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Government Walks Back Terrorism Claim After Car Explodes on US-Canadian Border

Government Walks Back Terrorism Claim After Car Explodes on US-Canadian Border

The Federal Bureau of Investigation said Wednesday night that the agency found no indications of terrorist activity in the vehicle explosion at the Rainbow Bridge U.S.- Canada border crossing.

“FBI Buffalo has concluded our investigation at the scene of the Rainbow Bridge incident. A search of the scene revealed no explosive materials and no terrorism nexus was identified,” the agency said in a Wednesday news statement shared on social media.

The agency said it referred the incident to the Niagara Falls Police Department as a “traffic investigation.”

The explosion occurred around 11:30 a.m. Wednesday, killing the two people in the car, officials said, according to MSNBC News.

“I closed the door to my car, and about 30 feet from me I seen something airborne. I first thought it was an airplane. Looked like slow motion. And I said, ‘My God, it’s a car,’” Rickie Wilson, a witness, told WHEC-TV.

“It’s a vehicle and it’s flying through the air. He hit the concrete barrier probably right at the signal, God knows how many feet before the bridge. It went airborne,” Wilson said.

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The vehicle eventually exploded in a blast so fierce that authorities initially suspected it was a terrorist attack, sources told Fox News reporter Alexis McAdams, the outlet reported.

The incident led to Buffalo Niagara International Airport closing down to outbound and inbound international flights as authorities investigated the incident, Reuters reported.

Authorities also closed several other bridges connecting the United States and Canada following the incident, including Buffalo’s Peace Bridge, the Lewiston-Queenston Bridge and the Whirlpool Bridge, the New York Times reported.

Other border crossings were put on “heightened alert,” the Times reported.

Niagara Falls mayor Robert Restaino said that the passengers onboard were a couple between their late 40s and early 50s, whom investigators believe were traveling from the Seneca Niagara Resort and Casino near the accident site, according to the Times.

According to investigators, the man in the car was a New York State resident who planned to attend a KISS concert in Canada. Upon learning that the concert was canceled, the man headed to a casino in the United States, CNN reported.

“I want to be very, very clear to Americans and New Yorkers, at this time there is no indication of a terrorist attack,” Democratic New York Gov. Katie Hochul told reporters at a Wednesday evening news conference, according to CNN.

“Our preliminary investigation of the situation is that it was not terrorism related but we will continue to stay vigilant. We will continue to make sure that the information we have is passed onto the public.” U.S. Attorney Trini Ross said, CNN reported.

“We will continue to investigate, but our preliminary assessment of the situation is that it was not terrorism-related,” Ross said, according to Fox News.

One Customs and Border Patrol officer suffered minor injuries related to the incident, and was taken to a hospital for treatment, CBP Field Director Rose Brophy told reporters at a news conference, Fox News reported.

The officer, however, has since been released, according to the outlet.


 

 

This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.

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