Fake grenade attack in New York City

Police probe blasts outside N.Y. City building

Well, the attack was real. But it was made with fake grenades. That exploded.

Targeting the British Consulate on Britain’s election day?

The blasts happened at 3:35 a.m. and on the same day Britain voted in national elections. But officials said they had no indication the crime was tied to the voting, emphasizing that the consulate is just one of many tenants in the 20-story building.

“It is true the British Consulate is in that building but I don’t think anybody should jump to conclusions,” Mayor Michael Bloomberg told reporters at the scene in midtown Manhattan.

The bombs were apparently fake grenades packed with explosive powder. That’s just bizarre in it’s own right.

The devices were placed inside a cement flower planter outside the front door of the midtown Manhattan building, police spokesman Noel Waters said.

The consulate is on the 9th and 10th floors of the building, the mayor said. He said he expected it would be open for business later in the day.

After piecing together the shrapnel, police determined the devices were toy grenades that had been filled with gunpowder. Officers estimated that one was the size of a pineapple; the other the size of a lemon.

No timing device was used, Police Commissioner Ray Kelly said, adding they were probably lit with a fuse.

The blasts shattered a panel of glass in the building’s front door and ripped a one-foot chunk from the planter. The department’s bomb squad was at the scene and streets were closed in the area.

If this turns out to be an organized international terrorist operation, I’ve got a prediction: Clues to this incident will have been on file with the CIA or FBI or Homeland Security for months or even years and everyone will want to know why it wasn’t prevented if we’ve known all about it for so long.

A related prediction is: Next time part of New York City is roped off by DHS or the terror alert is raised, everyone will want to know why the government is scare-mongering with stale intelligence.

UPDATE: Michelle Malkin has much more on this.

UPDATE 2: Instapundit notes that this is also the anniversary of Bobby Sands’ death. Maybe that was the motivation.


  1. I’m guessing here, but here’s what I think we are looking at: 1) Many surplus stores sell novelty grenades – real grenades, made of steel, that are hollow and have a big hole in the base. 2) They generally come in two varieties, commonly called ‘pineapple’ grenades and ‘lemon’ grenades. The pineapples have external grooves cut in them to aid fragmentation, the lemons are smooth. They are both about the same size. 3) I’m guessing a pair of these things was filled with some sort of propellant – smokeless, black, the stuff inside of firecrackers, who knows – and made into an expedient pipe bomb.