- Ahmad Khan Rahami shot, taken alive earlier today
- Rahami is suspect in bombings in New York City; Seaside and Elizabeth, New Jersey
- Friend says came back from Afghanistan “and he was real religious”
- Allegedly posted on jihadist website
- Rahami a deadbeat, hated America, says his baby’s mother
- Tried to stab his sister; arrested on illegal weapons charge; served time
Ahmad Khan Rahami, the 28-year-old suspect in the bombings in New York City and New Jersey over the weekend, was taken into custody after a shootout with police in Linden, N.J., on Monday morning, local officials said. At least one police officer was wounded during Rahami’s arrest.
ABC News captured images of the Rahami as he was taken away from the scene in an ambulance. He appeared to have been shot in the right arm.
ELIZABETH, N.J. — The 28-year-old New Jersey man wanted in connection with a series of blasts that terrorized New York and New Jersey over the last three days was taken into custody Monday after being shot, two sources told NBC News.
Ahmad Rahami of Elizabeth, New Jersey, was identified as a suspect after a fingerprint was found on one of the devices that failed to detonate, a senior law enforcement official told NBC News.
They also found more information that pointed to Rahami on cell phones that were wired to the unexploded bombs, the official said.
“He certainly seemed to do virtually nothing to cover his tracks,” the official says.
But the official downplayed any talk of Rahimi being part of a “cell” and said at this point have no idea whether anyone else was involved.
Asked whether the bombings were ISIS-inspired or directed, the official said authorities have no idea: “We’re a long way from that.”
A bar owner in Linden, NJ spotted a man sleeping in his doorway and called police. An officer confronted the man around 10:45 a.m., soon recognizing it was Rahami, officials said. Rahami pulled a gun and shot the officer — who was wearing a bulletproof vest — in the abdomen, and more officers soon joined in a running gun battle with Rahami. Rahami was shot at least once in the leg and eventually brought down and captured alive. News cameras showed Rahami being loaded into an ambulance on a stretcher and he was taken to University Hospital in Newark, Fox News confirmed.
“Today I believe we’re going to find out that [the bombing] was influenced by foreign sources,” Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Monday on “Fox & Friends.”
Two U.S. officials told Reuters on Monday that the bomb plot likely involved several individuals, a revelation that came hours after federal authorities on Sunday night conducted a traffic stop in Brooklyn of a “vehicle of interest” in the bombings. A law enforcement source told Fox News that a “number of individuals” who are possibly connected to the explosions were taken into custody. At least five men were being questioned, The Associated Press reported.
A weapons stash was found in the vehicle and investigators were trying to determine if the occupants were attempting to drive out of town or take a plane, The New York Daily News reported.
Investigators believe Rahami also planted a bomb in Seaside Park, N.J., which exploded without injuring anyone Saturday, according to the New Jersey State Police.
His older brother Qasim, is believed to have returned to Afghanistan after getting into a fight with police in New Jersey, while one of his sisters, Zobydha, is a student at Rutgers University, and volunteers on a committee to promote community cohesion among minority students.
In 2014 he was arrested for unlawful possession of a weapon and aggravated assault, but was never charged. The attacks quickly became political fodder.
Rahami was arrested on domestic violence charges for allegedly attempting to stab his sister, Peter King, a Republican congressman for New York, told CNN.
Police said he spent a little over two months behind bars at Union County jail on a weapons and aggravated assault charge in 2014.
He is thought to have made multiple trips to Afghanistan and neighbouring countries.
Flee Jones, who grew up with Rahami, said that he thought the suspect had visited Afghanistan around four years ago. When he came back he had a beard and wore traditional Muslim robes. He started praying in the back of the family’s chicken restaurant.
“It’s like he was a completely different person,” Mr Jones told the New York Times. “He got serious and completely closed off.”
Maria, whose full name is being withheld by FoxNews.com, said her high school sweetheart, Ahmad Khan Rahami, didn’t pay child support and often railed against American culture. The 26-year-old, who spoke after her grandmother called her for a reporter who produced his press credential and identified himself at the grandmother’s home in Elizabeth, said she had not seen Rahami in two years.
“He would speak often of Western culture and how it was different back home,” she said. “How there weren’t homosexuals in Afghanistan.
“He seemed standoffish to American culture, but I never thought he would cross the line,” she added.
“One time, he was watching TV with my daughter and a woman in a [military] uniform came on and he told [their daughter], ‘That’s the bad person,'” she said.
The last time Maria knows that Rahami visited his homeland was nine years ago. He brought back a wife and another child, she said.
Maria did not say what prompted their breakup, and cut the interview short saying she did not want to speak to a reporter. But she did say she did not want Rahami around their daughter, whom she did not name.
“I didn’t want him to see my daughter,” she said. “If he loved her, he would have paid child support. My greatest fear is that he would try to take my daughter.”
Five men detained in connection with the probe after a traffic stop in Brooklyn were released Monday, and authorities said they do not believe the bombs were the work of a terror cell.
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