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News

Hollywood Hills Man Not Connected to NYC Bombing

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Photographs of the damaged recruiting center (above) and Mayor Bloomberg and Police Commissioner Kelly (below) by Mary Altaffer/AP

After reports that 10 members of congress, including California Senator Dianne Feinstein, received letters and photos in the mail that possibly claimed responsibility for yesterday's bombing in Times Square, the FBI did the obvious thing: go to the man's house who was listed on the return address. Nothing turned up when they questioned the man. "We're continuing to investigate, but right now there is no evidence linking the individual being questioned to the incident in New York or the letters themselves," Eimiller said to KNBC.

In fact, the FBI said letters sent with a photograph of a man standing in front of the Times Square recruiting center and an anti-war manifesto were not linked to yesterday's bombing outside the center at all. A law enforcement source did call the letters an "incredibly unbelievable coincidence," as they arrived in many offices yesterday, after days of sorting (per post-anthrax scare measures).

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Now investigators are looking at similarities the bombing has with the 2005 British Consulate bombing on Third Avenue and the 2007 Mexican Consulate bombing on East 39th. All three bombs were thrown by a bicyclist; all three bombs were made with a similar powder.

Police Commissioner Ray Kelly added, "The fact of the matter is that all three incidents happened within a 30-minute span, a 25-minute span," with yesterday's bomb going off around 3:43 a.m., the British Consulate bomb at 3:55 a.m., and the Mexican Consulate bomb at 3:40 a.m.

Also remarked upon was how the bombing took place on the 38th anniversary of the Weathermen's Greenwich Village townhouse bombing. The Mexican Consulate bombing occurred on the anniversary of journalist Bradley Roland Will's death in Oaxaca and the British Consulate bombing occurred on British Election Day.

Back in Los Angeles, "NBC4's Robert Kovacik said the man who was questioned apparently sent the packages to Congress to protest the war in Iraq. He is simply an antiwar activist, Kovacik reported, and his correspondence to lawmakers was just a coincidence, sent to mark this month's fifth anniversary of the start of the war in Iraq."

Earlier
-- LA Connection to NYC Times Square Bombing*
-- Times Square Explosion; No Injuries, "Improvised Device"

Gothamist Editor Jen Chung contributed to this story