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FBI: ‘Vehicle of interest’ stopped in Chelsea bombing

A mangled dumpster sits on the sidewalk at

A mangled dumpster sits on the sidewalk at the site of an explosion that occurred on Saturday night on Sunday, Sept. 18, 2016, in the Chelsea neighborhood of Manhattan. Credit: Getty Images / Pool

The FBI said agents and investigators with the NYPD stopped a “vehicle of interest” Sunday night in Brooklyn in connection with the Chelsea bombing.

Government and law enforcement officials briefed on the investigation said five people in the vehicle were being questioned at an FBI building in lower Manhattan, The Associated Press reported.

The two officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to talk about an ongoing investigation.

Also, NBC News reported that a suspicious device found near a northern New Jersey train station Sunday night exploded as a bomb squad robot cut into it. It was unknown if the device was connected to the Chelsea bombing.

FBI officials said no one has been charged with a crime in connection with the 8:45 p.m. Brooklyn traffic stop, but the investigation was continuing. No further details were available.

A state senator said the FBI took five people into custody after the stop.

Sen. Marty Golden (R-Brooklyn) posted a statement on social media shortly after 10 p.m. announcing the apprehension of people with “a possible connection” to the Saturday night bombing along West 23rd Street that injured 29.

“About an hour ago, the FBI took several individuals into custody on the Belt Parkway in the area underneath the Verrazano Bridge, with a possible connection to the bombing last night in Chelsea,” Golden wrote in a post shortly after 10 p.m. on Sunday.

Golden labeled the post as an “update from the NYPD,” but a department spokesman said Sunday night that it had not issued any update and directed all questions to the FBI.

Golden could not immediately be reached late Sunday night.

AP reported early Monday that investigators were examining a suspicious package found in a trash can near a New Jersey train station, and service on the busy Northeast Corridor line had been suspended.

Elizabeth Mayor Christian Bollwage said two men called police and reported seeing wires and a pipe coming out of the package after finding it at about 9:30 p.m. Sunday.

Bollwage said the Union County bomb squad’s robot indicated the package the men left under a train trestle could be a live bomb.

Sometime later Bollwage said, the robot was “cutting into the device when it exploded,” according to NBC News. It was unknown if there were any injuries.

Service on New Jersey Transit was suspended between Newark Liberty Airport and Elizabeth, the AP reported, and New York’s emergency management department said New Jersey-bound Amtrak trains were being held at New York Penn Station.

A message left by the AP with the FBI wasn’t immediately returned.

The developments came nearly 24 hours after dozens were injured after an explosive device rocked a Chelsea neighborhood. Another possible explosive, a pressure cooker with wiring, was also discovered nearby and removed for analysis.

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo said at a Sunday news conference that it was too early to say whether the explosion, as well as the discovery of what appeared to be a pressure cooker with a cellphone attached a few blocks away, could be linked to international terrorism, but added “a bomb exploding in New York is obviously an act of terrorism.”


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