NEW YORK (Reuters) - Federal authorities announced a $65,000 reward on Tuesday in the unsolved 2008 case of the Times Square bomber who tried to destroy a military recruiting station before escaping on a bicycle.
Authorities released new videos of the suspect and a picture of the bomb. They said the explosion - which went off in one of the city’s busiest intersections - might be related to two earlier bombings in New York, one at the British Consulate in 2005 and another at the Mexican Consulate in 2007.
“Someone, somewhere, knows something about a bomber who’s still on the run,” George Venizelos, the FBI’s assistant director-in-charge, said. “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.”
The Times Square bomb exploded about 3:45 a.m. on March 6, 2008, at the Armed Forces Recruiting Station, a small, stand-alone building. No one was wounded and the blast caused only minor damage, according to the FBI and the New York City Police Department.
The suspect, who rode a blue Ross bicycle, dismounted, placed the bomb at the recruiting station, lit the fuse and fled, authorities said. The bicycle was later found in a dumpster near Madison Avenue and 38th Street.
“The bomber narrowly missed killing or injuring passers-by who can be seen clearly in the vicinity, moments before the blast,” New York City Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly said.
Authorities said the bomb was made of an ammunition can of the sort commonly found on the battlefields in Iraq and Afghanistan. The can was filled halfway with black powder and detonated using a time fuse.
The consulate bombs were similarly delivered by someone on a bicycle and detonated between 3 a.m. and 4 a.m., authorities said.
The videos show the suspect wearing a gray sweatshirt and pants of an unknown color. The suspect’s height, weight, age and race are not known, authorities said.
The suspect appeared to be working alone but could have had a lookout or a surveillance team of as many as five other people in Times Square at the time of the attack, authorities said.
The photos and video are being displayed on digital billboards in Times Square and throughout the Northeast.
The FBI and the NYPD will be using the Twitter hashtag #BikeBomber to disseminate information about the attacks and to solicit information. The FBI can also be reached at 212-384-1000. Tipsters may remain anonymous.
Editing by Scott Malone and Leslie Adler