Monday, September 19, 2016

BREAKING: Bombing Suspect Captured After Shootout

Ahmad Rahami, a naturalized 28-year-old native of Afghanistan, was taken into custody after a gun battle with police in Linden, New Jersey, four law enforcement sources said. 
At least one officer was shot in the chest during the takedown, but was not seriously wounded because he was wearing a bullet proof vest. 
Rahami was also wounded in the shootout and is en route to a hospital. The extent of his injuries was not clear.

"We do not yet know if this was a lone wolf or if it was something that involved other individuals," Mayor Bill de Blasio said in an MSNBC interview. 
The blast in Chelsea injured 29 people, though all have since been released from the hospital. An unexploded pressure cooker with a cellphone attached and wires protruding was found four blocks away; it was taken to a firing range. 
A senior law enforcement official says a fingerprint found on one of the unexploded devices was key in leading authorities to Rahami as a suspect. 
"He certainly seemed to do virtually nothing to cover his tracks," the official said. 
The discovery of the Manhattan devices came hours after a pipe bomb exploded in a trash bin at a Marine 5K in Seaside Park, New Jersey. Authorities had said they believed the device had been timed to go off as participants were running by, but the race had been late. It was canceled and no one was hurt. 
New Jersey State Police said Monday, citing the FBI, that the bombings in Chelsea and the New Jersey shore town Seaside Park were connected. It wasn't immediately clear if five pipe bombs found in a trash can near a train station in Elizabeth, New Jersey, late Sunday were also linked to the suspect. 
Old-fashioned flip phones were found on the devices in Manhattan and in Seaside Park, law enforcement officials close to the investigation told NBC 4 New York. A senior law enforcement official said information obtained from the phones connected to two unexploded devices also pointed to Rahami. 
The investigation into the devices found in Elizabeth was ongoing, and authorities were raiding a fried chicken restaurant owned by Rahami's father and several other buildings in the area as part of the probe. 
Meanwhile, five people believed to be relatives or associates of Rahami were taken into custody Saturday during a traffic stop on the Verrazano Bridge. No one has been charged; the stop came as authorities pursued a "promising lead" into surveillance video obtained from two sites in Manhattan where explosive devices were found -- one on 23rd Street and one on 27th Street. 
Rahami is believed to be the man seen on surveillance video at two locations where the explosive devices were recovered.One video shows a man putting an object in a dumpster near 23rd Street and Sixth Avenue, followed by an explosion some time later. Another video from 27th Street shows a man leave a piece of luggage on the sidewalk; that piece of luggage contained a bag with a pressure cooker inside. 
The series of incidents put the entire tri-state area on edge. Calls to police about suspicious packages skyrocketed amid heightened tensions. Police at Rutgers University urged students and faculty to clear an area near a parking garage at the New Brunswick campus as they investigated a report of a suspicious package, which was deemed safe an hour or so later. In Paterson, New Jersey, officials also responded to a report of a suspicious item, and social media chatter highlighted a dozen similar emergency responses in New York. 
The Chelsea explosion left many rattled in a city that had marked the 15th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks only a week earlier and that was schedule to hold a United Nations meeting Monday to address the refugee crisis in Syria. 
Witnesses described a deafening blast that shattered storefront windows and injured bystanders with shrapnel in the mostly residential neighborhood on the city's west side. 
Former New York Police Commissioner Bill Bratton, who stepped down just last week, said Monday morning this was probably the first successful terrorist attack in the city since 9/11. 
Mayor de Blasio said there is “no specific and credible threat against New York City at this point in time from any terror organization,” but urged vigilance. 
Police have ruled out a connection to the blast in Central Park in July that blew off a teen's foot. Right now police are trying to figure out the motive behind the attack. 
“We do not know the motivation. We do not know the nature of it. That's what we have to do more work on,” de Blasio said Sunday. 
Cuomo had said Sunday that there was no evidence to suggest that the bombing was related to international terrorism, but he appeared to walk that back Monday. 
"Today's information suggests it may be foreign related, but we'll see where it goes," he said. 
On Sunday, the governor deployed nearly 1,000 additional State Police and National Guard troops across the city to guard transit stations and area airports as a precaution. He called for an additional 1,000 troops Monday. 
The White House said President Obama was briefed throughout the night and early Monday on the investigation into bombs found in New York City and New Jersey. Spokesman Josh Earnest said Obama will comment publicly later Monday. 
Cuomo said Monday he had spoken with the president about the evolving situation, and pledged that whoever was responsible would be brought to justice. 
"The disruption is going to be to their lives, not our lives," Cuomo said. "We've been through a lot worse."

1 comment:

  1. Frack me... this is getting old. The HAVE to know how stupid this makes them look. This tells me they would RATHER look STUPID than risk offending somebody. That does it. I'm writing a protest song.

    Right now police are trying to figure out the motive behind the attack. “We do not know the motivation. We do not know the nature of it. That's what we have to do more work on,” de Blasio said Sunday.