Top Republican: Car bomb could have been related to 'South Park' controversy

A top House Republican said Sunday that an attempted car bombing in New York City might have been tied to a controversial episode of "South Park."

Rep. Peter King (R-N.Y.), the ranking member of the House Homeland Security Committee, said that a car bomb found Saturday night in Times Square might have been the work of Islamic extremists who were upset over an episode of the Comedy Central series that attempted to depict the prophet Muhammad.

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"It's one possibility out of 100, but this vehicle was close to a Viacom building, which owns MTV and Comedy Central," King said Sunday during an appearance on CNN. "And you have the whole issue with 'South Park,' which Islamic terrorists were threatening to have retribution for. So all of these things have to be looked at."

Two episodes of "South Park" sought to depict the Islamic prophet, retreading a similar attempt several years ago, but was censored by Comedy Central for broadcast. The show's creators sought to show an uncensored version online, but were not allowed.

The network censored the broadcast out of security concerns after "Revolution Muslim," an Islamic group based in New York, had warned of retribution over the episode.

Islamic law prohibits depictions of the prophet. Depictions of the prophet in Dutch newspapers sparked riots several years ago, and Dutch filmmaker Theo van Gogh was murdered in 2004 for having produced a documentary that was critical of Muslims.

King said he expected the investigation into the car bomb, which did not explode and has been described as "crude," to proceed quickly.

"Fortunately, a lot of evidence was left behind, and you have the best police force in the world with the NYPD and the joint terrorism task force in New York on top of it, and they will be moving as quickly as they possibly can," he said. "And we can be sure it will be a thoroughly exhaustive and professional investigation."