NY, NJ bomber charged with use of weapons of mass destruction

The charges against Ahmad Khan Rahami, the Muslim terrorist who is responsible for Saturday night’s bombing in Manhattan that wounded 31, include bombing, property destruction and use of weapons of mass destruction, but not terrorism or material support.

Ahmad Khan Rahami, the Muslim terrorist who is responsible for Saturday night’s bombing in Manhattan that wounded 31, is facing charges in two states after investigators say he planted a series of bombs in New York and New Jersey.

A criminal complaint was unsealed Tuesday in Newark, New Jersey, shortly after a virtually identical filing was unsealed in New York. the charges include bombing, property destruction and use of weapons of mass destruction, but not terrorism or material support.

Rahami was captured Monday after being wounded in a gunfight with police in Linden, New Jersey. He remains hospitalized.

Rahami was already charged in connection with the shootout.

Investigators say Rahami planted two bombs in Manhattan’s Chelsea neighborhood Saturday night. One didn’t go off.

Another bomb exploded harmlessly in a New Jersey seaside town earlier the same day. Investigators say he left another set of explosives in a trash bin by a train station in Elizabeth, New Jersey.

Federal officials say Rahami bought bomb ingredients on eBay and wrote “Death To Your OPPRESSION” in his handwritten journal.

In the journal, Rahami lauded Anwar al-Awlaki, a US-born Muslim cleric killed in a 2011 drone strike, and Nidal Hasan, the former US Army major turned Muslim terrorist who went on rampage at the Fort Hood military installation in 2009 and was convicted of fatally shooting 13 people and injuring more than 30.

Prosecutors say the document ends: “The sounds of the bombs will be heard in the streets. Gun shots to your police. Death To Your OPPRESSION.”

A History of Violence, Ties to Islam

Rahami, a US citizen born in Afghanistan, has a rich history of violence.

Rahami was accused of stabbing one of his brothers in 2014, but a grand jury declined to indict him, despite a warning from the arresting officer that Rahami likely was “a danger to himself or others,” court records show. He also was accused of violating a domestic-violence restraining order in 2012.

Rahami has a child with a woman he dated while attending high school in Edison, New Jersey, but the two have since had a tumultuous relationship. Rahami often was hundreds of dollars in arrears in child support and their custody case was called before a family court judge six times in five years, records show. She went to court on Tuesday to seek full custody of the child, citing the terror investigation.

In 2011, the woman went to court to stop Rahami’s overnight visits with the child, but a judge found she hadn’t provided evidence to show that their child was in danger of being removed from the country. A judge approved a visitation agreement between the two in May 2014, ordering that the child spend Christmas and Thanksgiving with her — and the Muslim holy days Eid al-Fitr and Eid al-Adha with Rahami.

After the 2014 stabbing incident, the FBI looked into Rahami after his father expressed concern his son might be a terrorist, law enforcement officials said Tuesday. During the inquiry, the father backed away from talk of terrorism and told investigators that he simply meant his son was hanging out with the wrong crowd and acting like a thug, the officials said.

Rahami’s father told reporters Tuesday that he called the FBI at the time because Rahami “was doing real bad.”

William Sweeney, the FBI’s assistant director in New York, said on Monday that that at the time of the bombing, Rahami apparently was not on the FBI’s radar.

Federal investigators said that Rahami purchased components for the bombs on eBay, and had them shipped to a business where he worked in Perth Amboy, New Jersey. They said he worked there until Sept. 12, but didn’t identify the store.

Rahami had worked as an unarmed night guard for two months in 2011 at an Associated Press administrative technology office in New Jersey.

AP global security chief Danny Spriggs said Rahami worked night shifts and often engaged colleagues in long political discussions, expressing sympathy for the Taliban and disdain for US military action in Afghanistan. Rahami left that job in 2011 because he wanted to take a trip to Afghanistan, Spriggs said.

Customers at a fried chicken restaurant owned by Rahami’s father where he had worked said his demeanor changed after taking trips overseas and he started wearing more ethnic clothing.

By: World Israel News Staff
AP contributed to this report.