A car exploded on Rainbow Bridge in Niagara Falls on Wednesday, just two days after New York Governor Kathy Hochul issued a warning about increased terrorism chatter.
The massive explosion – which was the result of suspected terrorism – took place at a toll checkpoint and killed two people.
It is unclear if anyone aside from those in the car were injured.
CBS News reported on Monday Hochul talked about the increased chatter of targets in the state as the result of unrest in the Middle East. She announced she took action to heighten security and increase staffing of the Joint Terrorism Task Force.
‘I am working hard at the state level with the control I have. I’ll be talking about this tomorrow, about exactly what we’re doing, and how many online threats we’ve uncovered, how many have been investigated, what the outcome is,’ Hochul said.
A car has exploded on Rainbow Bridge in Niagara Falls today, just two days after New York Governor Kathy Hochul issued a warning about increased chatter
The aftermath of the explosion at Rainbow Bridge border crossing at Niagara Falls on Wednesday after a suspected terror attack
New York Governor Kathy Hochul issued a warning earlier this week about increased chatter of New York targets
Hochul speak about new steps that she plans to take in order to deal with radicalization and online threats as a result of increased chatter and a rise in hate attack in the aftermath of Hamas’ deadly attack on Israel.
Just last week Hochul designated $2.5million to add more State Police investigators to the FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force in New York City, Buffalo, Albany and Rochester.
‘Since October 7, there has been a 400 percent increase in threats against Jews, Muslims, and Arabs. And make no mistake, we’ve not stood idly by,’ she said.
She talked about a four-point plan that includes: increasing security and physical locations, identifying credible threats online, calling on social media companies to create a safe public square and creating a toolkit for parents and schools.
‘My number one priority has been and will continue to be protecting the safety of our residents. That’s why I want to inform you about some of the actions that we’re taking to keep New Yorkers safe from extremism and violence,’ Hochul said.
The immediate aftermath of the explosion on the US side of the Rainbow Bridge border crossing at Niagara Falls on Wednesday
The FBI Terrorism Task Force is currently investigating the bridge explosion, and officials have yet to determine a motive. It is also unclear if anyone else besides the two passengers in the car were injured.
After the explosion, motorists who’d driven into America were told to leave their vehicles and walk back into Canada while the cars were checked for bombs.
Witnesses who were in the US Customs and Immigration building next to the bridge were turned away and ordered to walk back over the bridge and leave their vehicles on the US side to be checked.
‘There was an explosion just by the tall building you go in,’ one witness said.
‘My own van was parked so close to the car that exploded, if you watch the video, the car was right on the left hand side,’ said one man who had just crossed over with his family.
‘When the explosion happened, we heard it like a loud boom. I heard it but I didn’t think it was something serious. Someone said “oh my god, the car exploded.”‘
The vehicle was left in pieces after the explosion next to the toll checkpoint
In a statement from Hochul on Tuesday she made it clear that her ‘number one priority has been and will continue to be protecting the safety of our residents.’
President Joe Biden and Attorney General Merrick Garland have been briefed on the matter, but a statement hasn’t been given yet.
The White House said that they are closely monitoring the situation.