More than five years after a mysterious bicyclist pedaled up to a Times Square military recruiting station and detonated a bomb, the FBI and NYPD are offering a $65,000 reward for information on the suspect, who may be linked to two earlier attacks.
Investigators released previously unseen videos of the suspect, who rode up on a blue bike in the early morning of March 6, 2008, and ignited the bomb’s fuse before fleeing. An FBI spokesman said the bomb was made with an ammunition can commonly found on the battlefields in Iraq and Afghanistan. Sources said it was more powerful than the ones used at the Boston Marathon attack earlier this year, though not packed with deadly shrapnel. No one was hurt, a fact authorities attributed to pure luck.
“While published reports have repeatedly cited the early morning time of the attack and the lack of casualties, the fact is the bomber narrowly missed killing or injuring passers-by who can be seen clearly in the vicinity, moments before the blast,” said NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly. “The distance between polemics by bombing and the murdering of innocents is short, indeed.”
Investigators believe the suspect and possible accomplices may be connected to two other unsolved bombings in New York, one at the British Consulate in 2005 and the other at the Mexican Consulate in 2007.
After placing the bomb and igniting the fuse, the suspect rode the bike south on Broadway before turning left on 38th Street. The bike was later recovered in a Dumpster near Madison Avenue and 38th Street. The suspect on the bicycle was last seen wearing a gray sweatshirt and pants of an unknown color. The height, weight, age, sex, and race of the suspect are unknown.
“Someone, somewhere, knows something about a bomber who’s still on the run,” said FBI Assistant Director-in-Charge George Venizelos. “Today we’re asking for the public’s assistance in finding those responsible and encouraging the public to look closely at these photos and video, which could be the key to breaking the case.”
Anyone with information on any of the three bombings is asked to call FBI officials at (212) 384-1000.