Bombing suspect Ahmad Khan Rahami arrested after shootout in New Jersey
Ahmad Khan Rahami, the suspect wanted in connection with the string of bomb incidents over the weekend in Manhattan and New Jersey, was arrested Monday after a shootout with police in Linden, New Jersey.
Here are the latest details. We’ll update with more information as it becomes available.
-Rahami was found sleeping in the entryway of a bar, according to an Associated Pressreport that quoted Linden Mayor Derek Armstead. The person who reported Rahami thought he was a vagrant, but police quickly arrived on the scene and identified him.
-After he was confronted, Rahami pulled out a handgun and opened fire, hitting one officer in the chest. The officer’s bulletproof vest blocked the gunshot. Rahami continued to fire at police as he ran down the street. He was shot in the leg and was conscious when he was taken into custody. Another cop was wounded in the hand during the exchange.
-Authorities were able to connect Rahami to the bombing from a fingerprint left on one of the explosive devices, according to a law enforcement official who spoke with CNN. A cellphone that was connected to the undetonated pressure cooker bomb in Manhattan also reportedly provided clues.
-There’s still no evidence that links Rahami to foreign terrorist groups. “We don’t know his particular ideology or what his inspiration was or whether he was directed or whether he was inspired,” a law enforcement official told the New York Times. “We don’t have any of that.” The official said investigators are in the process of combing through evidence seized during a search of a residence linked to Rahani in Elizabeth, New Jersey on Monday morning.
-During a press conference after Rahami’s arrest on Monday, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio called the bombing a “very serious incident,” but he declined to call it terrorism.
“It’s going to take a lot of careful investigation to get to the facts and get to the truth,” the mayor said. “One of the things we’re going to say to you today is we’re going to be very careful and patient to get to the full truth here. We’re not going to jump to conclusions.”
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Bombing suspect Ahmad Khan Rahami was arrested by police in Linden, New Jersey, on Monday morning, according to multiple reports. Some reports have said Rahami shot a police officer before he was taken into custody.
A local NBC news affiliate cited four law enforcement sources as saying at least one police officer was shot in the chest during a gun battle with Rahami, but the officer was reportedly wearing a bulletproof vest and was not seriously injured. Rahami was also reportedly wounded and is being hospitalized. His condition is unclear.
The FBI and police in New York and New Jersey identified the 28-year-old US citizen of Afghan descent on Monday as a suspect in the bombing on Saturday in Manhattan’s Chelsea neighborhood that injured 29 people. A second undetonated bomb made from a pressure cooker was found four blocks away.
Rahami is also wanted for questioning in connection with five pipe bombs that were found on Sunday night in Elizabeth, New Jersey, and a third bombing that occurred Saturday morning in Seaside Park, New Jersey during a charity 5K race to benefit members of the Marine Corps and their families. No one was injured by the New Jersey bombs.
President Barack Obama, who arrived in New York City Monday morning for the UN General Assembly, spoke about the string of bombings during a press conference around the same time Rahami was being taken into custody.
“I want to reassure people in this city and region that our counterterrorism professionals at every level — state, local and federal — are working together around the clock to keep us safe,” Obama said. “At moments like this, i think it’s important to remember what terrorists and violent extremists are trying to do. They’re trying to hurt innocent people, but trying to inspire fear as well.”
The connection between the Chelsea bombs and the explosive devices found in the two New Jersey cities remains unclear, but after initially downplaying possible links between them, authorities now suspect they are related. The Chelsea pressure cooker bombs and the pipe bombs in Seaside Park reportedly used flip-style cellphones as a timing mechanism. The pipe bombs used black powder, while the pressure cookers were filled with tannerite, an explosive powder used during target practice at shooting ranges.
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said Monday there were “certain commonalities among the bombs,” which led authorities to suspect “that there was a common group behind the bombs.”
FBI agents searched an apartment linked to Rahmani’s family in Elizabeth, New Jersey at around 6am on Monday morning. The home is above a fried chicken restaurant that the family owns.
More on the ongoing investigation.