New Jersey Police Department on Monday arrested Ahmad Khan Rahami, the main suspect in the New York bombings that left 29 people injured on Saturday. The police department had reportedly received a call about Rahami sleeping in the doorway of a bar in New Jersey. After a gun battle between a police officer and Rahami, he was arrested and charged.
Here we take a look at the explosion and what led to the arrest of Rahami:
Where were the explosives planted and found?
A pipe bomb blew up in Seaside Park, New Jersey before a charity race to benefit the marines on Saturday morning. There were no casualties reported.
On the same day, a shrapnel packed pressure cooker bomb went off in New York’s Chelsea section injuring 29 people, none of whom were seriously wounded.
An un-exploded pressure cooker bomb was found blocks away and on Sunday night, five explosives were recovered from a trash can at the Elizabeth train station, which have not yet been linked to Rahami.
According to Associated Press, the bombs that were recovered on Saturday used flip phones as their trigger and were made from easily purchasable materials. (a federal law enforcement official speaking on condition of anonymity said.)
Who is Ahmad Khan Rahami?
Ahmad Khan Rahami is a 28-year-old naturalised US citizen of Afghan descent. Rahami used to live with his family above their restaurant named, First American Fried Chicken, in Elizabeth. Flee Jones, a friend of Rahami’s since teenage reportedly said that Rahami had turned religious after his trip to Afghanistan in 2014. CNN reported that Rahami had undertaken various trips to Afghanistan and Pakistan.
Rahami has otherwise been described as a ‘friendly’ guy however his family was involved in clashes with the city over noise complaints and closing times, which according to a law suit were shaded with anti-Muslim sentiments. Rahami has majored in criminal justice at Middlesex County College in New Jersey, according to the Federal Bureau of Investigation. He however was not on any radar or no-fly watch list for terror activities, he had been interviewed multiple times for immigration trips.
What led to Rahami’s arrest?
Rahami was arrested 50 hours after the first bombing from New Jersey. A series of clues lead to the same. According to a report by Associated Press, his fingerprints and DNA were found at the scene of the bombing, and his face was visible in the footage caught on surveillance camera near the spot of the bomb blast. In addition to that, electronic toll records also revealed a car driven from New Jersey to Manhattan and back to New Jersey on the day of the bombing.
Rahami’s name and photo was publicised early Monday morning which was identified by Harinder Bains, a New Jersey businessman who alerted the authorities.
Do we know what the motive was?
Investigations are underway to look for a motive behind the bombings. The authorities are also looking to determine whether Rahami was radicalised overseas and had links with any terror outfit. However, New York Mayor Bill de Blaiso said on Monday, “We have every reason to believe this was an act of terror.”
What did President Barack Obama say about the bombings?
Barack Obama urged the citizens of United States to remain calm and not give in to fear. He praised the swiftness of the law enforcement authorities. “I think it is important to remember what terrorists and violent extremists are trying to do. They are trying to hurt innocent people, but they also want to inspire fear in all of us, and disrupt the way we live to undermine our values,” Obama said. “We all have a role to play as citizens in making sure that we don’t succumb to that fear. And there is no better example of that than the people of New York and New Jersey. Folks around here, you know, they don’t get scared. They are tough, they are resilient, they go about their business every single day. And that kind of toughness and resoluteness and a recognition that neither individuals nor organizations like ISIL can ultimately undermine our way of life,” Obama said. “That’s the kind of strength that makes me so proud to be an American.”
What about presidential nominees Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump?
The New York bombing also featured in the ongoing political tussle between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. Hillary Clinton went slammed Donald Trump for his constant remarks on extremism. “Donald Trump is being used as a recruiting sergeant for ISIS,” Clinton said on Monday morning. “The kind of language and rhetoric Trump has used is giving aid and comfort to our adversaries.”
Donald Trump retaliated shortly preaching his anti-immigration message “Immigration security is national security,” he said, and hit Hillary Clinton for having “the most open borders of anyone ever to seek the presidency”.