(JNS.org) Following a shootout with New Jersey police on Monday, authorities arrested Ahmad Khan Rahami, 28, a naturalized American of Afghani descent, in connection with the spate bombings in New York City and New Jersey over the weekend.
The shootout and arrest came after the FBI circulated his photograph. Rahami, an Elizabeth, New Jersey resident, was suspected in an explosion using a homemade pressure cooker in Manhattan’s Chelsea neighborhood on Saturday night that injured at least 29 people. He is also believed to be connected to another unexploded pressure cooker bomb found nearby in Manhattan as well as a pipe bomb that exploded in a garbage bin in Seaside Heights, New Jersey on Saturday that appeared to target a charity race for members of the U.S. Marine Corps.
On Sunday night, authorities also found five pipe bombs near a train station in Elizabeth, New Jersey that they believe are connected Rahami, who lived a short distance away.
Following the announcement of Rahami as a suspect on Monday, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, who has pointedly avoided calling the attacks terrorism, said that the investigation is “definitely leading” in the direction of terrorism.
“I want to be very clear that this individual could be armed and dangerous,” Mayor de Blasio said on Monday morning. “Anyone seeing him should call 911 immediately.”
New York Democratic Governor Andrew Cuomo, who also had previously ruled out any connection to international terrorism, said on Monday the investigation suggests there may be a foreign element to the Manhattan bombing.
In another incident on Saturday, a man who made reference to Allah and asked at least one person if they were a Muslim, stabbed and wounded nine people inside a Minnesota mall. On Sunday, the Islamic State claimed responsibility for the attack. Authorities are still investigating the apparent terror attack there.