Grenade Blasts at British Embassy in New York
Two toy grenades filled with gunpowder exploded in the early morning hours at the British embassy in New York City.
Two small makeshift grenades exploded outside a building housing the British Consulate early Thursday, Election Day in England, causing slight damage but injuring no one, officials said. The blasts happened at 3:35 a.m.
The grenades had been placed inside a cement flower box outside the front door of the midtown Manhattan building, police spokesman Noel Waters said. “We do not at this point have any idea who did it or a motive,” Mayor Michael Bloomberg said.
The consulate is on the 9th and 10th floors of the building, the mayor said. He said he expected it would be open for business later in the day. After piecing together the shrapnel, police determined the devices were toy grenades that had been filled with gunpowder. Officers estimated that one was the size of a pineapple; the other the size of a lemon. No timing device was used, Police Commissioner Ray Kelly said.
While the timing seems to indicate that this is somehow related to today’s UK elections, the nature of the devices would seem to point away from terrorists or professionals.
Update: Reactions around the blogosphere:
- Michelle Malkin doesn’t want to speculate on who was behind this but says it was “clearly meant to terrorize or worse. And we can’t ignore the very real possibility that it was a dry run.” Agreed.
Jim Geraghy thinks this is the work of Islamc terrorists or at least something more organized than “just some nut.”
John Little finds it “troubling.”
Rusty Shackleford concurs with my preliminary analysis that this is an amateur operation.
It’s all just speculation at this point, of course.
(1001): Reuters has a much more extensive story, including background on terrorist threats made prior to the election. The FBI Counterterrorism people are investigating, as well they should, but officials are all stressing that we simply don’t know who did this or what their motives were.
(1003): Malkin added an update clarifying her position, which has been noted above.