Bombing suspect captured after shootout in New Jersey
The man suspected of planting bombs in New York City and New Jersey over the weekend has been arrested and charged on five counts of attempted murder.
Ahmad Khan Rahami, 28, was arrested just hours after millions of area residents received an automated alert on their cell phones, with a photo of Rahami, describing him as “armed and dangerous.”
Around 10:30 am, Rahami was spotted sleeping in the doorway of a bar in Linden, New Jersey.
A shootout with police injured one police officer in the hand and another in his bulletproof vest, before Rahami was shot in the shoulder and loaded onto a stretcher.
“Folks around here, they don’t get scared. They are tough, they are resilient, they go about their business every single day,” US President Barack Obama said on Monday on the sidelines of the annual meeting of the UN General Assembly.
Interviews with residents and tourists in the city backed up his remarks.
Kim Littlefield, a real estate agent who lives on We s t 23rd directly across the street from the site of the explosion, said she was shocked, but not at all worried or scared.
“My chances of getting hit by an MTA bus are way higher than terrorism,” she said.
Her relaxed view didn’t change the fact that her block was still being treated as an active crime scene, with more than 20 NYPD officers on patrol. Residents had to present ID and be escorted by an officer to enter or leave the area.
Officials said that surveillance video from the Chelsea area caught Rahami planting both the bomb that exploded on 23rd Street and another four blocks away that did not detonate.
Police said they believe Rahami is also connected to a backpack full of pipe bombs found in Elizabeth, New Jersey.
“We have every reason to believe this was an act of terror,” New York Mayor Bill de Blasio said earlier today.
An FBI investigation into Rahami’s background and possible motivation are still ongoing. Police identified Rahami as a naturalized citizen from Afghanistan.
According to The New York Times, his neighbors said that he traveled back to his homeland several years ago. No links to terror organizations have yet been identified by investigators.
Kely Bauer, an investment banker from Brazil, heard about the bomb explosions a few hours before she boarded an airplane for New York. Fifty hours later, she was taking pictures of an American flag on Times Square with a smile on her face.
“I can’t say I wasn’t worried,” she said, “but I still believe it is safe here in New York, especially for someone like me, you know, coming from Brazil.”
Security has been stepped up across New York City in preparation for the UN General Assembly and following the bombing on Saturday night.
Ahmad Khan Rahami, NYC bombing suspect