Suspect Plants Rice Cookers Around New York City, Causes Rush Hour Panic

NYPD officers respond to reports of pressure cookers found in a subway station

Enlarge Image NYPD officers respond to reports of pressure cookers found in a subway station. Seth Gottfried

Bomb squad officers are responding Friday morning to two suspicious packages found in downtown NY, a law enforcement official said.

Detectives are looking for video of the 16th Street and Seventh Avenue location to determine whether the same person placed a cooking device near a trash can.

Police swarmed the initial finds around 7 a.m. on the mezzanine and platform of the Fulton Street station, a few blocks from the World Trade Center and New York Stock Exchange.

Multiple subway lines were partially suspended during the police investigation at Fulton Street, and delays continued throughout the morning.

NY officials are now saying the objects are not explosive.

"UPDATE: ALL CLEAR. The suspicious packages have been fully investigated and have been deemed safe by our @NYPDCT officers", the NYPD tweeted just before 9 a.m.

"This is the classic if-you-see-something-say-something, but based on everything we know right now we have an all-clear", he added.

Police investigated them as possible bombs.

A third, similar-looking cooker was also found about 2 miles away (3 kilometers) on a sidewalk in Chelsea, prompting another police investigation.

In a tweet, the department said, "Expect a police presence and emergency vehicles in the area".

"This is a frightening world we live in, and all of these situations have to be taken seriously because God forbid one's a real device". "We learned the hard way after 9/11, and we are prepared".

NY reports the packages appear to be or resemble pressure cookers or rice cookers.

Officials said they had not determined whether the discovery about an hour later of a third implement resembling a pressure cooker next to a garbage can on a street corner in the borough's Chelsea neighborhood was related, Miller said.

Pressure cookers were also used to create the bombs that exploded at the Boston Marathon.

Ahmad Rahimi, an Afghan-born man who sympathised with jihadist causes, was sentenced to life in prison over that incident.

In December 2017, a Bangladeshi immigrant named Akayed Ullah set off a bomb in a subway tunnel near Times Square, leaving three people slightly injured.

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