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Tuesday, January 25, 2011

NY: Man Is Questioned After Traffic Stop Reveals Possible Bomb Ingredients

A man whose vehicle was stopped for a traffic violation on Tuesday was being questioned by the police after they found tablets of ammonium nitrate in a glass bottle, metal shavings and a motorcycle battery in the vehicle, materials that could be used to make a bomb, a law enforcement official said.

Based on the small quantity of the materials, however, authorities believe that the materials were most likely being used for noncriminal purposes.

Another law enforcement official who spoke on the condition of anonymity said later on Tuesday afternoon that the F.B.I., which was notified about the incident, would have no further involvement because “law enforcement personnel have determined that the man is not a bomb-maker.”

The driver told the police that he used the materials to make crystals, generally used for spiritual purposes, an official said. The police identified the driver as Edward Vassel, 41, of Bushwick, Brooklyn.

Officers stopped the driver for making an illegal U-turn at 181 North Conduit Avenue in Queens. Officers then spotted nunchucks in the car, which are illegal to carry in New York State, and the driver was arrested for possession of that weapon, the official said. A subsequent search of the vehicle yielded the materials.

The police were questioning the driver at the 113th Precinct station house.

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