On Monday, Sept. 19, 2016, law enforcement agencies arrested Ahmad Khan Rahami, a 28-year-old U.S. citizen of Afghan descent, after a shootout with police in New Jersey. Rahami is a suspect in New Jersey and Manhattan, N.Y. bombing incidents, which took place on Saturday, September 17.
Chris Bollwage, Mayor of Elizabeth, New Jersey declared that the suspect was in custody in Linden. He further added, that a couple of police officers have bullet wounds, one in the hand and the other in the vest. Bollwage was unclear of the shooter’s identity. Authorities handcuffed Rahami and took him away in an ambulance.
Police Captain James Sarnicki, however, revealed that the officers were indeed shot at by suspect. “Rahami pulled a gun and shot the officer – who was wearing a bulletproof vest – in the torso, and more officers joined the gun battle and brought Rahami down.” The shootout and the subsequent arrest has come just after the authorities issued a warrant for Rahami. The New Jersey bombing suspect has finally been brought into custody after a police shootout.
A bar owner found Rahami sleeping in the facility’s hallway in New Jersey. The FBI had earlier warned that the suspect might be armed, hence, the police officers who responded wore bulletproof vests. The police officers could subdue Rahami only when they shot him multiple times. A video from the site showed the suspect with a bleeding right arm.
The blast in Manhattan injured 29 people in Chelsea neighborhood, while a pipe bomb detonated in New Jersey. The authorities canceled a charity race scheduled in New Jersey for safety reasons.
On Sunday, police discovered five explosive devices near the Elizabeth train station. The devices were found in a trash can. Two men located these and later reported them to the police. The bag had wires and pipes sticking out.
The authorities arrested the New Jersey bombing suspect after a comprehensive search. The speculations are that the incidents in New Jersey and Manhattan, in addition to the discovery of the explosive devices have something in common. It is also suspected that more information could be revealed from the areas that are yet to be investigated.
Mayor Cries New York Blast Deliberate, Backtracks to It Being Terror
Mayor of New York, Bill de Blasio claimed that the detonation in Manhattan was carried out intentionally. “It is too early to determine what the incident was caused by. We believe it was intentional,” declared the mayor. He further added that the incident could not be linked to terrorism. On Monday, however, de Blasio clarified that the incident could, in fact, have a terrorist connection.
Governor Andrew Cuomo was also of the opinion that the bombing was not connected with international terrorism. Later he changed his perception of the happenings. “Today’s information suggests it may be foreign-related, but we’ll see where it goes,” declared Cuomo.
One Device Detonates as Authorities Try to Disarm the Explosives
As the Union County bomb squad robot was working on one of the five devices, it detonated. The Mayor of Elizabeth, Bollwage stated that the FBI is leading the investigation and disarming of the other four devices.
Also, authorities in New Jersey had suspended all train services south and west of New York City. The services were suspended between Newark Liberty International Airport and Elizabeth, apart from the New Jersey-bound trains which were stalled at Penn Station. Eventually, the New Jersey bombing suspect was taken into custody after a police shootout.
Apart from the arrested suspect, the FBI has been questioning five additional people.
By Abdullah Sultan Usmani
Edited by Cathy Milne
The Washington Post: Suspect in New York, N.J. bombings taken into custody
Al Jazeera: Mayor says News blast was carried out deliberately
Stuff: New York explosion suspect Ahmad Khan Rahami arrested
Al Jazeera: New York bomb investigation ‘leading towards terrorism.’
Pixx11: Ahmad Khan Rahami, wanted in connection with Chelsea and NJ bombings, arrested after shootout with police
Al Jazeera: Five devices found near New Jersey train station: mayor
Image Courtesy of André Gustavo Stumpf’s Flickr page – Creative Commons License