NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — The search continues for two men who authorities said were seen on surveillance video walking away with a suitcase allegedly left behind on the street by bombing suspect Ahmad Khan Rahami.
The FBI released an image of the men on Wednesday.
Law enforcement officials say around the same time a bomb detonated on West 23rd Street at 8:30 p.m. Saturday, they believe the men found another pressure cooker bomb Rahami left in a suitcase on West 27th Street.
Police stressed that the men are being sought as potential witnesses and not suspects in the case.
“They’re not in any jeopardy of being arrested,” Jim Watters, chief of the NYPD’s counterterrorism unit, said on Wednesday. “We have no reason to believe they’re connected.”
Prosecutors said surveillance video shows Rahami rolling the suitcase down the street, then abandoning it on the sidewalk where that second device was found.
A few minutes later, two men pass by the luggage and appear to admire it, police said. They then remove a pressure cooker from the luggage, leave the pressure cooker on the sidewalk and walk away with the suitcase.
“I think they were more interested in the bag, not what they were taking out,” Watters said, adding that they were “very, very lucky” the bomb didn’t explode.
“So if you can help us find them or anybody else can tell us who they are, we’d be very interested to speak with them,” Watters added.
Deputy Intelligence Commissioner John Miller says there’s no reason to believe at this time that there is a terror cell operating in the metropolitan area, 1010 WINS’ Juliet Papa reported.
“We have a suspect in custody that we have probable cause and plenty of evidence to believe placed those bombs,” Miller said. “The question is, could one persob make that many devices, cover that amount of ground, do all that by themselves — it’s certainly possible, but it is equally possible that there may be others involved.”
The FBI is still working to determine where Rahami may have assembled the explosives.
A look into Rahami’s backyard shows what appears to be a large burn mark in the spot where investigators believe he tested an explosive as part of a “trial run” two days before the actual bombings, CBS2’s Janelle Burrell reported.
Federal prosecutors have charged Rahami with detonating a pipe bomb in Seaside Park, New Jersey on Saturday morning and the pressure cooker bomb in Chelsea later that night, injuring 31 people. Police later found the second, unexploded pressure cooker blocks away.
Rahami, 28, was arrested on Monday following a shootout with police in Linden, New Jersey. He is being held on $5.2 million bail, and he faces state charges of attempted murder of police officers.
Attorney General Loretta Lynch said Rahami will be moved to New York to face federal charges in the “near future.”
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