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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.

Watch This Video

I continue to believe this video contains perhaps the most revealing statement Trump ever made about birtherism. It's video from an interview we did with Trump back in April of 2011. Watch after the jump.

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More on the Location

[If you haven't read the post below, tonight's explosion was across the street from my apartment. I and my family were not in the building at the time.]

Shortly before the Mayor's news conference a short time ago a friend who lives in my apartment building told me that the police presence seemed to be focused on the Bed & Breakfast which is immediately east of the home for the blind which I discussed in the post below. The Police Commissioner confirmed that the explosion took place outside the Townhouse Inn of Chelsea, which is at 131 West 23rd Street.

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Explosion in Chelsea, NYC

You may have seen news of an explosion in the Chelsea neighborhood of Manhattan tonight. The cause of the explosion is still unknown, though there's a flood of speculation. As it happens, the place where the explosion occurred is literally directly across the street from my apartment. My family and I were about thirty miles away when this happened. TPM's New York office is about three and a half blocks away.

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