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Explosion From Apparent Bomb Injures 29 In New York City

NYC Ezplosion

What was otherwise a quiet mid-September Saturday evening was interrupted last night by an explosion that appears to be deliberate, although there are no real clues regarding who may have been responsible:

A powerful explosion caused by what the authorities believe was a homemade bomb injured at least 29 people on a crowded sidewalk in the bustling Chelsea neighborhood of Manhattan on Saturday night.

A few hours later, the authorities found and removed what they described as a second explosive device four blocks away, raising the possibility that two bombs had been planted in the heart of the city.

Mayor Bill de Blasio called the explosion — which occurred about 8:30 p.m. on West 23rd Street — “an intentional act” but initially said there was no connection to terrorism and no immediate claim of responsibility.

Police officers swarmed Chelsea’s streets after the blast, which reverberated across a city scarred by terrorism and vigilant about threats, just days after the 15th anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks.

“Whatever the cause,” Mr. de Blasio said, “New Yorkers will not be intimidated.”

As the authorities sought to identify what had caused the explosion, they described the second device as a pressure cooker resembling the one used in the deadly Boston Marathonbombings in 2013, according to a police official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss a continuing investigation.

It was unclear whether the blast on West 23rd Street had been caused by the same type of explosive.

In the immediate aftermath, the police shut down a swath of Manhattan south of Midtown. The area from 14th Street to 32nd Street was closed to traffic between Fifth and Eighth Avenues. But by 7 a.m., only 23rd Street remained closed.

A grim Mr. de Blasio, speaking at a news conference at the scene around 11:15 p.m., said “injuries are significant.” But for the moment, he said, none of them were life-threatening.

Many of the injuries were caused by shrapnel from the explosion, which witnesses said seemed to have started inside a sidewalk Dumpster near the Avenue of the Americas. Images of a twisted Dumpster in the middle of West 23rd Street quickly proliferated on Twitter.

The impact shattered windows, damaged cars and sent crowds running from the scene at an hour when Chelsea, always a popular destination, was filled with residents and tourists.

“It was the biggest blast I ever would imagine, lights flashing, glass shattering,” said a woman who was injured in the explosion.

The force of the explosion, she said, flung her into the air.

“It happened so fast I was thrown up and landed down, I didn’t know where it had come from,” said the woman, who would give only her first name, Helena, as she hobbled out of Bellevue Hospital Center about 4 a.m. after she was treated for injuries to her eye and legs. “I realized there was blood streaming down my face, and I couldn’t see out of my eye.”

(…)

It was a startling scene, full of dark possibilities, for a city that endured the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, but has so far been spared the kind of mayhem that has terrorized city after city around the world in the 15 years since.

The closest New York has come to an attack was in 2010, when the police found a crude car bomb of propane, gasoline and fireworks inside a sport utility vehicle in Times Square. Although the device had apparently started to detonate, there was no explosion.

On Saturday night in Chelsea, the device found on West 27th Street also caused no harm.

Images shared on social media and confirmed as authentic by a senior police official showed a silver-colored piece of cookware with wires and a cellphone attached.

The official said the Police Department’s bomb squad was taking the device to a department facility in the Bronx, where robots would inspect it.

Around 2:25 a.m., a Police Department truck towing a spherical chamber, which contained the device, headed east on West 27th Street and turned up the Avenue of the Americas. Several police officers who had spent the evening on alert were visibly relieved, as one by one they let the few residents who had been waiting all night beside the caution tape return home.

It was a cool Saturday night, and the businesses along West 23rd Street, the busiest east-west thoroughfare in Chelsea, were teeming with customers.

The blast seemed to shake the entire block, smashing windows in a five-story brownstone building and sending debris into the street, a law enforcement official said.

The sidewalk where the explosion occurred is in front of a nondescript building wedged between a church and an apartment building.

Video captured before the explosion shows a man crossing “the street in the direction of where the device was found,” the same official said. But no video had yet been obtained clearly showing anyone placing the device in the spot where it detonated.

“We don’t understand the target or the significance of it,” the police official said. “It’s by a pile of Dumpsters on a random sidewalk.”

