FBI Confirms Rainbow Bridge Incident Unrelated to Terrorism Threat

On Wednesday night, the FBI announced that it is transferring the investigation of the car crash and explosion at the border, which occurred earlier in the day, to the Niagara Falls Police Department as a traffic inquiry.

The FBI Buffalo concluded its investigation at the Rainbow Bridge incident site, stating in a released statement, “A search of the scene revealed no explosive materials, and no terrorism connection was identified.”

This aligns with the remarks made by New York Governor Kathy Hochul during a press conference on Wednesday evening, where she assured the media that there was no evidence suggesting a terrorist attack at the Rainbow Bridge’s U.S. side, connecting the U.S. to Canada at Niagara Falls, New York. Governor Hochul also confirmed there was no indication of explosives at the scene.

Earlier in the day, a vehicle accelerated towards a border checkpoint on the U.S. side, collided with a booth, exploded, and went airborne, as described by Hochul.

Governor Hochul reported that the driver and passenger were killed, with one of the victims being a resident of western New York. An agent at one of the booths was injured but later released from the hospital after treatment.

Hochul emphasized the complexity of the investigation due to the extensive damage to the vehicle and the scattering of debris over 13 booths, noting that there was no license plate.

U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas reiterated in a statement that the incident did not appear to be terror-related and pledged close coordination with state and local officials.

Investigators discovered a suitcase or briefcase at the scene, initially treating it as a potential explosive device. The bomb squad later handled the package as a precaution.

The Rainbow Bridge was temporarily closed following the incident, while other nearby bridges in Canada reopened to traffic later in the evening after being closed earlier as a precaution.

Buffalo Niagara International Airport announced increased security measures, including car checks and additional screenings for travelers.

President Joe Biden was briefed on the explosion as it unfolded, and Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau informed the country’s parliament about authorities looking into the incident, stating that additional measures were being considered at all border crossings.

In response to the situation, Toronto’s police department increased patrols, and in New York City, Mayor Eric Adams assured heightened security measures for Thanksgiving, encompassing various locations across the city.


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