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Times Square bicycle bomber video released; FBI offers reward

June 18, 2013|By Tina Susman
  • A video provided by the FBI shows the moment of detonation in the March 2008 Times Square bombing in New York.
A video provided by the FBI shows the moment of detonation in the March 2008… (FBI / AFP/Getty Images )

A bicycle-riding bomber who attacked a Times Square military recruitment station may have been involved in two similar unsolved bombings in New York City, the FBI and police said Tuesday as they released video of the suspect and offered $65,000 for information leading to his capture.

The video runs for 7 minutes and 8 seconds and shows the bomber cycling down 7th Avenue through the heart of Times Square at 3:38 a.m. March 8, 2008. When he reaches the Armed Forces Recruiting Station at 43rd Street, he places the bomb near its entrance, lights a fuse, and pedals away.

Despite the hour, several people and cars pass by the station, which is at one of the city's busiest intersections. The bomb explodes about 3:40 a.m., sending a massive white cloud into the sky. Within one minute, a police car swerves into view and stops at the scene. 

Nobody was wounded in the bombing, which broke windows and damaged walls. But officials said the blast -- built using ammunition commonly found on the battlefields of Iraq and Afghanistan -- could have caused "significant casualties" if people had been nearby when it exploded.

"The fact is, the bomber narrowly missed killing or injuring passers-by who can be seen clearly in the vicinity, moments before the blast," New York City Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly said.

Authorities released the video now in the hope of generating leads in the 5-year-old case.

In a statement, the FBI office in New York said the details of the bombing were similar to one that occurred in May 2005 outside the British Consulate in New York and another in October 2007 at the Mexican Consulate. Those bombs also were delivered by someone on a bicycle and detonated between 3 a.m. and 4 a.m.

"Someone, somewhere knows something about a bomber who's still on the run," the FBI's assistant director-in-charge in New York, George Venizelos, said in a statement. 

The video shows the bomber, clad in a hooded sweatshirt, cycling through midtown Manhattan from various angles but never provides a clear view of his face. His blue Ross bicycle was found dumped near Madison Avenue and 38th Street. It was captured by surveillance cameras set up throughout New York City and used by law enforcement in criminal investigations.

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tina.susman@latimes.com

Twitter: @tinasusman

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