Update: According to the prosecutor in Union County, New Jersey, Ahmad Khan Rahami faces five separate counts of attempted murder of a law enforcement officer. In addition, he faces counts of unlawful possession of a weapon and possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose, which are 2nd degree charges. A judge in NJ set his bail at $5.2 million. If convicted, Rahami faces a maximum of 20 years in prison for each attempted murder of a law enforcement officer charge.
A man from Elizabeth, New Jersey, has been arrested in connection with several explosions that occurred in New Jersey and New York over the weekend.
28-year-old Ahmad Khan Rahami was taken into custody in Linden, New Jersey, at around 11:00 a.m. on Monday, September 19th. News footage from ABC7 shows Rahami on a stretcher with what appears to be a shoulder wound. He was taken to the University Hospital in Newark to be treated for his injuries.
According to law enforcement officials, Rahami was injured during an exchange of gunfire with police. Prior to Rahami’s arrest, residents received a cellphone alert telling them at Rahami was considered “armed and dangerous.”
According to the FBI in a September 17th news release, Rahami was born in Afghanistan. However, he is a U.S. citizen. In a Facebook post, the New Jersey State Police stated that the FBI wants to question Rahami about an explosion that took place near Ocean Avenue in Seaside Park, NJ, at about 10:14 a.m. on Saturday, September 17th. Police also stated that the FBI wants to question Rahami about another explosion that took place near 135 West 23rd Street in New York, NY, at about 8:30 p.m. on Saturday, September 17th.
A pipe bomb exploded in Seaside Heights, NJ, on Saturday, September 17th, just prior to the start of a 5K charity race for the Marines. Thankfully, no one was injured in that explosion. A total of 29 civilians were injured after a dumpster bomb exploded on the evening of Saturday, September 17th in New York, NY. Another device was found close to where the NY explosion took place, however authorities were able to deactivate it.
Officials were able to identify Rahami via surveillance video that allegedly showed him placing two explosive devices in New York’s Chelsea neighborhood. In addition, a senior law enforcement official said that a pressure cooker bomb in Manhattan contained Rahami’s fingerprint.
During the evening hours on Sunday, September 18th, police pulled over a car that was leaving an address connected with Rahami. Police pulled over the car in Brooklyn, NY, on the Belt Parkway close to the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge. Police questioned five people, and they were eventually released.
On the evening of Sunday, September 18th, two men found a backpack which held five explosives close to a train station in Elizabeth, NJ. The FBI was able to disarm the devices using robots. No one was hurt when one of the devices was inadvertently detonated at about 12:30 a.m.
The backpack was near a restaurant called First American Fried Chicken run by Rahami’s family. Authorities looked through the restaurant, as well as addresses associated with Rahami. During their search, police evacuated Sonia’s Beauty, La Bottega Dei Sapori deli, and HR Computer and Communication Services Inc.
According to Elizabeth NJ’s Mayor J. Christian Bollwage in a Monday morning news conference, the Rahamis had prior run-ins with the city. Mohammad Rahami, who is Rahami’s father, opened First American Fried Chicken around ten years ago. His sons worked at the restaurant. The restaurant was open all hours of the day. According to Bollwage, neighbors did not like the types of people that congregated at the restaurant late at night. Bollwage said the following at the news conference, “The City Council voted to shut it down at 10 p.m.”
In 2011, the city of Linden was sued by Mohammad Rahami and two of his sons in regards to the ordinance. The Rahamis claimed that their neighbors targeted them due to their Muslim religion. Mohammad Rahami pleaded guilty to trying to stop police from closing the restaurant at 10:00 p.m., and the lawsuit ended in 2012.