New York’s police commissioner hails the police officers of Linden, New Jersey, who captured the primary suspect for the bombing in New York’s Chelsea district which took place at the weekend. James O’Neill said the focus of the investigation can move on to questions of motive now that the primary suspect is in custody.
NY Police Commissioner hails cops who caught bombing suspect
New York bombing suspect captured in police shootout New York (United States) – 19 September 2016 15:00 – AFP (Jennie MATTHEW) / WRAP – UPDATE US police on Monday wounded and captured an Afghan-born American wanted over bombings in New York and New Jersey, which stoked terror fears less than 50 days before the country’s presidential election.The bombings Saturday came on the same day as a separate stabbing rampage in Minnesota carried out by a Somali-American with possible links to the Islamic State extremist group.President Barack Obama, in New York on Monday to attend the UN General Assembly with world leaders, called on Americans “not to succumb to fear” in his first remarks about the three Saturday attacks.Obama stressed that investigators at this point saw “no connection” between the incidents on the East Coast and the Minnesota stabbing, where police said the assailant made “some references to Allah” in carrying out the attack.Ahmad Khan Rahami, 28, was wounded in a shootout with police in Linden, New Jersey, just four hours after the FBI released a mugshot of him and texted alert messages to millions of people in the greater New York area, describing him as “armed and dangerous.”ABC News footage showed the bearded Rahami being stretchered into an ambulance, sporting a bloodied bandage on his right arm and moving his head moments after being taken into custody.Police confirmed his arrest and said two officers were wounded in the shootout.Rahami was injured in his leg and was undergoing surgery at hospital, one official said. Born in Afghanistan, he worked at a family restaurant in Elizabeth, New Jersey and is a US citizen.Neither of the wounded officers are in critical condition, the official said.Evidence ties Rahami to Saturday night’s bombing in New York’s Chelsea neighborhood that injured 29 people and Saturday morning’s Seaside Park, New Jersey pipe bombing, which forced the cancellation of a US Marine race, officers said.- No indication of NY terror cell -Another pressure cooker device was found and defused close to the scene of the Manhattan explosion, and a nest of bombs were discovered late Sunday at the train station in Elizabeth, which were also defused. Bill Sweeney, a senior FBI official, said he was “ruling nothing out” when asked whether the same suspect was behind the bombs planted in Elizabeth.While the investigation is still active, the New York mayor said authorities were not currently looking for any other suspects in connection with what he called “an act of terror” in Chelsea.”I have no indication there is a cell operating in the area or in the city,” Sweeney told a news conference in New York.City police chief James O’Neill said the investigation would now focus on whether Rahami acted alone and his alleged motives.Rahami, who has brown hair, brown eyes and a beard, was apparently seen in surveillance footage taken in Chelsea before the bomb went off.Police said the suspect had not been previously known to law enforcement, except in connection with a domestic complaint which was later retracted.Little is known about Rahami, other than that his family sued Elizabeth in 2011, accusing the city and local police department of discrimination in forcing them to close their chicken restaurant by 10 pm.The 2011 suit accuses police of unlawfully discriminating against the family on the basis of their Muslim faith and Afghan origin, causing pain, suffering, humiliation and “severe emotional distress.” Neighbors complained about the noise and late hours of the take-out and eat-in restaurant.The suit was settled in 2012 in the city’s favor, with a ruling that the city could close the restaurant, Elizabeth Mayor Chris Bollwage told reporters on Monday.- Co-conspirators? -Sweeney said hundreds of FBI officers had been working round the clock, honing in on Rahami after stopping a vehicle in Brooklyn and questioning the passengers, and raiding homes in New Jersey.The investigation will now continue “to ensure we completely understand Rahami’s social network,” the FBI official said.Fifteen years after the September 11, 2001 attacks, officials stress that lone-wolf attacks perpetrated by individuals who may be inspired by IS or Al-Qaeda propaganda are the greatest terror threat to the homeland.New York Governor Andrew Cuomo told CNN that a possible foreign terror connection would now be an “important line of inquiry.””Who was Rahami acting with, if anyone? And if he had co-conspirators, what were their alliances? And I’m sure that’s where the investigation will go.”Although there has been no claim of responsibility for the Chelsea bombing or any of the bombs in New Jersey, a jihadist-linked news agency, Amaq, claimed that an IS “soldier” carried out the Minnesota stabbings.A 22-year-old Somali-American injured nine people in a shopping mall in St Cloud on Saturday before being shot dead by an off-duty police officer.Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, whose lead over Donald Trump in the polls has dipped, said Monday that the United States needed to invest “more time and more resources” in confronting the lone-wolf threat.Trump condemned the Obama administration’s “weak” policies in opening the doors to “tens of thousands” of foreign immigrants, predicting more such attacks.”We’re going to have to be very tough,” he told Fox television.jm/jm