One sus­pect at large in NYC, NJ ter­ror bomb­ings, one dead in St. Cloud mall knife at­tack

The Standard Journal - - LOCAL - This un­dated photo pro­vided by the FBI shows Ah­mad Khan Ra­hami. He is wanted by the NYPD.

Ter­ror struck over the week­end in New York City and New Jersey in con­nected in­ci­dents, then later in Min­nesota in a sep­a­rate in­ci­dent with sev­eral in­juries re­ported all around.

Po­lice re­leased a photo of a 28-yearold im­mi­grant wanted for ques­tion­ing Monday in bomb­ings that rocked a Man­hat­tan neigh­bor­hood and a New Jersey shore town, and New York’s gover­nor and mayor said the blasts are look­ing in­creas­ingly like an act of ter­ror­ism with a for­eign con­nec­tion.

Ah­mad Khan Ra­hami, a nat­u­ral­ized U.S. cit­i­zen from Afghanista­n with an ad­dress in El­iz­a­beth, New Jersey, should be con­sid­ered armed and dan­ger­ous, New York City Mayor Bill de Bla­sio said in one of a se­ries of TV ap­pear­ances just min­utes after the photo was re­leased.

In ad­di­tion to the blast in Man­hat­tan’s Chelsea neigh­bor­hood on Sept. 17, a pipe bomb ex­ploded in a New Jersey shore town be­fore a charity 5K race and an un­ex­ploded pres­sure cooker de­vice was found blocks away from the ex­plo­sion site in Chelsea. On Sept. 18, five ex­plo­sive de­vices were dis­cov­ered at an El­iz­a­beth train sta­tion.

New Jersey State Po­lice said Monday, cit­ing the FBI, that the bomb­ings in Chelsea and the New Jersey shore town Sea­side Park were con­nected. No one was in­jured in the Jersey blast.

New York Gov. An­drew Cuomo said as in­ves­ti­ga­tors gath­ered in­for­ma­tion they learned there were “cer­tain com­mon­al­i­ties among the bombs,” lead­ing author­i­ties to be­lieve “that there was a com­mon group be­hind the bombs.”

“We want to get this guy in for ques­tion­ing,” de Bla­sio said on CNN. “We need the facts to be able to piece all this to­gether. ... I think we’re go­ing to know a lot more in the course of the day. Things are mov­ing very quickly.”

Early Monday, FBI agents swarmed an apart­ment above a fried chicken restau­rant in El­iz­a­beth that’s tied to Ra­hami. The ac­tiv­ity came hours after one of five de­vices found at the nearby El­iz­a­beth train sta­tion ex­ploded while a bomb squad ro­bot at­tempted to dis­arm it. No one was in­jured.

The Sept. 17 night­time blast in the bustling Chelsea neigh­bor­hood in­jured 29 peo­ple, and an­other un­ex­ploded de­vice made out of pres­sure cooker was found sev­eral blocks away. In the im­me­di­ate af­ter­math of that bomb­ing, de Bla­sio and Cuomo were care­ful to say there was no ev­i­dence of a link to in­ter­na­tional ter­ror­ism. Both said Monday that ap­pears to be chang­ing.

Shortly after the ex­plo­sions, a mall in St. Cloud, Minn., be­came the tar­get of a solo at­tack.

Author­i­ties are in­ves­ti­gat­ing the stab­bings of nine peo­ple at a Min­nesota mall as a po­ten­tial act

of ter­ror­ism, a find­ing that would re­al­ize long-held fears of an at­tack in the im­mi­grant-rich state that has strug­gled to stop the re­cruit­ing of its young men by groups in­clud­ing the Is­lamic State.

A young So­mali man dressed as a pri­vate se­cu­rity guard en­tered the Cross­roads Cen­ter mall in St. Cloud over the week­end wield­ing what ap­peared to be a kitchen knife. The city’s po­lice chief said the man re­port­edly made at least one ref­er­ence to Al­lah and asked a vic­tim if he or she was Mus­lim be­fore at­tack­ing.

The ram­page ended when the man was shot dead by an off-duty po­lice of­fi­cer. None of the in­jured suf­fered life-threat­en­ing wounds.

The mo­tive of Satur­day’s at­tack is still un­clear, but FBI Spe­cial Agentin-Charge Rick Thorn­ton said Sun­day it was be­ing in­ves­ti­gated as a “po­ten­tial act of ter­ror­ism” and that the Is­lamic State claimed re­spon­si­bil­ity. Author­i­ties were dig­ging into the at­tacker’s back­ground and pos­si­ble mo­tives, look­ing at so­cial me­dia ac­counts and elec­tronic de­vices and talk­ing to his as­so­ci­ates, Thorn­ton said.

Craig Ruttle/AP

Crime scene in­ves­ti­ga­tors work at the scene of Satur­day’s ex­plo­sion in Man­hat­tan’s Chelsea neigh­bor­hood, in New York, Sun­day, Sept. 18, 2016. It was one of sev­eral lo­ca­tions in the New York-New Jersey area which were tar­geted with ex­plo­sives. 29 peo­ple...

Dave Sch­warz/St. Cloud Times via AP

Peo­ple stand near the en­trance on the north side of Cross­roads Cen­ter mall be­tween Macy’s and Tar­get as of­fi­cials in­ves­ti­gate a re­ported mul­ti­ple stab­bing in­ci­dent, Satur­day, Sept. 17, 2016, in St. Cloud, Minn. Po­lice said mul­ti­ple peo­ple were in­jured...

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