New York's Finest Praised After Bomb Scare

A rapid response to a potentially deadly disaster

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U.S. Homeland Security officials have called the foiled bombing in Times Square a "potential terrorist attack." The incident began Saturday evening when a local T-shirt vendor noticed a smoking Nissan SUV and notified authorities. In the idling vehicle, police found three propane tanks, two jugs of gasoline, a clock, gunpowder and electrical components. Authorities evacuated the congested area and successfully defused the bomb. Here's a digest of media coverage about the incident and some of the opinion swirling around in the blogosphere.

  • The Mayor's Speech  New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg was attending the annual White House Correspondents' Dinner in Washington when his administration heard the news. He rushed back to New York and delivered this speech:

  • The Man Who Saved Times Square  The vendor who tipped off police has been identified as Lance Orton and is being haled as a hero. Keith A. Fournier, writes "He is a T Shirt Vendor, a Vietnam Veteran. Anyone who has walked through Times Square has seen him - or others like him - selling their wares. He noticed what he called an 'unoccupied suspicious vehicle' and alerted one of those mounted Police Officers who you also see in the same area. His alertness and sense of duty appears to have prevented what was intended to be another act of terrorism on US soil." The takeaway lesson for Glynnis MacNicol at Mediaite is "Be nice to your vendors, they may end up saving your life." Orton, when confronted by reporters, had a simple message to New Yorkers: "See something, say something.” Video below:

  • Revenge on South Park?  Britain's Telegraph reports that police are investigating any connection between the failed attack and a recent controversial South Park episode: "The dark green Nissan Pathfinder with tinted windows was parked near the junction of 45th Street and Broadway. The location is also adjacent to the Viacom building, fuelling speculation that it might be linked to the company's controversial South Park cartoon which recently depicted Prophet Muhammad in a bear suit."
  • Hats Off to New York's Finest, writes J.P. Freire at The Washington Examiner: "The idea of evacuating Times Square seems like a nightmare, but authorities ought to be commended for doing so efficiently. This is a story that could have ended very badly." Ellen Ratner seconds that:
This attempted bombing means that nine years after 9/11, fifteen years after the bombing in Oklahoma City we must remain vigilant. But we must also be thankful that the cops on the street have kept a watchful eye. Yes, they are New York's finest. New York should be proud of them and so should America.
  • A Potential Nightmare?  Drumming up alarm, Allahpundit at Hot Air warned that the Times Square explosive could be a "hugely destructive" fuel bomb that "likely would have killed hundreds of people." However, reports from The New York Times and others cite officials saying the blast would've been an "incendiary" event rather than an explosive one.

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.