posted at 8:01 pm on September 21, 2016 by Ed Morrissey
Not “suspects,” the FBI wants everyone to now, but just two men who carried bombs around for a while with whom they’d really like to, er … chat. Further investigation into surveillance video shows two men who picked up luggage containing a pressure cooker bomb, leaving the bomb on the street, and taking off with the luggage. If the two men come in and talk with investigators, the FBI says they’ll get a very friendly reception:
Investigators searching for evidence after a bomb exploded in New York say they’re looking for two witnesses who could help them in the case.
The FBI wants to speak with two men allegedly seen on surveillance video removing a pressure cooker with wires and duct tape on it from a piece of luggage left in New York’s Chelsea neighborhood Saturday. The agency released a photograph of the men Wednesday and asked for the public’s assistance locating them.
The men are witnesses and are not accused of wrongdoing, NYPD Counterterrorism Bureau Chief James Waters told reporters.
“We’re very much interested in speaking to them. … There are no criminal charges. They are not in jeopardy of being arrested,” he said.
According to the FBI, security camera footage taken on 27th Street shows the men “allegedly located a piece of luggage on the sidewalk, removed an improvised explosive device from the luggage, and then left the vicinity leaving the device behind but taking the luggage.”
CBS News reports that the FBI really wants to get its hands on the bag itself, to see whether it can be linked to Ahmad Rahami to strengthen its case. But let’s face it — they might be a wee bit interested to see whether the two men have links to Rahami, too. Analyst Jeff Pegues calls this “interesting,” and doesn’t sound convinced that law enforcement just wants to dot a few Is and cross some stray Ts:
Investigators aren’t saying that this relates to a larger cell, Pegues says, but the FBI doesn’t put out a national SEEKING INFORMATION alert just to have a talk. “Would you just drop that device,” Pegues says about the unexploded pressure cooker with a cell phone attached by wires, “and walk away with the bag? … It sort of raises some questions that veteran investigators would say are — suspicious.” No kidding.
Rahami’s on the move after having multiple surgeries, heading for New York and prosecution there. His wife won’t be joining him there, apparently; CNN reports that she’s cooperating with American officials in the United Arab Emirates, but it’s not clear whether she herself is living there.