New York bombing suspect in custody - reports

The man suspected in bombings in New York and New Jersey is reportedly in custody after a dramatic shootout with police.

Ahmad Khan Rahami was apprehended in Linden, New Jersey, after firing at a police officer, according to multiple US media sources.

He is reportedly alive but wounded, and two officers were injured in the gunfire, US ABC News reports.

The 28-year-old Afghan-born American is wanted in connection with twin bomb attacks in New York and New Jersey over the weekend.

Rahami, a naturalised United States citizen of Afghan birth, was identified with the help of a mobile phone left behind with an unexploded pressure cooker found near to the New York bomb blast, according to officials.


He is believed to be the same man seen in black and white surveillance video taken at the site of Saturday night's bombing in the Chelsea neighbourhood of Manhattan which injured 29.

Police also believe Rahami was behind a pipe bomb that exploded in a trash can on the route of a Marine Corps run in New Jersey.

Authorities released a photo of Rahami on Monday. His name has been added to key terror watch lists to prevent him from trying to leave the country, CNN reports.


Earlier Monday, FBI raided an apartment in Elizabeth, New Jersey, believed to be the home of Rahami. The suspect was deemed armed and dangerous, Mayor Bill de Blasio said.

"We need to get this guy in right away," de Blasio said on CNN. "My experience is once the FBI zeroes in on someone, they will get them."

The raid began after a nearby Elizabeth train station - a town adjacent to Newark International Airport - was rocked by an explosion on Monday morning after a robot accidentally set off a pipe bomb while trying to disarm the device left in a rubbish bin. No one was injured.

Up to five devices were found in one backpack, which was discovered in a garbage can by two men around 8.30pm Sunday near the train station.

Ahmad Khan Rahami is taken into custody after a shootout with police. Photo / AP
Ahmad Khan Rahami is taken into custody after a shootout with police. Photo / AP

It came after an explosion in the trendy New York neighbourhood of Chelsea injured 29 people on Saturday night.

Authorities may also have discovered a link between the Chelsea explosion and a pressure cooker found blocks away.

Law enforcement agencies told CNN that surveillance tapes show the same man near the site of the bombing in Chelsea, as well as near where the pressure cooker was found stuffed with wiring and a cellphone attached.

This frame from surveillance video released by the New Jersey State Police shows Ahmad Khan Rahami, who was wanted for questioning for the Chelsea bombing. He has been arrested.
This frame from surveillance video released by the New Jersey State Police shows Ahmad Khan Rahami, who was wanted for questioning for the Chelsea bombing. He has been arrested.

NEW JERSEY EXPLOSION

Elizabeth Mayor Christian Bollwage said the FBI was working to disarm one of the devices when the explosion happened.

The robot was reportedly "cutting into the device when it exploded".

The two men who found the package reported seeing wires and a pipe coming out of the package. It's believed the devices are pipe bombs.

The discovery of the suspicious package comes a day after an explosion in Manhattan injured 29 people, and an unexploded pressure-cooker device was found four blocks away.

Also Saturday, a pipe bomb exploded about an hour from the Elizabeth train station in Seaside Park, New Jersey, forcing the cancellation of a military charity 5K run.

Officials said it didn't appear that those two incidents were connected, though they weren't ruling anything out. Investigators didn't immediately comment on whether they thought the Elizabeth incident was connected to either of the two blasts.

Governor Andrew Cuomo, touring the site of Saturday's blast that injured 29 people in Manhattan's Chelsea neighbourhood, said there didn't appear to be any link to international terrorism.

He said the second device appeared "similar in design" to the first, but did not provide details.

On Sunday, a federal law enforcement official said the Chelsea bomb contained a residue of Tannerite, an explosive often used for target practice that can be picked up in many sporting goods stores. The discovery of Tannerite may be important as authorities probe whether the three incidents are connected.

Cell phones were discovered at the site of both bombings, but no Tannerite residue was identified in the New Jersey bomb remnants, in which a black powder was detected, said the official, who spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity because the official was not authorised to comment on an ongoing investigation.

Authorities said the Manhattan bombing and New Jersey pipe bomb didn't appear to be connected, though they weren't ruling anything out.

Meanwhile, Elizabeth Mayor Christian Bollwage warned other explosions were expected in Elizabeth. He said that if the bomb had gone off "it would have certainly killed or injured many."

The blast came just before 1am Monday morning local time, leaving an odour of gunpowder in the air, after trains through the station in Elizabeth were suspended and homes and businesses evacuated.

A hazmat team was called to the station overnight and Union County Bomb Squad brought in a robot as trains on the Northeast Corridor between Newark Airport and Penn Station were cancelled.

Police had been warned by an anonymous 911 caller that more explosions would follow Saturday's dumpster bombing in New York, which left 29 people injured.

A second device, described as a pressure cooker with wires and a mobile phone attached, was found a few blocks from the Manhattan explosion.

The blast in Elizabeth, NJ, wraps up a weekend of terror in the US, in which a pipe bomb exploded in a New Jersey coastal town ahead of a charity race on Saturday morning and a mass stabbing at a Minnesota shopping centre was claimed by Islamic State.


FIVE ARRESTED IN BROOKLYN

Five people were arrested in Brooklyn on Sunday evening following Saturday night's bombing in Manhattan's fashionable Chelsea district.

The suspects were in a "vehicle of interest" heading east at around 8.45pm Sunday night Eastern Time on the Belt Parkway from the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge, the FBI confirmed. A weapons stash was found inside the SUV, the New York Daily News reported.

A government official and a law enforcement official who were briefed on the investigation said five people were being questioned at an FBI building in lower Manhattan.

New York State Senator Marty Golden posted on Instagram that the arrests had "a possible connection to the bombing" in Chelsea.

No one has been charged and the investigation is ongoing, the FBI said.

Investigators identified a person of interest in the bombing through surveillance footage, but it is unclear if he was among the five arrested.

Two senior law enforcement officials told NBC New York the footage showed a man pulling a suitcase that appeared to contain the second explosive device, which he took out and left behind as he walked away.

The officials said two men later approached the abandoned suitcase, removed a white bag containing the device and took the luggage but said there was no indication the pair knew what they were removing.

- news.com.au

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