Prosecutor: Suspect in bomb attacks talked to FBI for days
A man charged with setting off bombs in New Jersey and New York spoke with the FBI for days after his arrest as he was recovering from gunshot wounds, a prosecutor told a judge on Thursday.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Nicholas Lewin made the revelation after Ahmad Khan Rahimi pleaded not guilty to an indictment charging him in the Sept. 17 attacks, which wounded 30 people when a pressure cooker bomb exploded in Manhattan’s Chelsea neighborhood. Another bomb nearby did not explode.
Lewin told U.S. District Judge Richard M. Berman that evidence against Rahimi includes two FBI reports of statements he made across multiple days after his Sept. 19 capture during a shootout with police in Linden, New Jersey. The prosecutor didn’t disclose what Rahimi told the FBI.
Other evidence prosecutors plan to turn over to defense lawyers within weeks includes video clips of Rahimi’s movements on the day of the bombings, internet records showing he bought bomb-making materials and proof his fingerprints and DNA were found on explosive devices, Lewin said.
Besides the Manhattan attacks, Rahimi, an Afghan-born U.S. citizen from Elizabeth, New Jersey, is charged with detonating a pipe bomb along a Marine Corps charity race in Seaside Park, New Jersey, earlier in the day. Another bomb found at a train station didn’t explode.
The prosecutor said video clips would show Rahimi “carrying and planting” at least one of the bombs. The videos show him carrying bags outside his New Jersey home, walking on the Manhattan street where the injuries occurred and leaving materials in a bag a few streets away where the second pressure cooker bomb was found, he said.
Rahimi, who was hospitalized with gunshot wounds after the Sept. 19 police shootout, coughed into his shirt repeatedly during his court appearance on Thursday as his lawyers, Peggy Cross-Goldenberg and Sabrina Shroff, gave him water.
Cross-Goldenberg said he had to cut short a medical appointment to come to court, and she suggested hearings be held sparingly.