A homemade explosive device detonated in midtown Manhattan, wounding 29 people, one seriously, and New York Mayor Bill de Blasio called it an “intentional act.”
The September 17 blast occurred in the busy Manhattan neighborhood of Chelsea, which was teeming with people out on a warm evening, and sent shudders throughout the city less than a week after the anniversary of the September 11, 2001 attacks.
De Blasio stopped short of calling the explosion a terrorist attack.
Not long after the blast, investigators discovered a second suspicious device about four blocks away and removed it for further analysis.
De Blasio said there was “no evidence at this point of a terror connection.”
One investigator was quoted by the Associated Press as saying the second device appeared to be a pressure cooker attached to wiring and a cellphone. Such devices were used in the 2013 bombings at the Boston Marathon.
De Blasio said the Chelsea explosion did not appear to be connected to a pipe bomb that exploded in Seaside Park, New Jersey early on September 17 as thousands of runners were participating in a five kilometer charity race to benefit U.S. Marines and U.S. Navy sailors.
Elsewhere in the United States, eight people were taken to hospital with non-life-threatening injuries following a stabbing attack at a shopping mall in the northern state of Minnesota.
The attack in the city of St. Cloud late on September 17 ended with the suspected attacker being shot dead by an off-duty police officer.
The assailant, who was armed with a knife, “made some references to Allah,” St. Cloud police chief Blair Anderson said.
“We have confirmed that he asked at least one person if they were Muslim before he assaulted them,” Anderson added.
But he declined to describe the attacks as an act of terrorism, saying the motive for the stabbings wasn’t known yet.
Copyright (c) 2016. RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave NW, Ste 400, Washington DC 20036.