Are Brooklyn bomb suspects linked to Israel suicide attacks?

NEW YORK, July 31 (JTA) — New York City police are investigating whether a bomb factory found in Brooklyn, N.Y., on Thursday is connected to the twin suicide bombings a day earlier at a market in Jerusalem. Three suspects, all of whom are of “Middle Eastern origin,” according to New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, were arrested in an early morning raid on a building in the Park Slope neighborhood of Brooklyn. Police discovered five pipe bombs and a Jordanian passport in the apartment. It is unclear whether the passport belongs to any of the suspects. One of the suspects expressed support for the Jerusalem bombing, Giuliani said at a news conference. The police launched the raid after a man speaking Arabic told them that his roommates were planning to follow up on the Jerusalem attack, according to news reports. Two of the suspects were shot by police after one of them lunged for what police said was a bomb activation switch. Bomb-making equipment and live ammunition were found at the scene, but officials would not confirm whether there were live bombs at the scene. Giuliani said the heightened state of security that had been established in New York on Wednesday after the Jerusalem bombing would continue. A joint terrorism task force, including city, state and federal agents, is investigating the incident. There were no reports of threats against any specific targets, but the task force was expected to investigate whether there was a plan to blow up New York City subway stations. James Kallstrom, the head of the FBI office in New York, said there are “a lot of leads,” but would not comment on any part of the ongoing investigation. Giuliani attempted to calm a jittery city. “Life is not secure anywhere,” but there is no reason for people to be afraid, he said. Giuliani had spoken with Jerusalem Mayor Ehud Olmert earlier Thursday to express his sorrow over the bombings. Giuliani said that as he was talking with Olmert he realized that the “terrible scrouge of terrorism can strike anywhere at anytime.”

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