The failed car bombing in Times Square increasingly appears to have been coordinated by several people in a plot with international links, Obama administration officials said Tuesday.
The disclosure, while tentative, came as the White House intensified its focus on the Saturday incident in New York City, in which explosives inside a Nissan Pathfinder were set ablaze but failed to detonate at the tourist-crowded corner of Broadway and 45th Street.
Emerging from a series of briefings, several officials said it was premature to rule out any motive but said the sweeping, multi-state investigation was turning up new clues.
Separately, White House spokesman
also characterized the incident for the first time as an attempted act of terrorism. "I would say that was intended to terrorize, and I would say that whomever did that would be categorized as a terrorist," Gibbs said, sharpening the administration's tone.
Another U.S. official, recounting a conversation with intelligence officials, said, "Don't be surprised if you find a foreign nexus. . . . They're looking at some tell-tale signs and they're saying it's pointing in that direction."
Could it be retaliation for the depiction of Muhammed on South Park? The car bomb was situated near Viacom, which owns Comedy Central, which runs South Park.