NY bomb­ing sus­pect’s fa­ther: US ‘pun­ish­ing’ my fam­ily

Kuwait Times - - INTERNATIONAL -

The fa­ther of New York bomb­ing sus­pect Ah­mad Khan Ra­hami said yes­ter­day that the FBI had made “mis­take after mis­take” in han­dling the case and is now “pun­ish­ing” the fam­ily for his son’s wrong­do­ing by bar­ring them from trav­el­ling to the United States. Mo­hammed Ra­hami told The As­so­ci­ated Press by phone that the FBI did not “do its job prop­erly” by fail­ing to act when he con­tacted in­ves­ti­ga­tors in 2014 with con­cerns his son could be a ter­ror­ist. He said he told in­ves­ti­ga­tors that his son had be­come “bad” and his per­son­al­ity had changed after re­turn­ing from trips to Pak­istan and Afghanistan.

A se­nior FBI of­fi­cial last month pushed back against the el­der Ra­hami’s claim that he warned agents about his son. FBI agents in­ter­viewed the fa­ther after a 2014 in­ci­dent in which Ra­hami was ar­rested on charges - later dropped - that he stabbed one of his broth­ers in the leg, ac­cord­ing to the FBI of­fi­cial, who in­sisted that Ra­hami’s fa­ther “at no time” dis­cussed his son’s rad­i­cal­iza­tion or po­ten­tial in­ter­est in Al-Qaeda, the Tale­ban or their pro­pa­ganda. The of­fi­cial wasn’t au­tho­rized to dis­cuss the case by name and spoke to AP on con­di­tion of anonymity.

Ra­hami said US au­thor­i­ties re­cently turned back his wife and one of his sons when they tried to travel from Afghanistan to the United States. He said Ah­mad Khan Ra­hami’s wife was also re­fused en­try into the US. He would not re­veal where his daugh­terin-law was liv­ing, but said her fam­ily is from the Pak­istani city of Quetta. He urged US au­thor­i­ties to al­low his rel­a­tives to travel to the United States, say­ing they are law-abid­ing cit­i­zens.

Ra­hami is ac­cused of plant­ing bombs in New York and New Jer­sey that wounded 31 peo­ple last month. The Afghan-born US cit­i­zen re­mains hos­pi­tal­ized with gun­shot wounds after a po­lice shootout. Prose­cu­tors said that when he was ar­rested Ra­hami was found to be car­ry­ing a jour­nal that praised Osama bin Laden and other mil­i­tants and that fumed about what he saw as the US govern­ment’s killing of Mus­lim holy war­riors. The el­der Ra­hami said he had been given no in­for­ma­tion on his son’s con­di­tion in hospi­tal.

He ex­pressed his “sym­pa­thy for all those who suf­fered” in the blasts. “My son’s bad act dam­aged our re­pute, it de­famed my moth­er­land and it caused bad im­pres­sion about Is­lam, which stands for peace,” he said. — AP

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