Times Square Evacuation A False Alarm
A suspicious package in Times Square prompted an evacuation and raised alarms in a jittery city on Friday afternoon until authorities determined it was a false alarm.
Investigators determined after an anxious hour or so that the suspicious package — a green cooler — contained only water bottles.
The cooler was found near 45th Street and Broadway, outside the Marriott Marquis hotel, witnesses and police said. That’s not far from the spot where authorities say Faisal Shahzad left a car bomb that failed to detonate.
Police evacuated parts of Times Square around 1 p.m. as they investigated, though people remained in the hotel and nearby buildings, said Kathy Duffy, a hotel spokeswoman.
“Our buildings were not evacuated,” she said. “Our hotel has not been evacuated.”
On Saturday, Shahzad, an American citizen who is originally from Pakistan, left a car bomb in Times Square that failed to detonate, police said.
Investigators arrested Shahzad after he had boarded an airplane en route to Dubai, United Arab Emirates.
Mayor Michael Bloomberg acknowledged after that incident that terrorists have targeted New York.
“We have to take every precaution, as you know, because we remain a prime target for terrorists,” he said. “That’s something all New Yorkers understand, and it’s something that we need Washington to understand, as well.”
“We will continue doing everything we possibly can to protect New Yorkers from terrorist attacks,” he said. “We have, as you know, built the most comprehensive and sophisticated counterterrorism operation of any local police force in the world.”