Remember all those headlines and video snippet’s of Ahmad Rahami’s father last weekend claiming he reported his son to the FBI?
The media never bothered to fact-check the claim and according to the FBI, the father was lying. h/t @paulsperry_
It was the FBI who initiated contact with the bomber’s father, as the facts slowly trickle in midway through an AP article praising the father’s imam. Source: Associated Press
A senior FBI official pushed back against Mohammad Rahami’s claim to have warned agents about his son.
FBI agents interviewed the father in 2014 after Ahmad Rahami’s arrest on charges — later dropped — that he stabbed one of his brothers in the leg. The FBI initiated contact because the father had expressed concern to someone following that episode over his son’s internet use and some of his associates.
But in interviews with agents, Mohammed Rahami “at no time” discussed his son’s radicalization or potential interest in al-Qaeda, the Taliban or their propaganda, according to the FBI official, who wasn’t authorized to discuss the case by name and spoke on the condition of anonymity.
When Ahmad Rahami was arrested, prosecutors said he was carrying a journal that praised Osama bin Laden and other Muslim extremists, fumed about what he saw as the U.S. government’s killing of Muslim holy warriors and declared, “Death to your oppression.”
More from the NYT:
When agents first interviewed the elder Mr. Rahami on Aug. 26, they asked him about his comments to the local police, according to some of the officials.
The father told them that he was referring to gangsters and criminals, not terrorists, the officials said.
But Mr. Rahami’s father told the F.B.I. that he had walked by his son’s room and observed him watching a YouTube video of explosions, the officials said. It was unclear what kind of explosions were in the video.
On Sept. 12, 2014, the F.B.I. returned and told the father that his son had been cleared of any connection to terrorism, and on Sept. 19, the review was formally closed. The father said he was not surprised by the F.B.I.’s findings. He repeated that his son was not a terrorist but had been hanging out with “bad people,” officials said.
When told on Thursday that law enforcement officials contradicted his version of events, he said, “It’s a lie,” and that he stood by his account.