jersey over the weekend, although no evidence had yet emerged tying the devices to known extremist groups.

The country was shaken by a trio of attacks over the weekend including a Saturday night bombing that injured 29 in Manhattan and a stabbing attack at a Minnesota shopping mall that wounded nine.

New York Mayor Bill de Blasio and New York Governor Andrew Cuomo survey the site of an explosion which occurred Saturday night in the Chelsea neighborhood of New York, U.S., September 18, 2016. REUTERS/Rashid Umar Abbasi
New York Mayor Bill de Blasio and New York Governor Andrew Cuomo survey the site of an explosion which occurred Saturday night in the Chelsea neighborhood of New York, U.S., September 18, 2016. REUTERS/Rashid Umar Abbasi

While officials described all three as deliberate, criminal acts and were investigating them as potential “acts of terrorism,” they stopped short of characterizing the motivation behind any of them until more evidence is uncovered.

A deafening roar and powerful shock rocked Manhattan’s popular Chelsea neighborhood late on Saturday after a pressure-cooker bomb packed with shrapnel exploded. A similar, unexploded device, was found a few blocks away later that night.

No international militant group immediately claimed responsibility for the New York blast or a pipe bomb that went off earlier along the route of a Saturday road race in suburban New Jersey. But New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said the act of blowing up a bomb in a crowded area of Manhattan “is obviously an act of terrorism.”

No suspects were immediately identified in the New York and New Jersey attacks.

But CNN reported on Sunday night that police had reviewed surveillance video showing a man, who was not identified, leaving both devices on Saturday.

The Islamic State militant group quickly claimed responsibility for the Minnesota attack by a man who made references to Allah and asked at least one person if he or she was Muslim before he assaulted the individual. An off-duty police officer fatally shot the assailant.

Police did not immediately identify the Minnesota attacker, citing an ongoing investigation, although some local media reports gave his name and said he was an African-born junior college student. Reuters could not immediately confirm his identity.

There were no immediate connections established between the Minnesota attack and the bombings in New York and New Jersey, which came days before the United Nations General Assembly opens on Tuesday. Some 135 heads of state or government are expected to attend the event, and city officials said they had bolstered an already heavy security force with 1,000 more uniformed police officers and National Guard members.

Source:

REUTERS

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