This explosion occurred on the same day as two other incidents that, at least initially, raised the question of some kind of coordination. Early in the morning on Saturday, a device exploded near the start of a charity race in Seaside Park, New Jersey, a small town on the Jersey Shore. Additionally, on Saturday evening in Minnesota a man was shot dead after stabbing eight people at a mall near Minneapolis, and at least some reports indicate that someone heard the attacker speaking Arabic prior to the attack. According to police, there were no injuries from the New Jersey explosion, no doubt due in part to the fact that the start of the race had been delayed due to fact that authorities had found an unaccounted for suspicious package elsewhere on the route of the race. That package turned out to be innocuous, though. As of now, however, authorities don’t believe that the incident in New Jersey is connected to the New York incident, or that the incident in Minnesota incident is connected to either one. Furthermore, neither of the apparent bombings at least initially appear to be connected to international terrorism, at least not yet, and it’s still unclear what the New Jersey incident was all about since the explosive device has been described alternatively as both a “pipe bomb” and a device with about the same explosive power as an M-80 firecracker.

So far at least, the Chelsea incident is only getting national attention because it occurred in New York City, which has of course been a target for international terrorists going back to at least the first attack on the World Trade Center. Viewed on its own, though, it’s unclear that this is really related to international terrorism in any case. For one thing, in the context of recent attacks in the U.S. and around the world it seems to lack that kind of impact that even the lone-wolf attackers go for in choosing their targets. If you’re going to explode a bomb in Manhattan on a Saturday night, why not choose a more visible target instead of a relatively quiet neighborhood that, based on the videos that have shown the explosion, doesn’t see much foot traffic during the day? One answer to that question, of course, could be that there’s likely less surveillance and police traffic in such neighborhoods than there is around higher value targets such as Times Square and others. Additionally, given the fact that at least one report indicates that the dumpster where the device was placed was near a construction area raises the possibility that it could have been related to something having nothing at all to do with national or international politics.

No doubt we’ll learn more over the coming hours and days, and especially after police and the FBI have had a chance to examine the second apparent device.

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About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May, 2010 and also writes at Below The Beltway. Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. CSK says:

    On its website, CNN was running a photo of the second device, which did indeed from the looks of it appear to be an unexploded IED: a pressure cooker with the lid duct-taped closed, a cell phone duct-taped to the lid, and wires running from the cell phone beneath the lid into the cooker.

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  2. CSK says:

    According to theWashington Post, an ISIS-related news agency, Amaq (pronounced “amok”?) has claimed that the guy who ran amok with the knife in the Minnesota mall was “a soldier of ISIS.”

    I’m not sure if they’ve just decided to co-opt this loon for the publicity value or if he really was a “solider of ISIS.”

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  3. Gustopher says:

    @CSK: ISIS has been encouraging people across the world to kill with whatever weapons they can get their hands on, and promising that they will be martyrs of ISIS and go to heaven and get their virgins, etc.

    And I don’t mean that they are encouraging specific people — they are sending their encouragements out to the world, to find root where ever a nutjob is found.

    So, it would be entirely in keeping with past events if this was just a loser in Minnesota who wanted to hurt people and end his life, and now had an ideology that made it fine.

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  4. CSK says:

    @Gustopher:

    I strongly suspect it is some loser/loon. The police clearly knew who he is, since they stated he’d acquired three traffic violations in the past, though he had never been arrested. Most reports now say he mentioned “Allah” and asked one person if that individual was a Muslim.

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  5. michael reynolds says:

    @Gustopher:

    So, it would be entirely in keeping with past events if this was just a loser in Minnesota who wanted to hurt people and end his life, and now had an ideology that made it fine.

    I suspect this is most terrorists. I’ve never bought the notion that ideology creates a motive. I think it shapes and feeds a pre-existing desire to commit extreme acts. It arises from the individual’s sense of injustice, but it’s personal injustice – people who think they deserve more out of life, people who feel weak or insignificant.

    ISIS has cleverly exploited this. In any population (religion, race, gender, whatever) you’re going to have a certain number of mentally unstable folks with chips on their shoulders. ISIS eggs on the crazies in the Muslim population, then claims credit for whatever evil ensues.

    But we should focus on the bigger picture. ISIS has failed in its defining goal of establishing a caliphate. Now they are an ad hoc version of Al Qaeda. Instead of big, planned demonstrations like 9-11, you’re getting random loons operating on their own. Bad, but not 9-11 bad. Lone wolves may shoot up a disco or blow up a dumpster but they can’t obtain, transport and plant nukes or drop entire buildings.

