Grand Jury Convened In New York City, Investigation of Times Square Bombing Continues

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July 5, 2009 -- A Federal Grand Jury has convened in New York City, New York. It is believed this grand jury is part of a federal investigation into the bombing of the Times Square military recruitment center on March 6, 2008.

To public knowledge, only one person, Gerald Koch, has been subpoenaed to testify. His initial grand jury hearing was scheduled for June 30 but this has been delayed while his lawyer files relevant legal motions. The hearing is expected to be postponed until sometime this week, though no date has been set. Gerald has indicated his unwillingness to cooperate with the unconstitutional grand jury proceedings and needs support. He is facing jail time if the presiding judge decides to punish his non-cooperation by detaining him for being “in contempt of court”. Detainment of this kind can continue until the grand jury expires (generally no more than 18 months total, though technically it can be restarted again) or until the judge decides further imprisonment to coerce the detainee into cooperating is futile. For more information about what a grand jury is, visit  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grand_jury

More updates and notice of the new date for Gerald’s grand jury hearing will be posted as soon as it is available. If you are in the New York City area, please consider attending his grand jury hearing to show Gerald he is not isolated in his resistance to state repression, in violation of his supposed civil liberties. Solidarity can defeat repression!

For information on how to help, email: supportgerald[at]gmail[dot]com

Background

The Times Square military recruitment center is the nation’s busiest. It has set national records for enlistment, averaging about 10,000 volunteers a year. The military has had a recruiting presence in Times Square since the 1940s. The current version of the station, built in September 1999 for $1.5 million, was designed to fit into the Times Square area. The 520-square-foot building is decorated with 33-by-14-foot flags rendered in fluorescent lights and a giant, nine-panel television screen that advertises military propaganda. The interior contains space for Army, Navy, Air Force and Marine recruiters. It has been the site of regular anti-war protests since the beginning of the Iraq war in 2003.

Police released footage from a private security camera showing a cyclist, wearing a backpack and a dark hooded sweatshirt, riding up to the Times Square military recruiting station on March 6, 2008. The bicyclist is seen getting off a 10-speed bike at 3:40 a.m., and the blast occurring three minutes later. Police say they later found the bike in the trash. No one actually witnessed anyone placing or throwing the explosive device. The explosion left a large hole in the front window and shattered a glass door, twisting and blackening the metal frame of the building, which is on a traffic island. No one was injured. Police closed off Times Square to vehicular and pedestrian traffic for two hours after the bombing.

Two previous attacks in New York City have had similarities to the bombing in Times Square. In October of 2007, two dummy hand grenades filled with black powder were tossed over a fence at the Mexican Consulate on Manhattan's East Side, shattering some windows; police said they believed someone on a bicycle threw the devices. At the time, police said they were investigating whether it was connected to an attack with similar explosive devices at the British consulate on May 5, 2005. No one was arrested in either incident. In the Times Square incident, police suspect similar black powder was used but it was placed in an ammunition box, something widely available in Army-Navy surplus stores.

After the blast, New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg was quoted in the news as saying, "whoever the coward was that committed this disgraceful act on our city will be found and prosecuted to the full extent of the law. We will not tolerate such attacks." His real agenda was revealed when he added, "New York City is back and is open for business... People are going about their business, shopping, working and sightseeing."