New York City and New Jersey officials have confirmed that a man suspected of being responsible for a series of bombings in New York City and New Jersey over the weekend was taken into police custody on Monday morning.
Law enforcement officials said during a news conference on Monday that Ahmad Khan Rahami, 28, was taken into custody after a gun battle with police on Monday morning. Rahami and two Linden Police officers were wounded in the shootout. Ahmad Rahami is a naturalized United States citizen born on January 23, 1988, in Afghanistan. He is believed to be connected to the Chelsea bombing Saturday night that injured 29 people. New Jersey State Police said he is also the suspect in a bombing Saturday morning in Seaside Park, New Jersey. Police say there is evidence linking Rahami to a backpack bomb found during a search in Elizabeth, New Jersey on Sunday night, a bombing Saturday morning in Seaside Park, New Jersey, and a bombing on Saturday night in New York City that wounded 29 people. FBI Special Agent William Sweeney said that a traffic stop of five people in New York led to searches and interviews in Elizabeth, New Jersey where the explosives-laden backpack was discovered.
According to a CNN report, a bar owner recognized the suspect from an FBI photo he saw on CNN sleeping in a doorway of his bar Monday morning. Linden Police Captain, James Sarnicki, told reporters when a police officer approached Rahami to wake him, he noticed a beard that resembled that of the man on a cellphone alert sent to thousands of residents in the area.
On Sunday, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio told reporters that early indications suggested that an explosion at 23rd Street and 6th Avenue in Manhattan at about 8.30 p.m. Saturday night “was an intentional act.” Earlier on Saturday, an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) exploded near the area where a marathon was scheduled to take place for the Marine’s Semper Five charity in Seaside Park. Sunday night, another IED was detonated by police in Elizabeth, New Jersey. Despite the discovery of a pressure cooker bomb near the site of the explosion in Chelsea, and several explosions nearby in New Jersey, the mayor said New York City residents were safe, and there was no known specific or credible terrorist threat.
Police say they have not established a motive for the attacks.
Cynthia Hodges holds a M.A. in Political Science from NEIU in Chicago, Illinois and a Post-Grad Professional Certificate in Disaster and Terrorism Management from University of North Carolina -Chapel Hill. In addition to a successful writing career, Cynthia is in the process of writing a book on the role of private security guards as first responders in the post 9/11 America. "My career has been a balance of security and education, and my passion for Homeland Security while protecting individual's Constitutional rights has grown as a result of the two."