Three pipe bombs found in New Jersey and two IEDs that terrorized New York City on Saturday all have one thing in common – cell phones.
An old-school flip phone was used as a timer in all five home-made bombs.
Authorities said they still have not found any indication the incidents in New Jersey and New York are related, but in both cases flip phones were used as timers to detonate the explosives.
All phones used as detonators were similar in design, according to PIX 11.
‘We do not have any specific evidence of a connection, but that will continue to be considered. We’re not taking any options off the table,’ New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said.
Investigators told NBC 4 New York all the old-fashioned flip phones were found attached to the devices.
Authorities have also said another similarity was the lack of know-how that went in to making the bombs.
Out of the five devices found or detonated on Saturday, three failed to work as designed.
An undetonated pressure-cooker explosive had a cell phone attached to it and New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said the device was similar to the one that exploded in the Manhattan neighborhood of Chelsea.
Additionally, the devices found in New Jersey contained an easily obtainable explosive black powder.
Residue of an explosive often used for target practice that can be picked up in many sporting goods stores was also found in the Manhattan bombing, a federal law enforcement official said Sunday.
Speaking about the explosion in Chelsea and the undetonated pressure-cooker device found just blocks away, NYPD Chief of Detectives Robert Boyce said: ‘We don’t have everything in. Think of a jigsaw puzzle out in the street right now.
‘Do we think they’re related? Yes, we have to move in that direction, but right now we’re not ready to make those calls yet.’
New York City Police Commissioner James O’Neill said Sunday that investigators do not see a connection between the two suspected bombings.
However, the home-made devices in both states still bare an eerie similarity.
New Jersey Governor Chris Christie said the explosions that went off in New York and New Jersey on Saturday are ‘terrorism’ — but don’t appear to be linked.
Governor Cuomo called the act an ‘obvious act of terrorism’.
‘A bomb exploding in New York is obviously an act of terrorism. A bomb going off is generically a terrorist activity.
‘That’s how we’ll consider it. And that’s how we will prosecute it,’ he said.
At 9.30am on Saturday, a pipe bomb exploded shortly before the Semper Five Run at Seaside Park, New Jersey.
Around 8.30pm, a suspected IED detonated in the popular neighborhood of Chelsea in Manhattan.
No one was injured in the New Jersey explosion and approximately 29 people were hurt after the explosion in Manhattan.
All those injured in Manhattan have since been released from the hospital.
Seaside Park is approximately an hour and a half south of Chelsea in Manhattan.
The detonations appeared similar after occurring just hours apart.
Two additional unexploded pipe bombs were also found in a garbage can near the event 5km run in New Jersey, and it is unclear what actually caused the explosion in Manhattan, but the device was also believed to be planted in a garbage container.
Officials said none of the devices found are very sophisticated but there is enough understanding of bomb making to be lethal.
The pressure-cooker device is going to be taken to the FBI’s lab in Quantico for analysis.
Homemade pressure cooker bombs were used in the Boston Marathon attacks in 2013 that killed three people and injured more than 260.
Officials solicited tips from the public, telling reporters at a news conference in the New York Police Department’s headquarters that they didn’t know who set off the bomb or why.
An additional 1,000 state troopers and members of the National Guard were placed at transit hubs and other points throughout New York City and extra police officials were patrolling Manhattan, officials said.
Members of the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force were investigating the blast along with New York Police Department detectives, fire marshals and other federal investigators.
Meanwhile, a law enforcement official said federal investigators had discounted a claim of responsibility on the social blogging service Tumblr. Investigators looked into it and didn’t consider it relevant to the case, said the official who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss an ongoing investigation.