Terror struck Manhatten again but thankfully there were only a few minor injuries and a major tragedy was averted. A man from Bangladesh strapped a pipe bomb to a suicide vest which detonated early, avoiding any type of major damage. Fortunately, the suspect wasn’t a skilled bomb maker, and most the bomb’s force went into the suspect himself who is now in custody.
ISIS issued a cryptic message about “Christmas in New York” using the image of Santa Clause in Times Square with dynamite.
“We meet at Christmas in New York… soon,” the message stated. It was shared online and on social media by ISIS sympathizers.
On the scene…
Glenn welcomed former CIA agent and radio host Buck Sexton on radio Monday who called in live on his way to the scene.
“So when you see the meme that was sent out from ISIS with Santa in the — in Times Square, ‘We’re going to visit New York soon,’ is that something that you think or authorities think that we are looking for direct ISIS participation in? Or is that just to inspire people to do what this guy did?” Glenn asked.
“You know, it’s tough with this one. I wrote about this on the Hill a couple of weeks ago because there was so much jihadist chatter. And there were so many different people — so many different memes and threats out there. There have been — in true ISIS chat forums, there have been threats against the Vatican, the British royal family. Times Square. There’s a whole bunch of them that have come out in the last month or so. Which is not unusual,” Buck answered.
“But the problem with Islamic State threats, especially when they make it into certain channels, is they tend to make good on them. It might take them a year. It might take them two.”
This is a rush transcript and may contain errors.
GLENN: So early this morning, there was a terrorist strike in Manhattan. For those who watch ISIS, this was not a surprise. They, a couple of weeks ago, put out a meme that had Santa standing next to a box of dynamite in Times Square. And it says, we’ll be visiting New York very soon.
And so today, there was a failed attempt, thank God, because it could have been very bad, right on 42nd and eighth, which is the Port Authority bus station and the subway terminal that kind of brings you right into Times Square.
Buck Sexton is in New York. He does his own national radio program. It can be heard here on TheBlaze Radio Network. Welcome, Buck. How are you?
BUCK: I’m good, Glenn. It’s great to talk to you.
GLENN: So tell me what’s happening in New York.
BUCK: I just have to tell everybody, if you do hear sirens in the background, those I believe are actually likely on the way because I’m on the way to the site, still. I’m right nearby. So there is still a lot of activity, a lot of police activity. I’m only a few blocks away from where this happened this morning. I think this is one of those weird instances, Glenn, where we have to say, wow, we got lucky. You have someone here who most likely — I mean, I would — I would bet money, although we don’t know quite yet that he has ISIS paraphernalia at home, that he probably was spending time on various jihadist chat forums. And he might have even either said he did this for the Islamic State or left a note, which are things now that ISIS-inspired individuals do.
But he built a pipe bomb and tried to use it as — he tried to take that IED and turn it into an S vest or a suicide vest. And fortunately, he wasn’t a skilled bomb maker, and most of the blast, it seems — there’s a video that people can watch on the — I know it’s on NewYorkPost.com now. It’s probably up on TheBlaze too. There’s a video you can see of the actual incident.
And I think a lot of the bomb’s force went into this guy, went into the suspect now, who is in custody. And we’re just really lucky that — Glenn, I don’t know how he’s thinking he’s going to fight for the Islamic State and chooses to make a bomb, instead of go with a vehicle attack. A vehicle attack is so much more likely to kill people. So the terrorist incompetence in this case was our greatest ally.
GLENN: So I can’t imagine how the force of the blast went into him and it was still alive.
BUCK: I think it was probably a partial detonation.
It reminds me very much of what happened with the underwear bomber. If you recall, Farouk Abdulmutallab. And he really burned himself. He didn’t — there was no real detonation of that explosion.
Because, yeah, Glenn, absolutely. I mean, a pipe bomb, the shrapnel from that, even with a kind of low-order detonation would tear him up. And he would be dead very quickly, you would assume. But it might have been more of a burn than a bomb, if you know what I mean.
GLENN: Yeah. Yeah.
BUCK: It might have ignited, but not actually exploded. And the other injuries are minimal, as has been reported — which I don’t know if they are from people — look, it could be from people running for their lives, and somebody gets pushed down in the — you know, they were down in the tunnel and hits their head.
But that’s, I think, just more evidence of the bomb being a crude device. And that this individual was fortunately not skilled and did not plan this out well, and that’s why we’re not counting any bodies this morning.
GLENN: So when you see the meme that was sent out from ISIS with Santa in the — in Times Square, “We’re going to visit New York soon,” is that something that you think or authorities think that we are looking for direct ISIS participation in? Or is that just to inspire people to do what this guy did?
BUCK: You know, I — it’s tough with this one. I wrote about this on the Hill a couple of weeks ago because there was so much jihadist chatter. And there were so many different people — so many different memes and threats out there. There have been — in true ISIS chat forums, there have been threats against the Vatican, the British royal family. Times Square. There’s a whole bunch of them that have come out in the last month or so. Which is not unusual.
But the problem with Islamic State threats, especially when they make it into certain channels, is they tend to make good on them. It might take them a year. It might take them two.
But eventually, one of their adherents, or one of their trained fighters, depending on what kind of attack we’re talking about, does attempt to — does attempt to make good on the threat.
I also feel a little conflicted about it though, Glenn. Because we don’t want to allow the terrorist to keep us in a state of perpetual fear over the holidays. And I know that that’s part of it. Right?
That’s part of the cyber jihad game. They post all this stuff so that every person who goes to Rockefeller Center here in New York to see the tree, gets a little bit nervous in the crowd. Every person who walks around in Times Square with their family has to think, you know, was there a commotion over there? What’s going on?
Unfortunately, that’s part of this long-term psychological warfare they’re waging against us. So we have to create this balance between vigilance and anxiety. And they’re playing games with that too. The terrorists are playing games with that all the time.
STU: Buck, we’re obviously happy that this turned out the way it did and there wasn’t a real tragic loss of life.
But it does pop to, I think the top of the mind, other important questions. Like, is there something we can do to secure Santa Claus, or is the remote location of the North Pole enough to keep him away from ISIS?
BUCK: You know, fortunately, Santa is like the original off-the-grid guy. So we don’t to have worry much.
GLENN: You’re saying Santa is the original prepper? Huh.
BUCK: His digital foot precipitate — I mean, first of all, I don’t even think he’s leaving prints of any kind. Right? He’s a slick individual.
GLENN: Right. Yeah, yeah.
BUCK: But, yeah, you’re not going to get much off of Santa’s social media. So the ways that they would usually try to track him down, I’m not too worried about him. Plus, reindeer, I don’t know if, you know, if you get them annoyed, it depends on the time of the year, but they can be a handful.
GLENN: Yeah. Okay. Buck Sexton, thanks.
BUCK: Thanks so much, guys.
GLENN: You bet.
STU: You can catch Buck on his national radio show. He’s on TV all the time. Buck Sexton is the place to find him.