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Father of New York bomb suspect says he alerted FBI two years ago

world Updated: Sep 20, 2016 23:22 IST
Yashwant Raj
Yashwant Raj
Hindustan Times
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Ahmad Khan Rahami is taken into custody after a shootout with police Monday, in Linden, New Jersey. (AP Photo)

Ahmad Khan Rahami, the man captured for bombings in New York and New Jersey that left 29 people injured, had been reported to law enforcement as a terrorist two years ago by his own father.

The suspect, who is being charged with attempted for shooting two law enforcement officers on Monday, was reported to be carrying a notebook at the time of this capture containing writings in support of jihad — “killing the kuffar (another spelling for kafir, and unbeliever)”, according to a report in The New York Times.

Rahami, who is of Afghan descent, was captured in Linden, a city in New Jersey not far from where he lived, after an exchange of fire with law enforcement agents. He was the subject of a massive manhunt launched in connection with two explosions, one each in New York and New Jersey, and planting two lots of explosives.

He used pressure cookers in New York, similar to the one used by the Boston marathon bombers in 2013, and pipe bombs in New Jersey.

Authorities still had no word about his motives. In focus are his many trips to Pakistan, where he spent a year in one stretch.

His father Muhammad Rahami told reporters outside the family restaurant in Elizabeth, New Jersey: “I called the FBI two years ago.”

He walked away, refusing to answer questions abut his reasons for calling the federal agency. Later, he said to a specific question if his son was a terrorist, “No, and the FBI, they know that.”

The New York Times reported that the father had told New Jersey police his son was a terrorist in 2014, when he was arrested for stabbing his brother in a domestic dispute.

The information was passed on to the FBI-led joint terrorism task force, which looks at all such tips. It started what is called an assessment, and interviewed the father, who recanted.

A law enforcement official told the Times that the father may have called this son a terrorist in anger.

Rahami was arrested and served three months in jail, but was not indicted by a grand jury. And that was reportedly his last brush with the law before the bombings he allegedly unleashed over the weekend.

Read| New York bomb suspect travelled to Pakistan, Afghanistan many times