No evidence of terrorist activity in Rainbow Bridge explosion

All four bridges connecting the U.S. and Canada at Niagara Falls, N.Y., were closed Wednesday after a vehicle explosion at the Rainbow Bridge, killing two people inside the vehicle.

“The FBI Buffalo Field Office is investigating a vehicle explosion at the Rainbow Bridge, a border crossing between the U.S. and Canada in Niagara Falls,” the FBI said in a statement. “The FBI is coordinating with our local, state and federal law enforcement partners in this investigation. As this situation is very fluid, that’s all we can say at this time.”

A photo from local media shared by Rep. Claudia Tenney (R-N.Y.) appeared to show damage to the Rainbow Bridge border crossing facility on the U.S. side of the border.

“This vehicle basically incinerated,” New York Gov. Kathy Hochul (D) said at a press conference. “Nothing is left but the engine. The pieces are scattered over 13, 14 booths.”

Hochul said that the explosion is not believed to be a terrorist attack. 

“There is no evidence, at this time, that this was a terrorist activity,” Hochul said.

“I want to make that very clear to the public, Just to calm everybody down,” she continued. “It’s really important because based on what’s happening in other parts of the world, everybody is on edge.”

Hochul added that a Border Patrol employee suffered minor injuries in the explosion and was released from the hospital Wednesday afternoon.

Rainbow Bridge is directly adjacent to Niagara Falls State Park and the famous falls. It is one of four bridges in the Niagara Falls area, all of which were briefly closed Wednesday due to the explosion, Canadian police announced.

The other three Niagara Falls-area bridges reopened later Wednesday. The Rainbow Bridge will remain closed as law enforcement continues to investigate the explosion and test the structural integrity of the bridge and border facilities, Hochul said.

The Buffalo Airport briefly halted all international arriving and departing flights Wednesday afternoon, according to Federal Aviation Administration trackers. Vehicles entering the Buffalo Airport were also subjected to additional security searches, the Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority said.

“This situation is still developing and there is a lot of false information on social media,” Tenney said on X. “As our law enforcement agencies determine what happened, please join me in praying for their safety and thanking them for their sacrifice.”

President Biden confirmed that he had been briefed on the incident and was coordinating with law enforcement.

Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) said late Wednesday that the FBI believes “they have the identity of the driver.”

Schumer previously said law enforcement “remains on heightened alert” through the Thanksgiving holiday.

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the New York Police Department have been deployed to assist the explosion investigation, they said.

In a message to Parliament on Wednesday, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said his administration was in “close contact” with U.S. officials and that Canadian border services were considering “additional measures” for security at all U.S.-Canadian border crossings across the country.

It is unknown if anyone outside the vehicle was injured in the explosion or how long the crossing will remain closed.

The day before Thanksgiving is widely considered the busiest travel day of the year, as Americans travel to visit family before the holiday.

Dan Butcher

Dan Butcher (aka HP Pundit) is not a Democrat or Republican. He is a free thinking independent bringing you news and commentary with a dose of much needed common sense.

Post a Comment

Previous Post Next Post