Police have arrested the Afghan-born American wanted in connection with weekend bombings in New York and New Jersey. The assailant shot two officers during a firefight in Linden, New Jersey.
Video shown by CNN showed Ahmad Rahami put in the back of an ambulance on Monday after a shootout with police in Linden, New Jersey. He had a bloody bandage on his right arm with his torso covered in a blanket.
Linden police Captain James Sarnicki told American broadcaster NBC news Rahami opened fire on an officer who woke him from his sleep in a doorway. He added two officers were wounded in the firefight.
FBI agents and local converged on an apartment near a train station in Elizabeth, New Jersey, early on Monday, saying Rahami had lived at that address.
After Rahami was arrested New York Governor Andrew Cuomo called the bombing an apparent act of “terrorism.”
“Yesterday there was no hint of any connection to foreign terrorism…bit there may very well turn out to be a link to foreign terrorist organizations, and that we’ll find out today or in the coming days,” Cuomo said at a news conference on Monday.
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio agreed with Cuomo. “We have every reason to believe this was an act of terror,” said de Blasio after Rahami’s arrest.
Five suspicious devices were found on Sunday near the train station in Elizabeth.
Elizabeth Mayor Christian Bollwage said the devices were found in a bag in a trash bin by two men who reported seeing wires and a pipe coming out of the package.
President Barack Obama said Americans “must not succumb to fear” after the bombings during a news conference on Monday.
“Even as we have to be vigilant and addressive both in preventing senseless acts of violence but also making sure that we find those who carry out such acts and bring them to justice, we all have a role to pla as citizens in making sure that we don’t succumb to fear,” said Obama.
Obama added that investigators saw “no connection” at this moment between the bombings in New Jersey and New York and a stabbing in Minnesota.
Blast during disarming attempt
One of the suspicious devices exploded when a bomb squad (pictured above) used a robot to try to disarm it. No injuries were reported.
The blasts have rattled many residents in the New York City metro area – just days after marking the 15th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks by al-Qaeda hijackers on New York and Washington in 2001.
Anthony Stanhope, who lives near the site of the Chelsea blast, said at first he thought the explosion was thunder and lightning.
“Then all of a sudden, car horns went off, and I thought, ‘Oh, my God, this isn’t lightning. This is too loud,” Stanhope told The Associated Press. “This is a bomb.”
Bombings precede UN meeting
The Chelsea blast followed a pipe bomb explosion on Saturday morning along the route of a running race in Seaside Park, a beachside town in New Jersey.
Saturday’s bombings and subsequent finds came just days before the annual General Assembly of the United Nations in New York.
ipj/jil/kbd (AP, AFP, Reuters, dpa)