Police are investigating how eight small bricks of C-4, military-grade explosives — a material more powerful than TNT — was left in a historic East Village cemetery for more than a year.
The plastic explosives were not hooked up to a detonator, so there was no chance they could be set off, Police Commissioner Ray Kelly said Monday.
An employee of New York City Marble Cemetery on East 2nd Street, between First and Second avenues, dug up a bag containing the explosives in May or June of last year, Kelly said. The bag had been left by a fence near a tombstone until a volunteer found it over the weekend and alerted authorities.
“It’s not clear at this time whether he [the caretaker] understood precisely what was in the bag,” Kelly said, adding that it had yellow writing on a green material.
The C-4 material is similar to what was used in the terrorist bombings in London in 2005, although police did not suspect a connection to terrorism.
Officials with the cemetery, which is typically closed to the public, could not be reached for comment.
Kelly said that someone had written in chalk on the sidewalk outside of the cemetery, “I really hope one of you finds this.”
Police are reviewing security cameras to see who may have written the note and digging around the cemetery for similar materials.
Another handwritten message was left on a police car at the nearby 9th Precinct that included religious statements about Jesus Christ. Kelly said he didn’t see a link between the note and the explosives.