FBI Raids Watertown Home In Times Square Bomb Case

Authorities are searching a home on Waverley Avenue in Watertown in connection with the investigation of the attempted bombing in Times Square earlier this month, the FBI said this morning.

The house was cordoned off with yellow police tape this morning. Ed Medina/Globe Staff

FBI agents executed search warrants at several locations on Long Island and in the Boston suburbs this morning in connection with the failed Times Square car bombing, authorities said.

“There’s no known immediate threat to the public or active plot against the United States,” said FBI spokeswoman Gail Marcinkiewicz.

Marcinkiewicz said search warrants had been executed at “several locations in the Northeast,” including the Watertown location. Police tape cordoned off the small white house at 39 Waverley this morning. “The searches are the product of evidence that has been gathered in the investigation” of the Times Square attempt, she said.

A witness also reported police and FBI activity at a gas station on Harvard Street in Brookline, but it wasn’t clear if that was related. Brookline Police Lieutenant Philip Harrington confirmed that local police were assisting the FBI there, but referred all further questions to the FBI.

Vincent Lacerra, who lives across the street from the Waverley Avenue home, said he was watching TV at about 6 a.m. when he heard a commotion outside and the words, “FBI, don’t move, put your hands up!” He looked outside to see about 20 agents with guns drawn. “They all had their guns drawn, pointed at the house,” he said.

Soon afterwards, a man whose age he estimated at 25 to 40 was taken from the house and put into an Immigrations and Customs Enforcement van. “I’d never seen him before,” he said. “It was quite amazing. I’ve never seen anything like it before. It seemed so real, so overwhelming.”

Through the morning, agents have been working in the house, taking computers and boxes out of it. Lacerra said there is a lot of turnover in residents of the house and he didn’t know who lived there.

Two people encountered during the searches have also been taken into custody for alleged immigration violations, Marcinkiewicz said. But she said she couldn’t say whether either or both of those people were arrested during the Watertown search.

note: Faisal Shahzad, 30, was arrested a little more than two days after a crude car bomb was found on May 1 in a smoking car in Times Square. US officials have said it was very likely that the Pakistani Taliban played a role in the failed attempt.[via MS NBC News, NY Daily News and Boston]

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