- The Washington Times - Monday, September 19, 2016

Ahmad Khan Rahami, 28, a naturalized U.S. citizen from Afghanistan, has been taken into custody by law enforcement in New Jersey.

Rahami, a person of interest in Saturday bombings in Manhattan and the Jersey Shore, was arrested following a shootout with law enforcement in Linden, New Jersey, the Associated Press reported.

WABC-TV footage showed Rahami being loaded into an ambulance on a stretcher in Linden, New Jersey. He appeared to be conscious and looking around.

Authorities said he underwent surgery for a gunshot wound to the leg.

“We have every reason to believe this was an act of terror,” New York Mayor Bill de Blasio said after the arrest, which came less than 36 hours after a shrapnel-packed pressure-cooker bomb similar to those used in the Boston Marathon bombing injured 29 people in New York’s Chelsea section, none seriously.

No extremist groups have claimed credit for the bombings, which so far have left 29 injured in the New York City neighborhood of Chelsea, and has put both New York and New Jersey on a security lockdown.


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A law enforcement official said investigators regard Rahami as the “main guy” in the two explosions but plan to look into whether any others had a role.

Linden Mayor Derek Armstead said that the owner of a bar reported someone asleep in the doorway of his establishment. A police officer went to investigate and recognized the man as Rahami, police and the mayor said.

Rahami pulled a gun and shot the officer — who was wearing a bulletproof vest — in the torso, and more officers joined the gun battle and brought Rahami down, police Capt. James Sarnicki said.

A second officer suffered a minor shrapnel would and a third had to be treated for high blood pressure.

As the manhunt for Rahami unfolded near his listed address in Elizabeth, New Jersey, authorities took the unusual step of sending out a cellphone alert to millions of residents in the surrounding area, warning that the suspect was armed and dangerous.

It’s a move Mr. de Blasio said could be used more frequently in the future.

Authorities said the blasts were looking increasingly like an act of terrorism with a foreign connection.

The arrest came after police had reportedly identified him on surveillance video near the location of Saturday night’s New York City explosion, as well as near the spot where another alleged bomb was planted but did not detonate in Manhattan’s Chelsea neighborhood.

In addition to the blast that injured 29 people in Manhattan’s Chelsea neighborhood, a pipe bomb exploded in a New Jersey shore town before a charity race. No one was injured there.

On Sunday, five explosive devices were discovered in a trash can at an Elizabeth train station.

Also on Saturday, a man who authorities say referred to Allah wounded nine people in a stabbing rampage at a Minnesota mall before being shot to death by an off-duty police officer. The Islamic State group claimed responsibility.

Authorities have not drawn any connection between the violence in Minnesota and the bombings in the New York area.

Rahami’s arrest comes three months after Omar Sediqqi Mateen, a 29-year-old Afghan-American, opened fire at Pulse, a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida, killing 50 and wounding 50 more in an attack he claimed was in the name of ISIS.

— Material from the Associated Press was used in this report

 

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