It's sometimes easy to forget what a truly enormous bullet New York dodged with Faisal Shahzad's would-be car-bomb attack. Shahzad's inability to build the bomb correctly, his comical failure to remember his keys, can make him seem more like a hapless, amateurish terror clown than the greatest mass murderer in United States history. But if Shahzad's bomb had exploded, it would have killed up to "thousands of people," according to a startling estimate by the FBI, which made a functioning replica of Shahzad's bomb and set it off outside of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, at the end of June.
"It definitely would have been bigger than [the 1995] Oklahoma City" bombing of the federal building that killed 168 people, the source said. "There would have been a lot of casualties."
"People would also have been stomped to death from running away. It would have been panic. The buildings would have been severely damaged."
One source added: "If you look at the four corners [near the bomb] that night, there could easily be 500 people between 20 to 30 feet from the car.
Of course, the only reason it never happened is not because we were able to stop it in time, but because we got lucky. And that's the scariest part of all. "This attempt failed," one source told the Post. "But no one thinks this is the only time someone is going to try to blow something up in Times Square."