Rahami's father told FBI son was terrorist

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The suspect in the bombings in New York City and New Jersey was believed to be a terrorist by his father who contacted the FBI in 2014. But Mohammad Rahami later retracted his statement and said he meant that his son was hanging out with the wrong crowd, including gangs, according to the Associated Press.

Law enforcement authorities on Monday morning captured Ahmad Rahami, the man believed to be responsible for the bombings in the Chelsea neighborhood of New York City; Seaside Park, New Jersey; and an attempted bombing in Elizabeth, New Jersey. He was wounded in a shootout with cops in Linden, New Jersey.

Earlier in the day, the NYPD and FBI released photos of Ahmad Khan Rahami, 28, a naturalized U.S. citizen from Afghanistan with a last known address in Elizabeth, New Jersey. A cell phone found inside an un-detonated device on 27th St. in Manhattan on Saturday was linked to Rahami, law enforcement sources said.

Rahami was taken into custody at about 11 a.m. after the shoot-out with police along East Elizabeth Ave. Two officers were injured in the shooting. None of the injuries was believed to be life-threatening.

Rahami was taken to a local hospital where we underwent surgery after being shot several times. His condition was unclear.

Photos circulating on social media show a man who appeared to be Rahami on the ground and under arrest. 

The owner of a bar reported someone asleep in his doorway. A police officer went to investigate and recognized the man as Rahami, according to Linden officials. 

Rahami pulled a gun and shot the officer -- who was wearing a bulletproof vest -- in the torso, and more officers joined in a running gun battle along the street and brought Rahami down, said police Capt. James Sarnicki.

The Union County Prosecutor's Office charged Rahami with five counts of attempted murder of a law enforcement officer, second-degree unlawful possession of a weapon and second-degree possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose. A state Superior Court judge set bail for Rahami at $5.2 million.

"There is no other individual that we are looking for," said New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio during an afternoon news conference.

Rahami was described by the FBI as about 5’ 6” tall and weighing approximately 200 pounds. Rahami has brown hair, brown eyes, and brown facial hair.

The Rahami family lives above their business, First American Fried Chicken restaurant, at 104 Elmora Ave. in Elizabeth, according to Mayor Chris Bollwage.

In 2010, Rahami's father brought a lawsuit against the city for curtailing its operating hours following noise complaints.

A search warrant was carried out at the restaurant Monday morning.

In 2014, Rahami was arrested on weapons and aggravated assault charges for allegedly stabbing a relative in the leg in a domestic incident, according to court documents. He spent over three months in jail on the charges, reported the NY Times.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo had said Sunday that there was no evidence to suggest that the bombing was related to international terrorism, but he appeared to walk that back Monday.

"Today's information suggests it may be foreign related, but we'll see where it goes," said Cuomo.

Law enforcement officials believed the explosion in Manhattan, the device found a few blocks away, an explosion in Seaside Park, and the bomb devices found in Elizabeth were all connected to Rahami or people close to him, said former NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly.

Several people were being questioned by police including five men who were pulled over in Brooklyn Sunday night. They were taken to an FBI building in Lower Manhattan for questioning. They were also believed to be related to Rahami and headed to the airport.

The first reports of the Saturday night explosion came in just before 8:30 via social media. People reported hearing what sounded like a large blast.

At a news conference late Saturday night the NYPD reported that an area on 27th St. between 6th and 7th was being investigated for another possible crime scene in connection with the blast. The NYPD reported early Sunday that the device had been removed and taken to the department firing range in the Bronx.

Police had earlier advised residents on the block where the second device was found to stay away from windows facing 27th Street.

Cuomo held a news conference on Sunday morning to update the investigation. He said that the evidence from the bomb was sent to Quantico, Virginia, for analysis by the FBI.

"As governor of New York, this is my worst nightmare," Cuomo said in announcing that 1,000 National Guardsmen would be deployed to the public transportation system for Monday's commute as a precaution.

Sources said a second device that was found was a pressure cooker. Images being circulated on social media showed the device with wires attached to what appeared to be a mobile telephone. It was not possible to verify whether those images were of the second device.

De Blasio said that the blast at the initial location appeared "intentional" but said that there was  "no evidence at this point of a terror connection" in the explosion. On Monday, he changed tune. "We have every reason to believe this was an act of terror," de Blasio said after Rahami's arrest.

The first reports from the scene indicated that it happened in a trash can or dumpster but later reports claimed it happened in the street. The force was so strong that it blew out windows on a neighboring building.

The blast that happened in an area that has several restaurants. Many people were in the area during a beautiful late-summer evening. Witnesses told Fox 5 News that people "started running for their lives" after the blast.

Several people were taken to hospitals with various injuries. The FDNY tweeted that none of the injuries appear to be life-threatening.

The NYPD flooded the area with crews and emergency vehicles.

A law enforcement official says federal investigators have discounted a claim of responsibility for the New York City bombing on the social blogging service Tumblr.

The official says investigators looked into it and don't consider it relevant to the case.


New York City sent out an emergency alert to expect extensive traffic delays in the area of 23rd St. between 6th and 7th Aves. and to expect train service delays/cancelations, and street closures in the vicinity. The FDNY confirmed they responded to 135 West 23rd Street.

Police radio traffic indicated that the bomb squad was checking the area for the possibility of other devices.  The FBI and Homeland Security were reported to be at the scene.

The incident took place hours after a pipe bomb exploded in Seaside Park shortly before thousands of runners were set to participate in a charity 5K race to benefit Marines and sailors.

#FDNY working on a head injury in #Chelsea after an #explosion #NYC pic.twitter.com/FKWznD8v92

— Cooper Lawrence (@CooperLawrence) September 18, 2016


This story will continue to be updated by Fox5NY.com

The Associated Press contributed to this report.