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FBI: Joint Terrorism Task Force Investigating Bomb Plot; Portion of Seaside Park to Remain Off-Limits

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The Federal Bureau of Investigation and its Joint Terrorism Task Force is leading the probe into Saturday’s bomb plot on the Seaside Park boardwalk.

At a press conference, Brad Cohen, Acting Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s office in Newark, did not shed any additional light on the details of the incident – including how many devices were found – but said federal and state agencies would be leading the investigation.

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“We’re working together to conduct a through investigation to find out who is responsible at this time,” Cohen said. “We’re out there conducting interviews, we’re out there securing evidence, and we’re making sure there is no stone left unturned.”

Those who live in the area of the blast – which was reportedly a pipe bomb hidden in a garbage can – at D Street and the boardwalk, is being asked to stay out of the area that is specifically the subject of the investigation “to allow law enforcement to render the area safe and collect evidence,” Cohen said.

Anyone with information on the incident is being asked to call 1-800-CALL-FBI and select option one.

“This is an active investigation,” said Cohen.

Seaside Park residents who were displaced during the investigation were allowed back in their homes as of 6 p.m. Residents of ahe area of C Street, D Street and E Street on the ocean blocks will need to present identification to officers to access their streets. Beaches will be closed on those streets “until further notice,” Seaside Park Police Chief Francis Larkin said.

Neither Cohen nor Larkin offered any insight into whether terrorism was the suspected motivation for the bomb plot, however Al Della Fave, spokesman for the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office, said the fact that a bomb detonated at 9:35 a.m., when a Marine Corps charity run was supposed to have started at 9:30 a.m. in the same area, was being investigated.

“You would have to assume that, at a military type event, the U.S. Marines, a device is placed along the route of a charity event, it would be hard to think it would be anything else,” Della Fave said.

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