NYC, NJ Bomber Hit with Federal Charges
Federal prosecutors charged Ahmad Khan Rahami Tuesday with charges relating to the weekend bombings in Manhattan and New Jersey that injured 31 people.
Rahami, 28, was charged with four counts, including bombing and the attempted bombing of a public place in various locations on Sept. 17th and 18th.
Rahami is also charged in the District of New Jersey with two counts of using and attempting to use weapons of mass destruction for planting pipe bombs in Seaside Park, which carries a maximum sentence of life imprisonment on each count.
Of the 31 victims — two more than first reported — one had to have multiple ball bearings removed from her body as well as bits of metal from an ear and wood shards from her neck, the complaint says.
The suspect planned the attacks for months and even conducted a test run days before his attacks that were inspired by “Brother Osama bin Laden” and other international terrorists, according to the criminal complaint filed in federal court Tuesday.
Earlier on Tuesday, the FBI admitted they had investigated Rahami two years prior based on comments from his father. At the time, agents conducted interviews, checked internal databases, and consulted other agencies, but “none of which revealed ties to terrorism,” the bureau said in a statement.
Currently, Rahami is recovering in Newark from wounds he sustained in a shootout with the police in Linden, N.J., on Monday morning, when he was taken into custody.
Assistant Attorney General Carlin and U.S. Attorneys Bharara and Fishman praised the outstanding efforts of the FBI’s New York Joint Terrorism Task Force, which principally consists of agents from the FBI and detectives from the NYPD, and the FBI’s New Jersey Joint Terrorism Task Force.
Rahami’s wife, Asia Bibi Rahami, flew into New York from Dubai Wednesday night to speak with authorities about her husband, according to ABC and CBS News reports. Asia Rahami is a Pakistani national who reportedly wed Rahami during his 2014 visit to Pakistan. CBS reported that she was working with investigators and was not considered a suspect.
The chief federal public defender in Manhattan, David E. Patton, wrote late on Tuesday night to Magistrate Judge Gabriel W. Gorenstein, asking for a court hearing at the earliest possible time and proposing that if Rahami’s health did not permit his travel to Manhattan, Patton’s lawyers could represent him in New Jersey at the hearing by telephone or video, reports the New York Times.
In a ruling issued on Wednesday night, however, the judge said the court did not have the authority to appoint Rahami a lawyer or order an appearance at this time.
Posted in The Takedown