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Analyzing the Times Square Car Bombing Attempt

The 2010 Times Square car bombing attempt brought to light a number of issues, including the motivation for such attempted attacks and the value of surveillance in foiling the plots or apprehending the perpetrators.  In this instance, the policy of "see something, say something," made all the difference.  Two street vendors who observed smoke coming from a vehicle reported it and the bomb was able to be be defused before causing any damage or injuries.

Quick thinking on the part of the two street vendors undoubtedly contirubted to the positive outcome of the 2010 Times Square car bombing attempt, but according to Security USA's Clark Pena, it appeared to be the work of amateurs.  The bomb had been ignited, but failed to explode, giving authorities time to disarm it before any damage could be done.  In a post-9/11 world, the immediate assumption was that it was part of a terrorist plot, but GMTV London's anchorwoman who hosted this discussion cited lack of "chatter" as evidence that the attempt may have been made for other reasons.

The attempted bombing took place just outside the offices of the producers of the popular TV cartoon, South Park, which had recently featured an insensitive and politically incorrect depiction of the prophet Mohammed, causing a major outcry among Muslims around the world.  Mr. Pena pointed out that with New York at the top of the list of potential targets for terrorist attacks due to its dominance in the tourism and financial industries, terror could not be discounted as the motive.  Even if the attack had been spurred by the South Park episode, the goals of a car bombing and terrorist attack are the same; to produce catastrophic personal injuries, great financial loss and instill terror into the minds of the local people.

Video footage from a local camera later showed a man engaging in some suspicious activity at the time and location of the bombing attempt, then running from the area.  The surveillance footage proved useful in identifying the perpetrator.  It was ultimately deemed a terrorist plot and multiple arrests were made in connection with the case.

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