The FBI has identified the two men who were wanted for questioning after they were captured on video removing a pressure cooker bomb from a bag in New York City. The pair were reportedly seen on video surveillance picking up a backpack off the street in New York City and emptying its contents, which included a pressure cooker bomb, onto the street. Images of the two men were plastered on posters across the city as police noted they would like to question the individuals and possibly recover the bag. After a thorough investigation, it was revealed that the men were EgyptAir security employees named Hassan Ali and Abou Bakr Radwan.
The Daily Mail reports that Hassan Ali and Abou Bakr Radwan have been identified as the men seen removing a pressure cooker bomb from a backpack in New York City. The pair were seen picking up a backpack that was left on the side of the street before removing a large pot from the bag and placing it back on the street. However, the FBI says that they do not believe the men were associated with Ahmad Khan Rahami, who is accused of planting bombs in New York and New Jersey over one weekend. Instead, the police say they wanted to identify the men in order to possibly get the bag back and to ask them some questions.
The FBI noted that the surveillance images were taken on West 27th Street between 6th and 7th Avenue in Manhattan on September 17, 2016. This was during the same timeframe that an explosive device detonated on West 23rd Street in the Chelsea neighborhood. The FBI noted that they wanted to speak to these two individuals and to potentially recover the luggage that they picked up from the street.
Following the investigation, the New York Times noted that the two men were identified as EgyptAir employees. They both worked in security and had arrived to New York on an EgyptAir plane from Cairo. However, the men are allegedly keeping their jobs with the airline company as the company says that the men simply picked up the bag because they thought it was nice. The company says the men had no idea that the pot inside the bag was a bomb.
— Fox Nation (@foxnation) September 29, 2016
An official from EgyptAir, speaking to the Times, says that the men were walking on the street when they saw the abandoned bag and thought it looked nice. He says that the men noted that people often leave unwanted things on the streets of New York so they thought it was free for the taking. Therefore, they took the bag. However, when they opened the bag there was a large pot inside and reportedly Ali didn’t want to take the pot back on the plane with him so simply discarded it. The officials says the men did not know it was a bomb and have nothing to do with suspected bomb planter Ahmad Khan Rahami.
“They didn’t know what was in it. [Ali] told me he saw it and thought it was nice. He opened the bag to check it out and found a pot. You know, we see things left on the street in New York all the time. Stuff no one wants. It’s normal to take them.”
Journey From Class Clown to Suspect in Chelsea Bombing https://t.co/71kctxmqNQ
— Bo Snerdley (@BoSnerdley) September 25, 2016
The EgyptAir officials say the men are harmless and that they hadn’t seen local news to know that they were wanted by the FBI before leaving back for Cairo on EgyptAir the next day.
“These guys are harmless; they would be useless in a fist fight. They cannot be in any way involved.”
Meanwhile, the FBI has reportedly not been able to interview the two men as they left for Egypt the day after picking up the bag and when the FBI went to the airport to question the men, it was reportedly their “day off.” The airline says they have no intention of disciplining the men and the NYPD says that the men are not suspects in the bombings, they simply want to know more information about the bag and to possibly get the bag back for the investigation.
[Featured Image via FBI/ New York]