New York bombing suspect Ahmad Khan Rahami in custody – reports

September 20, 2016 4:30 am
The man suspected in bombings in and New Jersey is reportedly in custody after a dramatic shootout with police.
was apprehended in Linden, New Jersey, after firing at a police officer, according to multiple media sources.
He is reportedly alive but wounded, and two officers were injured in the gunfire, US ABC reports.
The 28-year-old Afghan-born American is wanted in connection with twin bomb attacks in New York and New Jersey over the weekend.
Rahami, a naturalised citizen of Afghan birth, was identified with the help of a mobile phone left behind with an unexploded pressure cooker found near to the New York bomb blast, according to officials.

Police also believe Rahami was behind a pipe bomb that exploded in a trash can on the route of a Marine Corps run in New Jersey.He is believed to be the same man seen in black and white surveillance video taken at the site of Saturday night’s bombing in the Chelsea neighbourhood of Manhattan which injured 29.
Authorities released a photo of Rahami on Monday. His name has been added to key terror watch lists to prevent him from trying to leave the country, CNN reports.
Earlier Monday, FBI raided an apartment in Elizabeth, New Jersey, believed to be the home of Rahami. The suspect was deemed armed and dangerous, Mayor Bill de Blasio said.
“We need to get this guy in right away,” de Blasio said on CNN. “My experience is once the FBI zeroes in on someone, they will get them.”
The raid began after a nearby Elizabeth train station – a town adjacent to Newark International Airport – was rocked by an explosion on Monday morning after a robot accidentally set off a pipe bomb while trying to disarm the device left in a rubbish bin. No one was injured.
Up to five devices were found in one backpack, which was discovered in a garbage can by two men around 8.30pm Sunday near the train station.

Ahmad Khan Rahami is taken into custody after a shootout with police. Photo / AP

It came after an explosion in the trendy New York neighbourhood of Chelsea injured 29 people on Saturday night.
Authorities may also have discovered a link between the Chelsea explosion and a pressure cooker found blocks away.
Law enforcement agencies told CNN that surveillance tapes show the same man near the site of the bombing in Chelsea, as well as near where the pressure cooker was found stuffed with wiring and a cellphone attached.

This frame from surveillance video released by the New Jersey State Police shows Ahmad Khan Rahami, who was wanted for questioning for the Chelsea bombing. He has been arrested.


Elizabeth Mayor Christian Bollwage said the FBI was working to disarm one of the devices when the explosion happened.
The robot was reportedly “cutting into the device when it exploded”.
The two men who found the package reported seeing wires and a pipe coming out of the package. It’s believed the devices are pipe bombs.
The discovery of the suspicious package comes a day after an explosion in Manhattan injured 29 people, and an unexploded pressure-cooker device was found four blocks away.
Also Saturday, a pipe bomb exploded about an hour from the Elizabeth train station in Seaside Park, New Jersey, forcing the cancellation of a military charity 5K run.
Officials said it didn’t appear that those two incidents were connected, though they weren’t ruling anything out. Investigators didn’t immediately comment on whether they thought the Elizabeth incident was connected to either of the two blasts.
Governor Andrew Cuomo, touring the site of Saturday’s blast that injured 29 people in Manhattan’s Chelsea neighbourhood, said there didn’t appear to be any link to international terrorism.
He said the second device appeared “similar in design” to the first, but did not provide details.
On Sunday, a federal law enforcement official said the Chelsea bomb contained a residue of Tannerite, an explosive often used for target practice that can be picked up in many sporting goods stores. The discovery of Tannerite may be important as authorities probe whether the three incidents are connected.
Cell phones were discovered at the site of both bombings, but no Tannerite residue was identified in the New Jersey bomb remnants, in which a black powder was detected, said the official, who spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity because the official was not authorised to comment on an ongoing investigation.
Authorities said the Manhattan bombing and New Jersey pipe bomb didn’t appear to be connected, though they weren’t ruling anything out.
Meanwhile, Elizabeth Mayor Christian Bollwage warned other explosions were expected in Elizabeth. He said that if the bomb had gone off “it would have certainly killed or injured many.”
The blast came just before 1am Monday morning local time, leaving an odour of gunpowder in the air, after trains through the station in Elizabeth were suspended and homes and businesses evacuated.
A hazmat team was called to the station overnight and Union County Bomb Squad brought in a robot as trains on the Northeast Corridor between Newark Airport and Penn Station were cancelled.
Police had been warned by an anonymous 911 caller that more explosions would follow Saturday’s dumpster bombing in New York, which left 29 people injured.
A second device, described as a pressure cooker with wires and a mobile phone attached, was found a few blocks from the Manhattan explosion.
The blast in Elizabeth, NJ, wraps up a weekend of terror in the US, in which a pipe bomb exploded in a New Jersey coastal town ahead of a charity race on Saturday morning and a mass stabbing at a Minnesota shopping centre was claimed by Islamic State.