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  6. Lit3Bolt says:

    Russian false flag op to try to make Trump look good and distract the media.

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  7. CSK says:

    @Lit3Bolt:

    I know you’re being cute, but this probably will work to Trump’s advantage, at least temporarily. Remember that he’s the big strong tough guy who’s gonna protect us, and HRC is a weak, sick old woman.

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  8. Slugger says:

    Lets wait to see what the investigations turn up. Remember the shootings in Munich in July of this year? At first it was reported that the shooter shouted “Allahu Akbar” but it turned out that he was actually targeting Turks (ie Muslims) and had shouted “Ich war hier geborn (I was born here).” We all have our pet theories to explain all the wrongs of this world, but it is good to wait and think a little.
    Dr. Mataconis, do you think that there is some connection between this explosion and the knifings in Minnesota?

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  9. stonetools says:

    @michael reynolds:

    Some wacko trying to be a soldier for ISIS. Luckily, he was an idiot. Everyone should know that in the US you don’t try to commit an act of terror with some hokey home made bomb that most likely won’t work, or if it does, won’t do all that much damage. No, you head on over to the Walmart and buy an AR15, a 9mm Beretta, several 30 round magazines and a few thousand rounds of ammunition. Half a hour’s worth of shopping and you are equipped for a major terror operation.
    Let’s hope that future wackos will continue to be as dumb as this one was. And let’s hope the FBI catches him quickly before he tries again.

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  10. Lit3Bolt says:

    @CSK:

    I know there’s no evidence, but Russia has been playing the US like a song for most of this election, and it would be extremely easy for a state actor to just scatter some pipe bombs and watch the US media take care of the rest.

    People act as if American democracy is eternal and invulnerable. It’s not.

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  11. Andrew says:

    @CSK:

    Remember that he’s the big strong tough guy who’s gonna protect us, and HRC is a weak, sick old woman.

    I crack up at this. Trump if elected will be the second largest President in history. After Taft.
    I know you do not believe the line you wrote. It just reminds me of an old The Simpsons episode. Lisa makes a comment that Homer must be working out as he is getting stronger, and Homer replies “Well, I have been eating more!”

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  12. MBunge says:

    @Lit3Bolt: People act as if American democracy is eternal and invulnerable. It’s not.

    And the greatest threat to democracy is almost always internal.

    Mike

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  13. Thor thormussen says:

    Trump if elected will be the second largest President in history.

    LOL. When Hillz wins reelection in 2020, it will be the first time since Truman that any party served 4 straight terms.

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  14. Thor thormussen says:

    and it’ll be the 7th of 8 times the GOP got beat.

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  15. Dave Schuler says:

    @michael reynolds:

    I suspect this is most terrorists. I’ve never bought the notion that ideology creates a motive. I think it shapes and feeds a pre-existing desire to commit extreme acts. It arises from the individual’s sense of injustice, but it’s personal injustice – people who think they deserve more out of life, people who feel weak or insignificant.

    ISIS has cleverly exploited this. In any population (religion, race, gender, whatever) you’re going to have a certain number of mentally unstable folks with chips on their shoulders. ISIS eggs on the crazies in the Muslim population, then claims credit for whatever evil ensues.

    I think that’s about right. Combine that with the unprecedented level of destructive power an individual can harness these days and mass murders that would only have been possible for a lord or general can be perpetrated by an ordinary individual.

    And, of course, we have more than our share of mentally ill people here.

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  16. Matt says:

    @Dave Schuler:

    unprecedented level of destructive power an individual can harness these days

    That statement is ridiculous. You used to be able to buy a variety of explosives easily over the counter with little if any paperwork as recently as a few decades ago. You could buy full auto weapons up until the 80s with relative ease (hence the gun control act and National Firearms act of 86). If anything the amount of destructive power that the average citizen has access to is severely limited compared to what we saw some decades ago.

    What HAS changed is the unprecedented level of communication that exists today. Some nutcase farting deep in the forests of the Amazon can be heard around the word in a matter of minutes thanks to the power of the internet.

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  17. michael reynolds says:

    @Dave Schuler:

    I saw your piece on that. I suspect (as you do) it’s largely a case of over-diagnosis – there’s many a second home and golf club membership financed by treating crazy people. But I also think we’re a hypochondriacal society, the result of lazy media who cash in on health paranoias, and way too much free time. As you noted, folks busy digging grubs to eat don’t have a lot of time for neurosis. Wealth and leisure breeds crazy.

