NY bomber details unfold, WMD charges
Ahmad Khan Rahami vowed to martyr himself rather than be caught after setting off explosives in New York and New Jersey, and he’d hoped in a handwritten journal championing jihad that “the sounds of bombs will be heard in the streets,” authorities said Tuesday as they filed federal charges against him.
Criminal complaints in Manhattan and New Jersey federal courts provided chilling descriptions of the motivations that authorities said drove the Afghan-born US citizen to set off explosives in New York and New Jersey, including a bomb that injured more than two dozen people when it blew up on a busy Manhattan street.
Meanwhile, more details emerged Tuesday about Rahami’s past, including the disclosure that the FBI had looked into him in 2014 but came up with nothing.
According to the court complaint, Rahami’s journal included a passage that said: “You (USA Government) continue your (unintelligible) slaught(er)” against the mujahideen, or holy warriors, in Afghanistan and elsewhere.
“Death to your oppression,” the journal ended.
One portion expressed concern at the prospect of being caught before being able to carry out a suicide attack and the desire to be a martyr, the complaint said. Still another section included a reference to “pipe bombs” and a “pressure cooker bomb” and declared: “In the streets they plan to run a mile,” an apparent reference to one of the blast sites, a charity run in a New Jersey shore town.
There also were laudatory references to Osama bin Laden, Anwar al-Awlaki — the American-born Muslim cleric who was killed in a 2011 drone strike and whose preaching has inspired other acts of violence — and Nidal Hasan, the former Army officer who went on a deadly shooting rampage in 2009 at Fort Hood, Texas, the complaint said.
Federal agents would like to question Rahami. But Rep Tom MacArthur of New Jersey, who received a classified briefing from the FBI, said Rahami was not cooperating, but that could also be a reflection of his injuries.
New York Mayor Bill de Blasio meets with customers at Malibu Diner in Chelsea, three days after an explosion in the neighborhood wounded 29 in the Manhattan borough of New York on Tuesday.