Times Square 'bike bomber' video released, FBI seeks Twitter tips

The 2008 Times Square bombing damaged a military recruiting center but didn't hurt anyone. Law enforcement is renewing its efforts to find a suspect it is calling the bike bomber.

This image shows a bomb exploding outside the United States Armed Forces Recruiting Station in New York City’s Times Square five years ago. On Tuesday, The FBI and New York City Police Department announced a $65,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of the 'bike bomber.'

The Federal Bureau of Investigation and the New York Police Department are renewing their efforts to solve a 2008 bombing in Times Square that damaged a military recruiting center by boosting the reward, releasing new video footage, and seeking tips on Twitter.

The 3:43 a.m. explosion on March 6, 2008, damaged the Armed Forces Career Center located in the heart of the city in an area normally crowded with tourists. The explosion blew a hole through the front door of the structure, according to reports at the time. No one was injured in the blast.

“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,” Commissioner Ray Kelly of the NYPD said Tuesday, according to a Fox News report.

Commissioner Kelly’s comments referred to seven minutes of previously unseen video from multiple security cameras, which the FBI and NYPD released Tuesday. The grainy video shows a suspect wearing a gray sweatshirt, riding a bright blue bike with the label “Ross” visible on its frame, fleeing the scene. The bike was later found in a dumpster near Madison Avenue and 38th Street, The Wall Street Journal says.    

Officials think the suspect and potential accomplices may be connected to earlier New York area bombings at the British consulate in 2005 and the Mexican consulate in 2007, the Associated Press reports.

Authorities said the Times Square bomb was made with ammunition commonly found on battlefields in Iraq and Afghanistan. A photo of the greenish-gray metal container that held the device was among the items released. Fox News quoted unidentified sources as saying the 2008 Times Square bomb was more powerful than the devices which exploded at this year’s Boston Marathon, although the Times Square bomb was not packed with deadly shrapnel as the Boston explosives were.

“Someone, somewhere, knows something about a bomber who’s still on the run,” FBI Assistant Director-in-Charge George Venizelos said. “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.”
To spur public response, the reward for information leading to the arrest of the subject was increased from $12,000 to $65,000. Photos from security cameras are being displayed in Times Square and elsewhere in the Northeast. Those with information were told to call the FBI at 212-384-1000 or to send information by using the Twitter hashtag #BikeBomber.

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