Director Rick Mathews talks to WTEN in the Aftermath of the Times Square Bomber

14 May, 2010

Tensions remain high in NYC after false alarm

WTEN Albany

NEW YORK CITY, N.Y. -- There was a brief scare Thursday night after police were notified of a suspicious car with gas cans in it near Union Square.

Part of the area was evacuated, but it turned out to be a false alarm.

Meanwhile, three Pakistani men were arrested Thursday in a series of raids across the Northeast in connection with the failed Times Square bombing.

Last night's scare is a clear indication that tensions remain high in New York City after the attempted bombing in Times Square.

In fact, the NYPD has reported a 30 percent jump in suspicious package and vehicle calls in the last two weeks.

And yesterday's false alarm comes as the feds round up people believed to be connected to Times Square suspect Faisal Shazad.

A local terrorism expert isn't surprised by any of this.

Rick Mathews, the director of the national center for security and preparedness at University at Albany says New York Police and the FBI will be looking for anyone who has a connection or info about the alleged bomb maker.

"Understanding he admitted himself he had training in Pakistan and came back. Obviously he was taught to do some things," Mathews said. "I think it's speculative to think it is a network if any. I think it's fair to say he knew some people and that is what it is all about."

Later today, Mathews is hosting a class in Oneida County to examine the New York City incident, how the bomb was made and Faisal Shazad's activities prior to placing the bomb in Times Square.