    But yes, surely some of it is a consequence of people who simply cannot adjust to a society they find alien and often offensive. If you cannot find your way in modern America the temptation is to return to your roots and blame society at large rather than your own rigidity or lack of skills or simple laziness. You externalize your failure. You scapegoat, and blame someone, anyone: Mexicans, Muslims, Jews, women, African-Americans, gays, Hollywood, whatever. Or if you’re not an American, you blame America. And if you’re crazy enough, and especially if you think there’s a reward waiting in the afterlife, you may decide to act out.

    Unfortunately saying, “Crazy,” doesn’t solve the problem. We have no means to diagnose every nut. We have no law that would allow us to forcibly treat said nut. We don’t really have treatments that work in many cases. And given that we have at a minimum 5% of 320,000,000 people who are one kind of crazy or another, we have rather an issue with sheer numbers.

    Like many people who grew up during the Cold War I remember Soviet misuse of mental illness diagnoses to repress dissent. I don’t think I want forcible mental health treatment in the absence of clear evidence of violence committed or at least planned.

    In the end the problem is technological. As you say, never has so much destructive power been in the hands of individuals. With our usual brilliance we cope by ensuring that crazy people are as well-armed as possible.

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  18. HarvardLaw92 says:

    Oddly, the first question that came to my mind was “why 23rd street, of all the places in NYC to blow up? Chelsea is not really what you’d think an actual terrorist would select”.

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  19. michael reynolds says:

    @Matt:

    And does the nut kill someone with that ‘word’ that has traveled around the world?

    No, he kills people with firearms and explosives, happily supplied by the NRA and the Congress.

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  20. michael reynolds says:

    @HarvardLaw92:

    A company party in San Bernardino?

    This ain’t the A Team of Terror, whoever they are. I hope not to see the word, “mastermind” thrown around. They blew up a dumpster and failed to blow up a crockpot.

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  21. James Pearce says:

    Gary Johnson’s reaction: “Well, first of all, just grateful that nobody got hurt.”

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  22. Lit3Bolt says:

    @James Pearce:

    Shorter Gary Johnson: “I wish every work-unit a speedy return to maximum productivity.”

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  23. Wr says:

    @HarvardLaw92: @HarvardLaw92: Have you ever tried to buy anything at the Home Depot there? Say a window air conditioner when the humidity is rising? I swear when I heard about this I thought my wife had done it…

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  24. Matt says:

    @michael reynolds: Ideology encouraging those to kill does spread nicely. Don’t you recall your prior rants about the racist right and their usage of the internet to spread their hate? Also it allows for you to hear about stuff you would never of heard about 20 or so years ago. People think that violence is up because of that reason.

    The last part of your post is an irrelevant statement completely ignoring reality because your beliefs can’t mesh with the facts.

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  25. Matt says:

    @Matt: I think a credible argument can be made that the nearly instant world wide exposure of such acts encourages copycats or “originals”. When you’re mad at society the thought of 24/7 news coverage of your “glorious” acts rebelling against your perceived enemies can be a compelling motivator. That’s why these things tend to happen in bunches as more people try to ride the wave of publicity/fame. Stop giving these nutjobs wall to wall coverage and you’ll see far fewer copycats.

    I fully admit that this is easier said than done as the media isn’t a monolithic entity. After all “if it bleeds it leads”.

    Meanwhile CNN has on their homepage in HUGE bold letters THREE ATTACKS ON US SOIL!!!!!!. Like they were remotely successful…

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  26. Gustopher says:

    I would be a little surprised if the Chelsea bombings were ISIS related. It doesn’t fit the pattern of martyring yourself for a cause greater than yourself. The person or people who set these bombs wanted to survive.

    I mean, maybe they just want to blow up other things, but we haven’t seen that from the losers ISIS inspires before. He/they have goals beyond blowing up a dumpster and any passers by.

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  27. CSK says:

    Ahmad Khan Rahami, a 28-year-old naturalized U.S. citizen, is the principle suspect in the Chelsea bombing. Another five people are being questioned. Bombs were found at a train station in Elizabeth NJ. Authorities suspect a terror cell; the NJ bombing at the road race and the NY bombing appear to be connected. Rahami is still on the loose; he is considered to be armed and dangerous and part of a terror cell.

