Thieves helped crack New York bombing case: report

In two unrelated incidents, thieves accidentally diffused a bomb in New York and another pair alerted authorities about five explosives found in a trash can in New Jersey.

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi | Updated: September 19, 2016 10:50 pm
This frame from surveillance video released by the New Jersey State Police shows Ahmad Khan Rahami, wanted for questioning Monday, Sept. 19, 2016, in bombings that rocked the Chelsea neighborhood of New York and the New Jersey shore town Seaside Park over the weekend. (New Jersey State Police via AP) This frame from surveillance video released by the New Jersey State Police shows Ahmad Khan Rahami, wanted for questioning Monday, Sept. 19, 2016. (Source: New Jersey State Police via AP)

Thieves could have possibly helped law agencies crack the Chelsea bombing case, reported dnainfo, an online media service covering New York City. The website reported that the well-dressed thieves have accidentally disabled one of the two bombs planted by the accused Ahmad Khan Rahami. The pair reportedly found the pressure cooker bomb left inside a rolling suitcase on West 27th Street. They threw away the pressure cooker bomb, which was attached to a phone, and walked away with the suitcase. The bomb was placed four blocks away from another device that exploded and injured 29 Americans. “Who in this world finds a pressure cooker with a phone and just takes the bag?” a law enforcement source told dnainfo.

Authorities learnt the identity of Rahami after finding out that the phone belonged to one of his family members. From there, they could identify him through family pictures on social media.

In another incident, two would-be thieves found a backpack in a trash can near a train station in Elizabeth, New Jersey. When they were sifting through the contents inside the backpack, they found five explosives. The men immediately dropped the bag and alerted police. One of the five explosives went off when the bomb squad was trying to diffuse it using a robot, reported The Associated Press. Elizabeth Mayor warned residents to remain indoors as there is a possibility of more such improvised explosive devices hidden within the town. Police are tying the New Jersey explosion to Rahami, who is from Elizabeth.

Rahami was arrested on Monday after a shootout, New Jersey Mayor announced. Law enforcement authorities have begun searching for the Afghani-born naturalised US citizen after surveillance footage matched Rahami’s identity.