Five people were arrested in Brooklyn on Sunday evening following Saturday night’s bombing in Manhattan’s fashionable Chelsea district.
The suspects were in a “vehicle of interest” heading east at around 8.45pm Sunday night Eastern Time on the Belt Parkway from the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge, the FBI confirmed. A weapons stash was found inside the SUV, the New York Daily News reported.
A government official and a law enforcement official who were briefed on the investigation said five people were being questioned at an FBI building in lower Manhattan.
New York State Senator Marty Golden posted on Instagram that the arrests had “a possible connection to the bombing” in Chelsea.
No one has been charged and the investigation is ongoing, the FBI said.
Investigators identified a person of interest in the bombing through surveillance footage, but it is unclear if he was among the five arrested.
Two senior law enforcement officials told NBC New York the footage showed a man pulling a suitcase that appeared to contain the second explosive device, which he took out and left behind as he walked away.
The officials said two men later approached the abandoned suitcase, removed a white bag containing the device and took the luggage but said there was no indication the pair knew what they were removing.

1 Rahami is a 28-year-old naturalised US citizen from Afghanistan
2 He is about 5′ 6″ (1.70m) tall and weighs approximately 90kg. Rahami has brown hair, brown eyes, and brown facial hair.
3 He was arrested today following a shootout with police. Two officers and the suspect were wounded.
4 Rahami had visited Afghanistan – possibly several times. Associates of the suspect told the New York Times that he may have been radicalised during these trips.
5 His last known address was in Elizabeth, New Jersey. His family run a fried chicken shop. FBI agents raided an apartment above it.
6 Rahami was found by a bar owner in Linden, New Jersey, sleeping in his hall way.

 Rahami pulled a gun and shot the officer – who was wearing a bulletproof vest – in the torso, and more officers joined in a gun battle along the street and brought Rahami down, police Captain James Sarnicki said.A police officer went to investigate and recognised the man as Rahami, police and Linden Mayor Derek Armstead said.
8 William Sweeney, the FBI’s assistant director in New York, said there were no indications Rahami was on law enforcement’s radar at the time of the bombings.
9 Sweeney wouldn’t detail how investigators zeroed in on Rahami as someone they wanted to question, but a law enforcement official says Rahami was seen in surveillance footage “clear as day” at the scene of the bombing in Manhattan. The official says investigators were also able to recover his fingerprints from the scene. Another law enforcement official says investigators pulled over a car “associated” with Rahami when it appeared headed toward an airport on Monday. It had three men and two women in it.
10 CNN said Rahami was implicated in a domestic incident years ago – allegedly threatening his sister with a knife – but the claim was recanted.
How did the authorities allegedly link the suspect to the bombings?
A law enforcement official says fingerprints and surveillance video helped investigators. The official says Ahmad Khan Rahami is seen in surveillance footage at the scene of the bombing in Manhattan. The official says investigators were also able to recover his fingerprints from the scene. Another law enforcement official says investigators pulled over a car “associated” with Rahami when it appeared headed towards an airport. It had three men and two women in it. Rahami’s arrest came just hours after police issued a bulletin and photo of him.
Who is Rahami?
A 28-year-old naturalised US citizen from Afghanistan. The family business is a fast-food restaurant in Elizabeth, New Jersey, owned by the suspect’s father.
Was the suspect on the radar for militancy?

