Potential Thefts Helped Avert Bigger Terror Impact
Photo via user steve_soblick on Flickr
What’s the old saying? It takes a thief to catch one?
Well, would-be thieves appeared to have played an integral role in helping authorities hone in on the people responsible for Saturday night’s bombing in New York City’s Chelsea neighborhood, and Sunday’s planting of a homemade bomb at a New Jersey train station.
According to DNAinfo.com, the day Ahmad Khan Rahami allegedly planted two bombs in Chelsea — one of which detonated on West 23rd Street — two thieves accidentally helped to disable his second pressure cooker bomb left inside a rolling suitcase on West 27th Street, sources said.
The thieves unwittingly took out the pressure cooker homemade bomb that was in the suitcase because they only wanted the luggage, and dumped the pressure cooker it into the garbage.
By doing so, investigators believe they inadvertently disabled the explosive which was later found before it could explode. That allowed investigators to examine the cellphone attached to the bomb intact and sift through the photos and social media accounts belonging to Ahmad Khan Rahami.
READ MORE: Suspect Arrested After Shootout
According to multiple media reports, two would-be thieves also helped police in the New Jersey incident in which a bomb was inadvertently detonated by a police robot. Two men found the backpack near a popular Elizabeth bar in a garbage container near North Broad Street and Julian Place and took the bag to see if the backpack contained any valuables.
When they saw wires and a pipe, they immediately dropped the bag and called Elizabeth police to inform them of the suspicious nature of the backpack.
It turned out to be a wise and fortuitous decision. Police cleared the area, and state and federal authorities began to investigate. Authorities found five separate devices inside the backpack, one of which was mistakenly detonated, but there were no injuries.
More by Rich Thomaselli
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