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By Joshua Rhett Miller, ,
Published November 23, 2015
Authorities have not ruled out a link between Saturday's failed Times Square bombing and a New York Islamic group that warned the creators of "South Park" that they face retaliation for lampooning the Prophet Muhammad.
New York Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly told reporters Sunday that while no connection has been established, detectives are looking into whether the botched car bombing may be linked to a warning issued last month by Revolution Muslim -- a radical Islamic group based in Queens -- following last month's 200th episode of Trey Parker and Matt Stone's "South Park," which included a caricature of the Prophet Muhammad disguised in a bear suit.
Younus Abdullah Muhammed, who runs the website RevolutionMuslim.com, told the New York Daily News he was in Times Square when the bomb-packed SUV was found, but he said he was not involved in the failed terror attack.
"What do you think, I commanded somebody to blow up a building in the middle of Times Square?" Muhammed told the newspaper.
"It had nothing to do with the 'South Park' controversy. It was not an attack targeting Viacom," he said. He could not be reached for further comment early Monday.
Zachary Adam Chesser, the author of the original post on RevolutionMuslim.com, declined comment when reached by FoxNews.com on Monday. Chesser, who now goes by Abu Talhah al-Amrikee, warned Parker and Stone last month that they "will probably end up" like a Dutch filmmaker who was murdered in 2004 after releasing a documentary on violence toward Muslim women.
"We have to warn Matt and Trey that what they are doing is stupid and they will probably end up like Theo van Gogh for airing this show," the posting read. "This is not a threat, but a warning of the reality of what will likely happen to them."
Chesser told FoxNews.com last month he wrote the post to "raise awareness" and said a graphic photo of van Gogh's body that accompanied his writing was intended to show the severity of what Parker and Stone did by mocking Muhammad.
"It's not a threat, but it really is a likely outcome," Chesser said in reference to the possibility of Parker and Stone being killed. "They're going to be basically on a list in the back of the minds of a large number of Muslims. It's just the reality."
Islamic law prohibits depictions of the prophet.
The dark-colored Nissan Pathfinder packed with propane, gasoline and fireworks was found Saturday evening on West 45th St. and Broadway in Times Square, near the headquarters of Viacom, which owns Comedy Central. A spokesman for Comedy Central declined comment on Monday.
A top House Republican has said the attempted car bombing may have been connected to the controversial "South Park" episode.
"It's one possibility out of 100, but this vehicle was close to a Viacom building, which owns MTV and Comedy Central," Rep. Peter King, R-NY, told an interviewer on Sunday. "And you have the whole issue with 'South Park,' which Islamic terrorists were threatening to have retribution for. So all of these things have to be looked at."
King, the ranking member of the House Homeland Security Committee, said he expects the investigation into the car bomb to move quickly.
"Fortunately, a lot of evidence was left behind, and you have the best police force in the world with the NYPD and the joint terrorism task force in New York on top of it, and they will be moving as quickly as they possibly can," King said. "And we can be sure it will be a thoroughly exhaustive and professional investigation."
NYPD officials continued to search Monday for a middle-aged man who was videotaped shedding his shirt near where the bomb was found. Police have interviewed the owner of the vehicle used to house the bomb, but chief NYPD spokesman Paul Browne would not give further details and would not say whether either individual is considered a suspect.
Attorney General Eric Holder, meanwhile, told reporters on Monday that it's too early in the investigation to say whether the bomb plot was of foreign or domestic origin, as well as to designate as a terrorist incident. Those responsible for the act, however, "intended to spread terror across New York," he said.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.