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  28. Franklin says:

    @Matt:

    That statement is ridiculous.

    Actually, it wasn’t ridiculous and you showed why. Mass communication also enables one to learn about how to put together an AK-47 from parts, how to make a pressure cooker bomb, etc. You think these dimwits figured this stuff out on their own?

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  29. Rafer Janders says:

    @HarvardLaw92:

    Oddly, the first question that came to my mind was “why 23rd street, of all the places in NYC to blow up? Chelsea is not really what you’d think an actual terrorist would select”.

    Specifically, that actual block — 23rd btw 6th and 7th — doesn’t really have anything of note on it. No major landmarks, no popular restaurants or clubs, no large crowds, nothing. It’s only tangentially even “Chelsea” as it’s on the northeast border of that neighborhood so not in its heart.

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  30. CSK says:

    @Rafer Janders:

    There’s some speculation now on the part of the authorities that it might have been a test run.

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  31. Gavrilo says:

    How come the left never proposes regulating the internet? The internet is certainly a much more common denominator in these cases of terrorism/mass murder than the AR-15 rifle. If we should look to Australia as a model for “reasonable” gun laws, why can’t we look to China for a “reasonable” internet censorship policy? If no one really “needs” a military-style assault rifle, why does anyone really “need” access to radical Islam via the internet? Why not restrict access? Or, require background checks before someone can purchase a broadband connection or a data plan?

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  32. Rafer Janders says:

    @CSK:

    That’s idiotic. Nobody actually does “test runs”. That’s the stuff of bad fiction and Hollywood movies. I guarantee you nobody in any actual decision-making capacity actually believes that.

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  33. CSK says:

    According to the New York Times, the New York IEDs were constructed “with an unusual degree of competence.”

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  34. Rafer Janders says:

    @Gavrilo:

    You will take away my Internet when you pry the keyboard from my cold, dead fingers……

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  35. Rafer Janders says:

    @CSK:

    According to the New York Times, the New York IEDs were constructed “with an unusual degree of competence.”

    That’s a hard statement to understand, as it does not take an unusual degree of competence to construct an IED. It’s a relatively simple mechanical task.

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  36. CSK says:

    @Rafer Janders:

    It was loaded with ball bearings, which are unusually effective anti-personnel devices.

    In any case, Rahami has been arrested after shooting at a cop in Linden, New Jersey.

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  37. James Pearce says:

    @Gavrilo:

    How come the left never proposes regulating the internet?

    How come everyone on the right thinks they’re writing jokes for the Tonight Show?

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  38. Bill says:

    @Gavrilo: because the only “ideology ” the left would try to squelch would be those who don’t share their views. Heck, when a bomb goes off somewhere they seem to go out of their minds trying to distance it from wacky muslins. But then, it’s who they are.

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  39. Moosebreath says:

    @Bill:

    “because the only “ideology ” the left would try to squelch would be those who don’t share their views.”

    Once again, Republicans try their “I know you are, but what am I?” gambit. Hint– squelching those who don’t share their views is exactly the point of regulating the internet, which is why liberals don’t do it.

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  40. James Pearce says:

    @Bill:

    Heck, when a bomb goes off somewhere they seem to go out of their minds trying to distance it from wacky muslins. But then, it’s who they are.

    Ah, where would we liberals be if wingnuts didn’t blame us every time a Muslim sets off a bomb?

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  41. michael reynolds says:

    @Matt:

    Yes, it’s helpful to a bomb maker to have instructions on-line. In the old days he’d have had to go to a used book store and pick up the Anarchist’s Cookbook. And yes, hate spreads online, and it’s not helpful. And yes, as Dave Schuler and I both agreed, lots of these folks are just crazy. But we don’t have a way to control the flow of information, and we don’t have the power or knowledge necessary to weed out crazies.

    So when we are looking at limiting the effects of terror in the US the three obvious choke points are foreign policy, immigration and weaponry. We can stop irritating jihadis, but I rather doubt that will prove do-able. We can stop people coming in from jihad-prone regions, and we can stop giving crazy people access to explosives and guns. We at least have the means to do both those last two things.

    The immigration question has become so polarized I won’t even discuss it until after the election, and we all know the gun cult prioritizes its fetish over every other issue, so we’re blocked there as well, by politics.

