U.S. Authorities Say No Indication of Terrorist Involvement in Vehicle Explosion at Border With Canada

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There is no indication of terrorist involvement in a vehicle explosion that claimed two lives at a border crossing between the United States and Canada in Niagara Falls on Wednesday, said New York State Governor Kathy Hochul.

The incident at Rainbow Bridge, which also injured one border officer, triggered an investigation by the FBI local office and prompted the closing of four cross-border bridges for hours.

While Hochul ruled out terrorist involvement, Canadian media reported that Canadian officials are currently operating under the assumption the incident is terror-related, and are trying to determine if the incident was isolated.

A local individual from West New York is behind the crash, said Hochul, noting it is still not known whether the crash was intentional or not.

New York State Police is actively working with the FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force to monitor all points of entry to New York, said Hochul in an earlier statement.

The Rainbow Bridge and three other bridges between western New York and Ontario were quickly closed as a precaution, though the other three later reopened.

Moreover, the U.S. National Railroad Passenger Corporation temporarily suspended cross-border service between New York State and Canada, and the Federal Aviation Administration paused international arrivals and departures from Buffalo Niagara International Airport for a few hours.

“Right now we currently have the Rainbow Bridge closed in both directions in Niagara Falls,” said Ontario Provincial Police Sgt. Kerry Schmidt, adding that the Fort Erie Peace Bridge is also closed in both directions.

Also on Wednesday, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said he has been briefed by the national security and intelligence advisor on the situation.

“We are in contact with the U.S. officials. The minister of public safety, RCMP (Royal Canadian Mounted Police), and CBSA (Canada Border Services Agency) are fully engaged and providing all necessary support,” Trudeau said.

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