What we know on Tuesday, September 20:
—The suspect: The New York Police Department identified the suspect in Saturday’s bombing as Ahmad Khan Rahami, 28, a New Jersey resident. New Jersey State Police say he is also wanted for the explosion Saturday in Seaside Park. Rahami is reportedly in custody.
—The bombs in New York City: The blast occurred at around 8:30 p.m. Saturday at West 23rd Street and 6th Avenue in Manhattan’s Chelsea neighborhood, injuring 29 people. Several hours later, NYPD found what appeared to be a pressure-cooker bomb four blocks away on West 27th Street.
—The bombs in New Jersey: There was an explosion Saturday near the starting point of a Marine Corps charity race in Seaside Park. Then late Sunday, authorities said several bombs, including pipe bombs, were found inside a backpack near the train station in Elizabeth.
7:21 p.m. Tuesday
Federal prosecutors in Manhattan have charged Rahami with planting several bombs in New York and New Jersey. One of those bombs, which exploded in New York City’s Chelsea neighborhood, injured 31 people.
The charges include the use of a weapon of mass destruction, destruction of property, bombing, and the use of a destructive device. More from the Associated Press:
The [federal] complaint includes excerpts from a handwritten journal authorities say they he wrote.
It says the writer lauded Anwar al-Awlaki, a U.S.-born cleric killed in a 2011 drone strike, and Nidal Hasan, the former U.S. Army major who went on a 2009 rampage at the Fort Hood military installation.
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.”
Rahami remains hospitalized after sustaining several gunshot wounds in a shoutout with police. He faces additional state charges in New Jersey for his role in the shootout.
6:50 p.m. Monday
Prosecutors have charged Rahami with five counts of attempted murder of a law enforcement officer, NBC News reports. The charges are related to the gun battle he had with police, where two officers were injured.
Both officers are expected to make full recoveries. Rahami was also shot several times, including in the leg and arm. He, too, is expected to recover.
Rahami was also charged with second-degree unlawful possession of a gun and second-degree possession of a weapon for unlawful purpose. His bail was set for $5.2 million.
He has yet to be charged for the bombings in New York and New Jersey.
President Obama spoke with the two New Jersey law enforcement officers who were injured while apprehending Rahami, the White House said Monday.
The president also praised the “extraordinary work and coordination that is taking place between the FBI and law enforcement,” while speaking at a press conference with Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi in New York.
At a news conference Monday afternoon, Bill de Blasio, the New York City mayor, said: “We have every reason to believe this was an act of terror.” He added “there is no [other] individual we’re looking for at this point in time.” De Blasio also defended the first-time use of the emergency-alert message delivered to New Yorkers’ cell phones, saying the alert helped in the suspect’s capture.
De Blasio and law-enforcement officials thanked police in Linden, New Jersey, who shot and wounded the suspect, who is now in custody. Two officers were injured while capturing him, James O’Neill, the New York police commissioner, said.
He said there was no motive yet for Ahmad Khan Rahami’s actions. Speaking at the news conference, the FBI Assistant Director Willian Sweeney said there is “no indication” a terrorist cell is operating in the New York-New Jersey area. Sweeney also said the five people detained on the Verrazano-Narrows bridge Saturday night were no longer in custody.
Images are emerging on social media of Ahmad Khan Rahami’s capture. Authorities have not independently confirmed these images.
President Obama said: “We are extremely grateful that nobody was killed.” He said “at this point” there was no connection to the stabbings over the weekend in Minnesota.
“Our counterterrorism professionals ... are working together to prevent attacks and keep us safe,” he said. “They are the best of the best.”
Ahmad Khan Rahami is reportedly in custody, according to NBC News and a coalition of reporters in New York City:
City leaders and law-enforcement officials are expected to hold a news conference in which they’ll provide more details.
We’re learning more about Ahmad Khan Rahami, the suspect in the New York and New Jersey blasts. The New York Times reports he and his family lived above the fast-food restaurant, First American Fried Chicken, they operated in Elizabeth, New Jersey. And, the newspaper says, Rahami had a penchant for fast cars.
Police and FBI agents searched multiple homes and businesses in the southern part of Elizabeth for Rahami, and authorities released new images of the suspect.
Authorities in New Jersey say Ahmad Khan Rahami is also wanted for the explosion Saturday in Seaside Park.
This marks the first time authorities are publicly connecting the weekend’s blasts in New York City and New Jersey.
