$65,000 offered for information on 2008 Times Square bomber
The FBI and the NYPD on Tuesday announced a reward of up to $65,000 for information leading to the identification, arrest and conviction of a suspect or suspects involved in the unsolved 2008 bombing of an army recruiting station in Times Square.
The video above is newly released surveillance footage of the suspect or suspects. The agencies have also released new photos. FBI Assistant Director-in-Charge George Venizelos said the video and photos ”could be the key to breaking the case.”
“Someone, somewhere, knows something about a bomber who’s still on the run,” 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.”
The FBI believes the person or people responsible for this bombing may also have been behind two other bombings in New York City: one in 2005 at the British consulate and another in 2007 at the Mexican consulate.
The FBI and the NYPD will be using the hashtag #BikeBomber to release information about the attacks and solicit information via Twitter.
The surveillance video and photos are being displayed on digital billboards throughout the northeast, including in Times Square.
The new photo shows part of the explosive device used in the attack, the FBI said. The ammunition used in the device was typical for the warfare in Iraq and Afghanistan. Authorities say it was filled halfway with black powder, detonated using a time fuse and could have caused serious casualties if people had been nearby.
The bombing occurred in the early morning hours of March 6, 2008. The consulate bombings that the FBI suspects could be related also occurred in the early morning hours, between 3 a.m. and 4 a.m.; those bombs were also set by a person on a bicycle.
According to the FBI, on that morning in 2008, the suspect rode a blue Ross bicycle west on 37th Street, took a right up Sixth Avenue, and made a left on 47th Street before turning left down Seventh Avenue and getting off his bike at West 43rd Street and Seventh Avenue.
The suspect then apparently placed a bomb at the Army recruiting station, lit a fuse, and fled on the bicycle south on Broadway before turning left on 38th Street. The bike was reportedly found in a dumpster near Madison Avenue and 38th Street.
The suspect on the bicycle was last seen wearing a gray sweatshirt and pants of an unknown color, the FBI said. The height, weight, age, sex and race of the suspect are still unknown.
While the suspect appears to be working alone, the FBI said it’s possible there were as many as five other people working as lookouts or a surveillance team in Times Square at the time of the bombing.
The investigation is being carried out by FBI agents, NYPD detectives, and members of more than 50 local, state and federal agencies who are all part of the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force in Manhattan. The team is being assisted by prosecutors from the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York.
Authorities are urging anyone with information to call the FBI at 212-384-1000. Callers can remain anonymous.
Follow Danielle Tcholakian on Twitter @danielleiat