The FBI and New York City Police Department are offering a $65,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction for the suspect responsible for detonating a bomb in front of an army recruiting station in Times Square in 2008.
The $65,000 reward was publicly announced Tuesday along with never-before-seen video showing the suspect riding a bike to the recruiting station and placing down the explosive. It’s unclear why the new video was released more than five years after the incident, but the FBI said in a statement that photos and the video may be crucial to cracking the cold case.
“Someone, somewhere knows something about a bomber who’s still on the run,” FBI Assistant Director in Charge George Venizelos said in a joint statement with the NYPD. “Today, we’re asking for the public’s assistance in finding those responsible and encouraging the public to look closely at these photos and video, which could be the key to breaking the case.”
“While published reports have repeatedly cited the early morning time of the attack and the lack of casualties, the fact is the bomber narrowly missed killing or injuring passers-by who can be seen clearly in the vicinity moments before the blast,” said New York City Police Department Commissioner Raymond W. Kelly. “The distance between polemics by bombing and the murdering of innocents is short, indeed.”
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In the early morning hours of March 6, 2008, the bomb went off by the recruiting station in Times Square.
Investigators determined the suspect rode a blue Ross bicycle and headed west on 37th Street, made a right on Sixth Avenue, a left on 47th Street and turned left on Seventh Avenue before getting off the bike. He then placed the bomb at the recruiting station, lit a fuse and fled the scene on the bike.
While it appeared that the suspect was working alone, authorities have not ruled out the possibility that other suspects were involved in the bombing. A surveillance team with as many as five other people may have aided the bomber, according to the FBI.
After lighting the fuse, the bicyclist rode south down Broadway and made a left on 38th Street. The bike used in the incident was found in a Dumpster by Madison Avenue and 38th Street.
The bomb was made using an ammunition can “commonly found on the battlefields in Iraq and Afghanistan,” the FBI said. The ammunition can was halfway filled with black powder.
“Although no one was wounded, the device could have caused significant casualties if people had been close to the blast,” according to the FBI.
The Times Square bombing was similar to two other unsolved blasts in New York City – the May 2005 bombing at the British consulate and the Mexican consulate explosion in October 2007. All three bombings were detonated between 3 a.m. and 4 a.m., and all of the devices were delivered by someone on a bicycle. The FBI said the attacks “may be connected.”
The suspect was last seen wearing a gray sweatshirt and pants “of an unknown color,” the FBI said. The bureau is also unsure of the height, weight, age, sex and race of the suspect.
The $65,000 reward will be issued to anyone who can identify the suspect and if the information leads to the arrest and conviction of the bomber. Anyone with information on the attack was asked to call the FBI at 212-384-1000. Tips can be submitted anonymously.