NEW YORK (Diya TV) — The man believed to be responsible for the explosion in Manhattan on Saturday night and an earlier bombing in New Jersey, Ahmad Khan Rahami, was taken into custody Monday morning after he was wounded in a gunfight with police, law enforcement officials said.
The interception came after police issued a cellphone alert to millions of residents in the area telling them to be on the lookout for Mr. Rahami, 28, who was described as “armed and dangerous.” The showdown started around 10:30 a.m. when a resident spotted Rahami sleeping in the doorway of a bar, officials said.
Capt. James Sarnicki of the Linden Police Department said an officer approached Rahami and woke him, that was when he saw a man with a beard which resembled the one he’d seen in the Wanted poster. The officer ordered Mr. Rahami to show hands, Captain Sarnicki said, but instead, he pulled out a handgun.
The officer was shot in the abdomen, but the bullet struck his vest, Capt. Sarnicki said.
“The officer returned fire,” he said. Rahami fled, “indiscriminantly firing his weapon at passing vehicles.”
Other officers joined in the chase, ultimately Rahami was shot multiple times and at least one other officer was injured during the melee.
Shortly after 11 a.m., Mr. Rahami was in custody, seen by witnesses splayed out beside the street, hands cuffed behind his back and his shirt rolled up, officers standing over him with their weapons drawn.
Rahami was identified by authorities as the man who planted the bombs in Chelsea, both the device that exploded on 23rd Street and another that did not detonate a few blocks away. His fingerprint was also found on one of the pressure cooker bombs in Manhattan, according to a senior law enforcement official. Mr. Rahami was also connected to a bombing that took place earlier on Saturday on the Jersey Shore.
The police believe that he was also responsible for a backpack full of pipe bombs found in Elizabeth, N.J., late Sunday.
U.S. President Barack Obama, who arrived in New York Monday to join other world leaders for the annual meeting of the United Nation’s General Assembly, made brief remarks on the attack.
“Folks around here, they don’t get scared,” Mr. Obama said. “They are tough, they are resilient, they go about their business every single day.”
Rahami was born on Jan. 23, 1988, in Afghanistan. He’s been described as a naturalized citizen who had been living with his family in the area, not far from where he was arrested, in fact. Neighbors said that Rahami traveled several years ago back to his homeland, and when he returned, he showed signs of radicalization.
Mayor Bill de Blasio, speaking at a news conference, said that even though Rahami was in custody, New Yorkers should remain vigilant.