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The Takeaway

Worth noting these two messages this morning.

Clinton Message: Be vigilant, not afraid.

Trump Message: Be afraid, also give me credit.

Inside the Crime Scene

As a civilian, walking through what the NYPD is still treating as an active crime scene, what struck me most leaving my apartment for work was how much the entirety of the blast area is still almost entirely untouched. This makes perfect sense when you step back and think about it. NYPD, FBI et al are clearly doing a very meticulous investigation of the trajectory of the blast. The area is littered with numbered markers showing where certain objects fell. It's simply striking to see in person.

There are numerous NYPD officers and FBI agents up and down the street. All residents of that block must receive a police escort to enter and leave the restricted area.

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BREAKING: Explosion In Elizabeth New Jersey

NBC News reports a loud explosion was heard just before 1 AM at the train station where authorities were investigating a suspected bomb. There are conflicting reports on whether this was a controlled detonation tied to that investigation or not. Reports from scene describe police as startled by the sound of the explosion.

1:21 AM: This tweet from an NBC reporter on the scene is the latest report on the explosion heard in Elizabeth ...

1:32 AM: The same NBC reporter now quotes the Mayor of Elizabeth saying this was not in fact a controlled explosion but was "an explosive device [that] could have hurt a lot of people." Needless to say the situation in Elizabeth seems confused and rather chaotic and the Mayor himself may not have all the information about what's happening. I think for the moment we simply don't know what happened. But reading between the lines perhaps this is a semantic confusion about constitutes a controlled detonation.

1:42 PM: Latest report suggests the suspicious package/suspected bomb detonated while a police robot was cutting wires or somehow working with the device. So not a controlled detonation per se but also not a bomb or device that wasn't known about or different from the one the police were examining. It is probably most accurate to say this bomb went off in a semi-controlled setting, not an intentional detonation but one in which police knew they were working with a bomb that might go off and had taken precautions accordingly.

BREAKING UPDATE

Let me try to connect the dots with the fragmentary information which has emerged in the last hour. Much of this information is incomplete. I will try to be very specific about what information is coming from difference sources and the level of confirmation in each case.

[This post is being continually updated with new information.]

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Additional Information

The New York Daily News is now reporting the following with regard to the arrests near the Verrazano Bridge ...

Federal agents busted five people in Brooklyn in a possible connection to the Chelsea bombing after finding a bomb cache at a New Jersey train station late Sunday, law enforcement sources said.

The suspects were busted with a weapons stash inside a SUV along the Belt Parkway after authorities discovered three pipe bombs and two smaller devices at a train station in Elizabeth, the source said.

This is the first report of additional bombs or bomb making materials found at the train station in Elizabeth, New Jersey.

Late Update: A subsequent update refers to "three pipe bombs and two smaller devices" at the Elizabeth train station.

Later Update: From an NYC official alert: "Due to police activity in Elizabeth, NJ, all New Jersey bound Amtrak and New Jersey Transit trains are being held in Penn Station (MN)."

Possible Arrests

About forty minutes ago, New York State Senator Marty Golden posted to Twitter and Instagram the following: "Update from the NYPD: 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."

Note the post says "possible connection." This could be entirely unrelated or arrests which turn out to be nothing. Nothing certain here. But what he's describing would have taken place in his district.

So This Happened

This evening I had the odd experience of requiring a police escort to walk to the entrance of my apartment. Because I live on a block that the NYPD currently defines as a crime scene. I confess I don't have a lot of experience with how quickly police and bomb squad investigators retrieve objects in a situation like this. You've probably seen the carcass of the dumpster that withstood the primary impact of the Chelsea explosion. I was surprised to see that it's still resting right where it fell, across the street from the site of the blast.

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