How many devices were there?
A third law enforcement official says Rahami wasn’t on any terror or no-fly watch lists but had been interviewed for immigration purposes. Investigators say they’ve found no evidence so far that the suspect was part of a broader terrorist cell. The assistant director of the FBI’s field office in New York, William Sweeney, said in a news briefing that “there is no indication that there’s a cell” in the area. New York City’s mayor and police commissioner also say no other suspects are being sought at this time.
On Sunday NZT, a shrapnel-packed pressure-cooker bomb exploded in New York’s Chelsea section, injuring 29 people. An unexploded pressure-cooker bomb was found blocks away. Earlier that day, a pipe bomb blew up in Seaside Park, New Jersey, before a charity race to benefit Marines. No one was injured. Then yesterday, five explosive devices were discovered in a rubbish bin at an Elizabeth train station. Investigators said they are still gathering evidence on those bombs and have not publicly tied Rahami to those devices.
Was there evidence the New York and New Jersey attacks were linked?
A federal law enforcement official says three bombs found in New York and New Jersey had one component in common: a flip-style cellphone. The official says a pipe bomb that exploded in Seaside Park, New Jersey, was constructed with a threaded pipe and black powder. The official says two devices found in New York City included pressure cookers, similar to the devices used in the 2013 attack the Boston Marathon that killed three and wounded hundreds of people. The device that exploded contained residue from the commercially available explosive compound Tannerite.

Where is the suspect?
Rahami is undergoing surgery after a shootout with police. Union County Prosecutor Grace Park said he was shot in the leg. She says that two officers injured in the shootout have non-critical injuries. The suspect was found sleeping in a bar hallway in Linden, New Jersey, before his arrest. Mayor Derek Armstead says the man was initially presumed to be a vagrant, but police officers who responded quickly realised it was Rahami. Armstead says the man pulled out a handgun and fired at the officers, hitting one in a bulletproof vest. The man then began firing as he ran down the street and police shot him in the leg. The man was conscious when he was taken away in an ambulance.
What happens now?
A law enforcement official says investigators regard Rahami as the “main guy” but plan to look into whether any other associates had a role or knowledge. The official says investigators are not seeing a connection between the explosions and a separate stabbing attack at a shopping centre in Minnesota. US Attorney Preet Bharara, chief federal prosecutor in New York, said New Jersey officials will probably bring charges against Rahami in the police officers’ shooting while federal authorities weigh charges of their own. The five people pulled over yesterday were questioned and released, Sweeney said, declining to say whether they might face any charges. Law enforcement officials said at least one of Rahami’s relatives was in the car, which appeared headed towards Kennedy Airport in New York.

What do we know about Rahami’s family?
Rahami’s father, Mohammad, and two of Rahami’s brothers sued the city of Linden in 2011 after it passed an ordinance requiring their restaurant, First American Fried Chicken, to close early because of complaints from neighbours that it was a late-night nuisance. The Rahamis charged in the lawsuit that they were targeted by neighbours because they are Muslims. The lawsuit was terminated in 2012 after Mohammad Rahami pleaded guilty to blocking police from enforcing the restrictions on the restaurant. Ryan McCann, of Elizabeth, said that he often ate at the restaurant and recently began seeing the younger Rahami working there more. “He’s always in there. He’s a very friendly guy, that’s what’s so scary. It’s hard when it’s home,” McCann said.
How has the US President reacted?
President Barack Obama likewise said that investigators see no connection between the bombings and the stabbings. Obama says the US is “extremely fortunate” nobody was killed in the bombings. He says he’s spoken to the governors of New Jersey and New York and pledged all needed federal assistance. The Council on American-Islamic Relations, a national Muslim advocacy group, welcomed Rahami’s arrest. The organisation and the Afghan Embassy in Washington condemned the bombings.
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