Sat | Aug 19, 2017

Police capture bombings suspect

Published:Tuesday | September 20, 2016 | 9:00 AM
Ahmad Khan Rahami, wanted for questioning in the bombings that rocked a New York City neighbourhood and a New Jersey shore town wascaptured yesterday, after a shootout with police in New Jersey.

NEW YORK (AP):

An Afghan immigrant wanted for questioning in the bombings that rocked a New York City neighbourhood and a New Jersey shore town was captured yesterday after being wounded in a shoot-out with police that erupted when he was discovered asleep in the doorway of a New Jersey bar, authorities said.

WABC-TV footage showed a man believed to be 28-year-old Ahmad Khan Rahami being loaded into an ambulance on a stretcher in Linden, New Jersey. He appeared to be conscious and looking around.

Two officers were wounded in the gun battle but were not believed to have been seriously hurt, authorities said.

Linden Mayor Derek Armstead said that the owner of a bar reported someone asleep in the doorway of his business. A police officer went to investigate and recognised 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 in a running gun battle down the street and brought Rahami down, police Captain James Sarnicki said.

The arrest came just hours after police issued a bulletin and photo of Rahami, a naturalised US citizen from Afghanistan with an address in Elizabeth, New Jersey.

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

Police did not disclose how they zeroed in on Rahami as a person of interest in the bombing investigation but were known to be poring over surveillance video. At the same time, five people who were pulled over in a vehicle Sunday night were being questioned by the FBI, officials said.

The shoot-out came after a weekend of fear and dread in New York and New Jersey.

 

PLANNED ATTACKS

 

In addition to the blast that injured 29 people in Manhattan's Chelsea neighbourhood on Saturday, an unexploded pressure cooker bomb was found blocks away, and 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 dead 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.

Citing the FBI, New Jersey State Police said Monday that the bombings in Chelsea and the New Jersey shore town Seaside Park were connected.