Adventurist yahoo (or police provocateur?) attacks Times Square recruiting station

A small bomb caused minor damage to New York’s Times Square military recruiting station before dawn March 7, and police are searching for a hooded bicyclist observed pedaling away on a surveillance video. The blast left a hole in the front window and shattered a glass door. No one was hurt, but Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly said the device, though unsophisticated, could have caused “injury and even death.” Police found a metal ammunition box they believe contained the explosive. Kelly said the box was readily available in Army-Navy surplus stores.

Associated Press
gratuitously mentioned anti-war actions at the station:

In October 2005, a group of activists who call themselves the Granny Peace Brigade rallied there against the Iraq war. Eighteen activists, most of them grandmothers with several in their 80s and 90s, were later acquitted of disorderly conduct.

More legitimately, the AP account invoked the similar attack at the Mexican consulate last October. We noted at the time that NYPD investigators were questioning local activists about the attack. Activists are advised not speak to law enforcement under any circumstances, or let police enter your residence. Instead, direct them to your attorney.

Fox News reports that police are investigating letters that arrived the day of the Times Square attack at eight Capitol Hill congressional offices, containing a photo of the recruiting office before it was bombed and including the claim “Happy New Year, We Did It.” The manila envelopes contained a photo of a man standing in front of the recruiting station, according to a Democratic aide who spoke on condition of anonymity. The envelope also contained a packet of approximately 10 sheets of paper that seemed to be a “political manifesto railing against the Iraq war and a booklet.” The aide apparently didn’t know what the booklet was.

Those who received the letter reportedly included Rep. Hilda Solis (D-CA), Rep. John Tierney (D-MA) and Lois Capps (D-CA). Fox notes that all are members of the Out of Iraq Caucus.

See our last posts on the anarchist scare and fear in New York City.

  1. Clues and false leads in Times Square blast
    Police are now dismissing a link between the letters to Caitol Hill and the blast. (AP, March 7) Some think the “we did it” reference was to winning Democratic control of Congress! Meanwhile, some interesting observations from the New York Times, March 7:

    The bombing at the British Consulate, at 845 Third Avenue between 51st and 52nd Streets, occurred on an election day in Britain. The one outside the Mexican Consulate, at 27 East 39th Street near Madison Avenue, came on the first anniversary of the fatal shooting of Bradley Roland Will, 36, a journalist from New York who often traveled to Latin America to chronicle little-known disputes.

    And the explosion on Thursday occurred on the 38th anniversary of the day when three members of the revolutionary group Weather Underground accidentally blew themselves up in their town house in Greenwich Village while making bombs. The significance of these dates, if any, is unknown.

  2. NYC red scare gets scarier
    Paranoia has been considerably jacked up in New York anarchist scene by a Sept. 9 story in the NY Times revealing that the NYPD Intelligence Division has arrived a “suspect” (sic) in the Times Square “bombing,” one Dennis Christopher Burke—on the basis of him having posted a link to a news story about the case on his blog,  Bombs & Shields! OK, am I going too become a “suspect” too for having linked to his blog? It actually isn’t that improbable. The report says the NYPD opened an investigation into Bill DiPaola, key figure in the eco-bicyclist group Times Up, on the basis of him being a “close associate” of Burke. This all came to light thanks to the legwork of two Pulitzer-wining AP reporters, Matt Apuzzo and Adam Goldman, for their new book, Enemies Within: Indsde the NYPD’s Secret Spying Unit and Bin Laden’s Final Plot Against America. I dunno, it seems like quite a stretch from riding bicycles to acts of mass murder…

  3. Judge frees, disses NYC grand jury resister

    The NY Post Jan. 29 reports that this is what the judge had to say upon freeing a grand jury resister who refused to testify in the Times Square recruiting center attack:

    "The court finds it more likely that [Gerald] Koch will only derive increasing grim self-satisfaction from his position," Manhattan federal Judge John Keenan wrote in his 20-page opinion. "The more unstable he gets, the more he will be presented as a martyr and perceive himself as such. Koch has already decided that this type of notoriety is more valuable than his health and freedom in the short run."
    "The Court sees no indication that Koch's doctrinaire fever will break in the foreseeable future," the judge added. "Consequently, there is no realistic possibility that he will choose to testify before the grand jury."
    Koch [sic] in May declared Koch, 24, in contempt of court and banished him to Metropolitan Correction Center for snubbing two FBI subpoenas to testify before a federal grand jury investigating the bomb plot.
    Koch claims to know nothing about the unsolved attack but won’t answer questions because he says prosecutors are on a "fishing expedition" to find out about his personal beliefs and political associations.

    Obviously the Post mean "Keenan in May declared…" Get a proof-reader, Post! But what we really wanted to say is… Is this really professional behavior for a judge, to be engaging in these kinds of dumb put-downs? For us, we support Koch's "doctrinaire fever." And Keenan's assumption that a federal subpoena must be unquestioningly obeyed is no less "doctrinaire." The Jerry Resists website tells us that Koch was held for 241 days.