    Can’t stop the data, can’t stop the crazy, can’t stop the flow, can’t stop the guns. So I guess we’d better just get used to bombs and shoot-outs. We are crippled by ideologies.

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  42. bookdragon says:

    @CSK: I don’t know what degree of competence went into making the bombs, but Rahami seems to be a particularly incompetent terrorist. He failed in part because he left a rolling bag unattended on a NY street and it was – surprise! – stolen. Whoever took it apparently too the pressure cooker IED out and dumped it. Similar thing happened with the backpack bombs in NJ, except the folks who picked them up saw wires and took them to police.

    Then the topper:

    Not only did Rahami fail to kill any civilians when he blew up a dumpster in Manhattan over the weekend, but he managed to get himself caught by police less than two days later after a bar owner recognized him as a man who had passed out in his bar’s hallway.

    Incompetent terrorist

    No wonder ISIL hasn’t claimed he was one of theirs. (In fact, he probably isn’t. Passing out in bars is not exactly in keeping with the Quran).

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  43. CSK says:

    @bookdragon:

    Yeah, love the part about passing out drunk. On the other hand, didn’t the 9/11 hijackers spend the night before 9/11 pounding down screwdrivers in a strip bar? Maybe Rahami had it backward. “No, no, Ahmad, you get loaded first and then go be a terrorist, not the other way around.”

    Regardless, even f&*k-ups like this guy can be very dangerous.

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  44. Gustopher says:

    From The NY Times:

    Mr. Rahami was born on Jan. 23, 1988, in Afghanistan. He was described as a naturalized citizen who had been living with his family in Elizabeth, not far from where he was arrested. Associates said that several years ago Mr. Rahami traveled to his homeland and when he returned, he showed signs of radicalization.

    This really seems more like an incompetently executed al Qaeda style attack than an ISIS attack — many explosive devices over a wide area, rather than going out in a blaze of glory — and the connections to Afghanistan rather than Iraq and/or Syria.

    He’s a college dropout (according to another article), and his family lives above a fried chicken restaurant. I think as more details come out, we will see a familiar picture emerge — a pathetic failure of a man.

    Should the FBI have files on all losers from the Mideast?

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  45. Gustopher says:

    @CSK: I don’t think he passed out drunk. I think he realized he couldn’t return home, and just slept in the doorway of a bar because he had nowhere else to go, or deliberately planned to blend in with the homeless people.

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  46. Gustopher says:

    @Rafer Janders: “an unusual degree of competence” might not be a compliment.

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  47. Dave Schuler says:

    @Gustopher:

    Should the FBI have files on all losers from the Mideast?

    That’s probably excessive. I don’t think it’s beyond the realm of possibility that 15-40 year old losers from the Middle East who’ve visited the Old Country present more risk and might receive more scrutiny than Hadassah members.

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  48. James Pearce says:

    @Dave Schuler:

    I don’t think it’s beyond the realm of possibility that 15-40 year old losers from the Middle East who’ve visited the Old Country present more risk and might receive more scrutiny than Hadassah members.

    Just out of prudence, I say let’s do it.

    But we should also consider that these homegrown attacks may not actually have foreign origins.

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  49. Matt says:

    @Franklin: You didn’t need to know how to build bombs as you could readily buy TNT and other high explosives over the counter till relatively recently. You could also buy real machine guns and real assault rifles over the counter with no real paperwork till the 80s. So it’s a ridiculous statement to make to claim that people have access to an

    unprecedented level of destructive power an individual can harness these days

    It’s quite clear that in reality our access to destructive capabilities has been severely decreased. No amount of information on how to assemble an AK47 is going to do anything when the components are highly regulated and nearly impossible to access. Which btw a real Ak47 is +$30k unless you submit to an extensive trail of background checks via the ATF/FBI and about a year or so worth of paperwork on top of taxes and fees. With the new generation of low cost SLS printers and other emerging technologies the law iss going to matter less as you’ll be able to build your own gun at home for cheap.

    EDIT : BTW an ak47 is incredibly easy to assemble. It’s the m16s and M4s that add a degree of difficulty in assembly. The ak-47 was designed to be used by peasant solders so it’s easy to build and maintain.

    @michael reynolds: In the old days he’d drive down to the store and just buy the explosives without bothering with all that other crap. The anarchist cookbook wasn’t needed as most of the stuff it describes how to make via improvisation was readily available at the local store…

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