Ahmad Khan Rahami, the man who was suspected of being involved in the weekend bombings that took place in Manhattan and the Jersey Shore and left 29 people injured, has been arrested following a shootout with police on Monday. The New York bombing suspect was tracked down by law enforcement officers on Monday morning, and he was found sleeping in the doorway of a bar in Linden, New Jersey. One of the corresponding officers was injured while another was shot in his bulletproof vest during the ensuing gun battle.
Rahami, a 28-year-old naturalized United States citizen who was born in Afghanistan, had been named a wanted individual only hours earlier after police sent out text alerts to millions of local cell phones using their Wireless Emergency Alert (WEA) system, telling the public to be on the lookout for the suspect. This marked the first time the system has ever been used.
He has been charged with five counts of attempted murder of a law enforcer. In addition, the New York bombing suspect has also been charged with second-degree possession of an unlawful weapon and second-degree possession of a weapon for unlawful use. He is currently being held on $5.2 million bail.
According to FBI official Bill Sweeney, Rahami has been “directly linked” to the bombs used in the explosions that occurred in New York and New Jersey this past Saturday. New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said that “there is every reason to believe that this was an act of terror.”
However, Sweeney said that “there is no indication that there is a cell operating in the area or the city.” He also added that the investigation was still ongoing.
Suspicions of an active terror cell had increased on Monday morning when five other suspicious devices were found close to a train station in Elizabeth, New Jersey, four miles from where the suspect was located. One of the devices exploded after the bomb disposal unit attempted to disarm it using a robot. The devices are believed to be connected to the explosion that took place on Saturday in Manhattan.
Rahami is currently undergoing surgery in a hospital in Newark, according to Union County acting prosecutor Grace Park. The extent of the injuries he sustained were not made clear.
In an interview with WABC, Linden Mayor Derek Armstead said that the shootout occurred at 10:30 a.m. when the owner of a local bar had reported that he had seen someone sleeping in one of the hallways of his establishment.
In an exclusive interview with WABC, Henry Bains, the owner of the bar where the New York bombing suspect was tracked down, said that “it was gut reaction to call the police.”
When one of the police officers went to investigate and wake up the suspect, he realized that it was Rahami, and within moments, he (Rahami) open fired on him.
President Barack Obama said that he had spoken on the phone with the officers who apprehended Rahami.
“They are going to be fine, they sustained some modest injuries, but ones that they’ll rapidly recover from,” the president said.
He added that the officers were in “good spirits,” and he had told them that the American people were appreciative of what they were able to do.
Flee Jones, 27, said that he and Rahami had known each other since they were teenagers and that he had noticed a change in his personality after the New York bombing suspect took a trip to his native Afghanistan in 2014. He said that Rahami started to dress differently than before and had become “more religious.”
The investigations are still ongoing, and New York City officials are preparing to host heads of government from all over the world for the annual United Nations General Assembly week, which will take place in Manhattan. President Obama is among the speakers at the event.
[Featured Image by FBI/AP Images]