New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced on Sunday that 1,000 National Guard soldiers and state police officers would be deployed at key locations throughout New York City, including bus and subway stations and airports, following Saturday evening’s bomb explosion in Manhattan.
This is in addition to an already increased police presence. A wide area of central Manhattan was closed to traffic by the police Sunday, and security measures have been increased throughout the city.
The explosion occurred at approximately 8:30 Saturday evening on West 23rd Street in the Chelsea neighborhood, on the West Side of Manhattan. The blast appeared to come from in or near a trash dumpster on the sidewalk. The powerful explosion, which officials indicate was caused by a homemade bomb, shook buildings and shattered windows over a large area. It injured 29 people, and all were reported to have been released from hospital by Sunday morning.
A second, unexploded bomb was found several blocks to the north, on West 27th Street, during a subsequent sweep of the vicinity. That device has been removed for examination by the FBI. Both bombs reportedly resemble the “pressure cooker” bombs used in the Boston Marathon attack three years ago.
Earlier on Saturday, another explosion took place, this one in Seaside Park, a coastal community in New Jersey, about 80 miles south of New York City. That blast, at 9:30 in the morning, was caused by an improvised device or pipe bomb left in a trash can along the planned route of a race to raise money for the US Marine Corps. The race was postponed, and no one was injured by that explosion.
There have been no confirmed claims of responsibility for any of these bombs, and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio and Governor Cuomo have both stated that no official conclusions have yet been made regarding who is responsible. Cuomo was quick to state, however, “A bomb exploding in New York is obviously an act of terrorism.”
Presidential candidates Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton also rushed to condemn “terrorism.” After initially stating it was necessary to wait for facts to come out, Clinton issued a statement on Sunday condemning “the apparent terrorist attacks in Minnesota, New Jersey, and New York.” ISIS claimed responsibility for the stabbing of nine people by one man in a Minnesota mall on Saturday.
Clinton went on to use the attacks to bolster her own calls for stepped up war in Syria and Iraq. “ISIS has claimed responsibility for the attack in Minnesota, and this should steel our resolve to protect our country and defeat ISIS and other terrorist groups.”