Authorities are on the lookout for a possible terrorist cell after a few explosive devices were found in New York City and New Jersey, including one that detonated in Manhattan, injuring 29 people.
Five suspects are in FBI custody after authorities stopped a “vehicle of interest” on New York’s Verrazano bridge Sept. 18, the Daily Mail reported. The five suspects were reportedly heavily armed and believed to be connected with the Chelsea explosion on Sept. 17.
The FBI confirmed that all five individuals are from New Jersey and suggested that most of them are from the same family. They said there could be more suspects at large and that a terror cell may be active in the area.
At around 1 a.m. on Sept. 19, a raid was carried out at an Elizabeth, New Jersey, train station, where police discovered five pipe bombs, WABC reported. The train station is near Newark Liberty International Airport.
A bomb squad robot reportedly cut the wrong wire on one of the five devices, causing an explosion. No one was injured in the explosion, but officials said the loss of life “could have been enormous” if the device had detonated a few hours later, while passengers commuted to work.
The FBI issued an official statement:
There was a suspicious package with multiple improvised explosive devices this evening at the Elizabeth Train Station in NJ. Bomb techs from the FBI, Union County, & the New Jersey State Police have arrived on the scene and are now rendering the area safe. In the course of rendering one of the devices safe, it detonated. There are no injuries & law enforcement personnel are at the scene processing evidence. We will continue to provide additional information once the area has been cleared. Anyone with info call 1-800-CALLFBI.
In New York, a second device was found by police on 27th Street, just four blocks away from the Chelsea explosion on 23rd Street and Sixth Avenue. Authorities said a man was seen on surveillance video putting an object in a dumpster some time before the explosion occurred.
Another video shows a man leaving a suitcase on the sidewalk on 27th Street. Two suspects are then seen taking a device out of the suitcase and walking away.
Police described the second device as a pressure cooker that had protruding wires, a cell phone, and black tape, WNBC reported. They said the device was safely moved to Rodman's Neck Range in the Bronx and diffused.
"As governor of New York, this is my worst nightmare," Andrew Cuomo told reporters, adding that the suspect who planted the device "will be brought to justice."
The FBI released details on one suspect believed to be connected to the Chelsea explosion. His name is Ahmad Khan Rahami, 28, The Independent reported. He is described as 5-foot 6-inches and weighing 200 pounds. He is from New Jersey.
"Rahami is wanted for questioning in connection with an explosion that occurred on September 17, 2016, at approximately 8:30 pm in the vicinity of 135 West 23rd Street, New York, New York," investigators said.
World leaders will soon be meeting in New York for the United Nations General Assembly.