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