New York Mayor Bill de Blasio said Ahmad Khan Rahami “could be armed and dangerous.” “Anyone seeing him should call 911 immediately,” he said.
Speaking on ABC’s Good Morning America, de Blasio said there would be increased police presence in the city. When asked if the blast was an act of terrorism, he replied: “It's definitely leaning in that direction.”
De Blasio also said the five people detained late Sunday after their car was pulled over on the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge, headed to Brooklyn, were being questioned.
On CNN, Andrew Cuomo, the New York governor, said he “would not be surprised if we did have a foreign connection to the act.” On Sunday, he’d said the blast didn’t appear to be linked to international terrorism.
ABC News, meanwhile, reported that it appears likely the blast in New York and the incidents in New Jersey are connected, though law-enforcement officials have not publicly linked the incidents.
New York City Police have identified the bombing suspect as Ahmad Khan Rahami, 28, a naturalized U.S. citizen of Afghan descent.
Bill de Blasio, the New York City mayor, said Rahami was a New Jersey resident.
Earlier Monday, Chris Bollwage, the mayor of Elizabeth, New Jersey, said two men who had came out of a restaurant near the city’s train station late Sunday found a backpack on a municipal garbage can that they opened and found “wires and a pipe.”
They alerted the police, who, in turn, contacted the bomb squad in Union County, he said. Federal and state authorities eventually found five explosive devices, including pipe bombs, inside the backpack. A robot sent by the FBI accidentally detonated a device, Bollwage said.
It’s unclear if the incident is in any way connected to the blast late Saturday in New York City’s Chelsea neighborhood that injured 29 people or the pressure-cooker bomb that was found—and defused—just blocks away a few hours later. Nor is it known if the bombs found in Elizabeth are connected to the explosion Saturday near the starting point of a Marine Corps charity race in Seaside Park, New Jersey. No one was injured, and the motive behind the bomb is not yet known.
The FBI Bomb Squad was continuing its investigation at the scene where the backpack was found, Bollwage said.
Updated at 5:49 p.m. EST
A powerful explosion in Manhattan injured 29 people, sent shrapnel flying, shattered windows, and prompted widespread street closures Saturday night. Police later found a second device, which did not go off, a few blocks away.
The blast occurred at around 8:30 p.m. at West 23rd Street and 6th Avenue in the Chelsea neighborhood of Manhattan. Twenty-nine people suffered non-life-threatening injuries. All the victims were treated and released from the hospital by Sunday morning.
New York police said Sunday the device had “some components indicative of an IED,” an improvised explosive device.
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo told reporters Sunday the explosion was “an act of terrorism.” But at another press conference Sunday, New York Police Commissioner James O’Neill did not back up Cuomo’s characterization. “If it is an act of terrorism, we’re going to come out and say it,” said O’Neill, who is in his second day on the job as commissioner.
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio also stopped short of describing the explosion as an act of terrorism. “We’re going to be very careful and patient to get to the full truth here,” he said Sunday afternoon, after Cuomo’s remarks. “We are not going to jump to conclusions.”
Officials say preliminary evidence does not show any connection to foreign terrorist organizations.
Cuomo said 1,000 state and National Guard officers have been dispatched to major commuter hubs in the city. De Blasio described the police presence as “bigger than ever.”
Several hours after the explosion, the NYPD found a second device four blocks away on West 27th Street. That device appeared to be a pressure-cooker bomb, of the kind used in the 2013 Boston Marathon bombings. Here’s a photo:
BREAKING PHOTO! Here is the second device found by a NYSP Sgt. At 27 street and 7 Ave. investigation is ongoing pic.twitter.com/x7o9Rr30I3— New York City Alerts (@NYCityAlerts) September 18, 2016
The NYPD’s bomb squad removed the device from the site and is still examining it. Cuomo said Sunday this device was similar to the one that detonated.
City officials said Saturday night’s incident was not connected to a pipe-bomb explosion in New Jersey near the starting point of a Marine Corps charity race on Saturday morning. No one was injured, and the motive behind the bomb is not yet known.
New York police is reviewing video footage from both crime scenes on 6th Avenue and have asked the public to call in with tips. The department is investigating the explosion with the help of state police, FBI, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.
The explosion comes one week before the United Nations brings dozens of world leaders and diplomats to New York City for its annual General Assembly gathering.
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