Authorities Believe Explosive Devices In NYC Region Are Related

Sep 19, 2016
Originally published on September 19, 2016 8:31 am
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DAVID GREENE, HOST:

And as I mentioned, our colleague, Dina Temple-Raston, has been covering this story all morning. At first, it looked like the series of explosive devices found were not related. But as Dina has been reporting all morning - and she told us this a bit earlier this morning - it does now appear that these events might be linked.

DINA TEMPLE-RASTON, BYLINE: Initially, they thought that the New Jersey running race bomb was a separate thing. What - what's changed is they actually have compared the explosives in the various bombs, and they seem similar. The timing devices are flip cellphones, which are also similar in all the devices. And the igniter - basically what you have is you have a spark that sets off the explosion. The igniters are all Christmas lights - those little, tiny Christmas lights, which is a pretty common igniter in these kind of improvised devices.

GREENE: These are some of the sorts of stuff that we saw in the bombing in the Boston Marathon. Is that right?

TEMPLE-RASTON: It's similar, but different. The composition of the bomb is a bit different. There was a pressure cooker in the Boston Marathon bomb case, and they had put nails and ball bearings in the bomb itself, which is what they found here as well. But the marathon bombing was much more crude. The device was much more crude.

It was filled with basically sort of gunpowder from fireworks. In this case, our sources are telling us that they actually mixed an explosive that was much more powerful, which is why, according to our sources, it was put under a dumpster, this one in Chelsea, and actually blew the dumpster up and blew it across the street. That's how strong the explosive was.

GREENE: One question on the minds of many people is, I mean, could this be linked to an international terrorist group in some way?

TEMPLE-RASTON: They still haven't been able to determine that. I mean, it's meaningful that, this much after the bombing on Saturday, that they still haven't found a link. That's - that's meaningful. Usually, they find a link pretty quickly. And the fact that they're standing pat on that at least suggests now that they don't know that there's an ISIS link or an al-Qaida link, and they're still looking for that.

GREENE: NPR's counterterrorism correspondent, Dina Temple-Raston. Dina, thanks.

TEMPLE-RASTON: You're welcome. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.