Mayor Bloomberg famously said on the CBS Evening News that if he had to bet, the culprit in the attempted Times Square bombing would turn out to be an opponent of Obamacare or some other homegrown whacko. Here’s the problem: According to the time–lines I’ve seen, authorities had identified Shahzad as Pakistani by Sunday and certainly had his name by Monday morning. So why was Mayor Bloomberg talking to Katie Couric as if he had up-to-the-minute information while at the same time speculating about some tea-party-deranged-homegrown nut job? Was he in fact out of the loop or was he deliberately casting suspicions elsewhere? I hope someone in Congress asks him about this today. Here’s the CBS transcript:
COURIC: Now, no one is following this investigation more closely than New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg. Earlier today, I went to city hall four miles south of here in downtown Manhattan and I asked the mayor if the bombing attempt could be a precursor to a bigger attack.
BLOOMBERG: There is no credible evidence so far that this attack was more than at least one person, the driver. After that, there`s no evidence that anybody else was involved. It may be, but we can`t say that it is.
COURIC: There is some speculation that the materials in the Nissan Pathfinder were similar to ones that were found in some failed attacks in the U.K.
BLOOMBERG: There is a limited number of things you would need. You would need a timer, you would need a battery as an energy source, you would need some explosive, and you need something to enhance it. That is going to be true no matter where or when the– another attack took place. So anything would have enough commonalities for the conspiracy theorists to blow it up, if you don`t mind the pun, and make something out of it.
COURIC: Are you concerned about the impact this might have on tourism?
BLOOMBERG: I think people today understand we live in a dangerous world and you can`t let the terrorists win by locking yourself in a room. What I can guarantee you is we`re doing everything that we can. Whether or not we will have somebody in exactly the right place at exactly the right time to prevent something down the future, nobody can do that. Nobody can guarantee you. But there is no evidence here of a conspiracy. There is no evidence that it`s tied into anything else. It looks like an amateurish job done by at least one person.
COURIC: So this is the situation room?
(voice-over): But if another attack were to occur, Mayor Bloomberg and the heads of all emergency response agencies would be here in the city`s situation room. It`s powered by its own generator and allows the team to monitor video feeds, TV coverage, even the corner of 45th and 7th Avenue where a crisis was averted.
COURIC: Law enforcement officials don`t know who left the Nissan Pathfinder behind, but at this point, the mayor believes the suspect acted alone.
COURIC (on camera): A home-grown.