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White flags baffle NYPD: ‘We’re lucky it wasn’t a bomb’

- The Washington Times - Wednesday, July 23, 2014

The New York Police Department still can't explain how a group of five individuals were able to hoist two white flags atop the Brooklyn Bridge, which is supposed to be heavily monitored.

Police haven't identified any of the suspects responsible or any motive behind the mysterious white flags — which would typically signal a surrender or truce — flying high atop the New York City landmark.

"We're lucky they just put a flag up there — and not a bomb," a law enforcement source told the New York Post. "It's an embarrassment."

Surveillance footage showed five individuals crossing the bridge about 3 a.m. Tuesday. They climbed a locked gate and scaled a bridge cable to reach the top of the 276-foot stone pillars, USA Today reported.

Police said the group used aluminum cooking pans to cover the lights atop the Brooklyn and Manhattan towers about 3:30 a.m, so that they could replace the flags in darkness.

The group replaced the American flags with two different American flags that had been bleached out. The American flags were restored by crews by 3 p.m. Tuesday.

NYPD anti-terrorism chief John Miller said the caper clearly involved "a good deal of pre-planning," USA Today reported.

"There's no particular nexus to terrorism or politics," he said. "It might be some kind of art project or statement. But we are not sure what that statement is."

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