Suspect In NYC, N.J. explosions In custody after shootout, police say

From CBS New York

A man being sought in connection with explosions in Seaside Park, New Jersey and Chelsea is believed to have been taken into custody following a shootout, Linden police said.

The arrest came just hours after the FBI, NYPD and New Jersey State Police issued bulletins and photos of Ahmad Khan Rahami, a 28-year-old naturalized U.S. citizen from Afghanistan with an address in Elizabeth, New Jersey.

Linden police said they found Rahami after officers responded to a call of a man sleeping in a hallway of a local business.

When an officer approached the man, he raised his head and that’s when the officer recognized him as Rahami, Capt. James Sarnicki with Linden police told CBS2.

Linden Police arrested Ahmad Khan Rahami on Sept. 19, 2016 after an intense manhunt.

Linden Police arrested Ahmad Khan Rahami on Sept. 19, 2016 after an intense manhunt.

“The suspect pulled out a gun and fired at the officer and striking him in the abdomen,” Sarnicki said. “The gentlemen got up and started walking down the street in a westerly direction. I’m told that he was randomly discharging his handgun and one of the officers was able to get close enough to him and return fire.”

Sarnicki said Rahami was shot several times. The suspect is said to be alert and OK, but his condition is not known. The captain said the suspect was still on the scene and that the FBI was responding.

The officer who was shot was wearing a protective vest and was not seriously hurt. Another officer may have been hurt in the face and a third was suffering from high blood pressure, Sarnicki said.

Early Monday, FBI agents swarmed an apartment above a fried chicken restaurant in Elizabeth that’s tied to Rahami.

The activity there came hours after one of five devices found at the nearby Elizabeth train station exploded while a bomb squad robot attempted to disarm it.

Federal sources told CBS News that Rahami is believed to also be connected to the devices in Elizabeth as well as an unexploded pressure cooker device found near the Chelsea blast.

Saturday night’s blast on West 23rd and 7th Avenue injured 29 people and the unexploded device was found several blocks away on West 27th Street. Officials say surveillance video placed Rahami at both locations carrying some type of package.

Sources told CBS2 that the video along with finger prints on parts of the device helped authorities identify Rahami.

New York. Gov. Andrew Cuomo said as investigators gathered information they learned there were “certain commonalities among the bombs,” leading authorities to believe “that there was a common group behind the bombs.”

In the immediate aftermath of that bombing, Mayor Bill de Blasio and Cuomo were careful to say there was no evidence of a link to international terrorism. Both said Monday that appears to be changing.

“There may very well turn out to be a link to foreign organizations,” Cuomo said.

“I think that it is premature to use a word like cell,” de Blasio told 1010 WINS. “This may have been the work of one individual, it may be more than one individual. We need more information.”

On Sunday night, FBI agents in Brooklyn stopped “a vehicle of interest” in the investigation of the Chelsea explosion, according to FBI spokeswoman Kelly Langmesser.

Sources told CBS2 that five men inside the vehicle are believed to be associates of Rahami. At least one of the men in that vehicle was Rahami’s relative, CBS2’s Janelle Burrell reported.

“There was a vehicle that came to the attention of the NYPD and it was trailed, it was stopped,” de Blasio said. “Individuals were questioned.”

The FBI stopped the vehicle because they had reason to believe that Rahami was inside, but he was not. Investigators suspect that the five men were driving from Staten Island heading to John F. Kennedy Airport when investigators ordered them to pull over.

The men were taken in for questioning and are still being detained by the FBI. They have not been charged. It’s not clear what, if any, knowledge they had about any of the incidents.

Another device exploded Saturday in Seaside Park, New Jersey, before a charity 5K race to benefit Marines and sailors. The race was canceled and no one was injured.

On Sunday night, five devices were found in a trash can near a train station in Elizabeth. The men had reported seeing wires and a pipe coming out of the package.

One of the devices exploded as a bomb squad attempted to disarm it with a robot. There were no reports of injuries.



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