Ahmad Rahami: The Man Behind the New York and New Jersey Explosions

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Sofia Jacobo, Co-Editor in Chief

On Sep. 17, 2016, explosions went off in Manhattan, and along the Jersey Shore, severely injuring 29 people.

The man allegedly responsible, Ahmad Rahami, made the homemade explosives out of a pressure cooker that was activated with a burner phone. Hidden inside trash cans, the bombs were placed in several parts of New York and New Jersey.

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A pipe bomb was found in a trash can in New Jersey on Sep. 18, 2016. The bomb exploded before a charity 5K race. Fortunately, no one was hurt.

One of the places targeted was Chelsea, Manhattan.

The powerful blast, “propelled the dumpster 100 feet and shattered windows 400 feet above,” according to CNN.  

The explosion injured 29 people, but nobody experienced life threatening injuries. Another explosion was planted in a pressure cooker blocks away, but failed to explode.

Although it is unclear, many people believe this was an act of terrorism. When Rahami was captured on Sep. 19, 2016, police found a journal that contained references to terrorists Bin Laden and Anwar al-Awlaki.

After a 48 hour manhunt for Rahami, police finally arrested him.

He was “tracked down on Monday morning sleeping in the dank doorway of a neighborhood bar and taken into custody after being wounded in a gun battle with officers,” said author’s Marc Santora, William K. Rashbaum, Al Baker and Adam Goldman in a New York Times article.

He “has been charged with five counts of attempted murder of a law enforcement officer. He is also charged with second-degree unlawful possession of a weapon and second-degree possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose” stated writers Emily Shapiro, Aaron Katersky, Josh Margolin, and Mike Levine in an ABC News article.

So, who is Ahmad Rahami?

He was born in Afghanistan in 1988 and soon after he came to the U.S. seeking asylum. It wasn’t until 2011 that he became a citizen.

Rahami married his wife in 2011. She left the U.S. days before the explosions took place. She is now back in the U.S., and is currently being questioned.

His family lives in Elizabeth, New Jersey. They have had several disputes with the neighborhood over the years for domestic disputes.

Writer Catherine E. Shoichet, in a CNN article, said thatthe FBI interviewed Rahami’s father in 2014 after a violent domestic dispute. That interview stemmed from a tip alleging that Rahami’s father was calling his son a terrorist, according to two US officials.”

Rahami is now currently behind bars and awaiting a trial.

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