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Times Square Bomb Makes Capitol Police Nervous

The Capitol Police are keeping an extra-vigilant eye on the Congressional campus after police found a crude car bomb in Times Square over the weekend.

“Storm clouds so near by make us nervous,” Senate Sergeant-at-Arms Terrance Gainer said in an e-mail Monday. “However, the USCP is linked to a substantial number of intelligence sources, everyone has an antenna up and we are watching the investigation unfold. Chief [Phillip] Morse did indeed step up vigilance.”

New York city police officers found a bomb in a Nissan Pathfinder in Times Square on Saturday night. So far, they haven’t identified a suspect, and the bomb was made of simple ingredients — such as gasoline and firecrackers — that are easy to find and hard to track.

Such car bombs have long been a concern of the Capitol Police; unlike the White House, Congress’ buildings are wide open to the public, and the surrounding streets, though constantly monitored, are mostly open to traffic.

But Gainer said the department hasn’t heard of any information “which causes us to substantially change our preparedness and prevention posture.”

“New York seems to be an iconic target, and so is Washington in general and the Capitol in particular,” said Gainer, who is chairman of the Capitol Police Board. “We salute the vigilance of New Yorkers and the professionalism of the NYPD.”

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