Planet Princeton

Bombing Suspect Arrested in Linden

Bombing suspect Ahmad Rahami.
Bombing suspect Ahmad Rahami.

A man wanted for questioning in the bombings in Chelsea and Seaside Park was captured Monday after being wounded in a shootout with police that erupted when he was discovered asleep in the doorway of a Linden bar, law enforcement officials said.

Police had been searching for Ahmad Khan Rahami, 28,  for questioning in the explosions in Chelsea and Seaside Park. The owner of a bar in Linden reported someone asleep in the doorway of his business, a police officer went to investigate and recognized the man as Rahami, police said.

Rahami pulled a gun and shot the officer in the torso. Other officers joined in a gun battle and shot Rahami. Footage at the scene shows a conscious Rahami being loaded into an ambulance on a stretcher.

Two officers were wounded in the gun battle but were not seriously hurt. They were both wearing bullet-proof vests.

Rahami’s arrest came just hours after police issued a bulletin and photo of Rahami, a naturalized U.S. citizen from Afghanistan who lives in Elizabeth in an apartment above a fried-chicken restaurant owned by his father a few miles from the Newark airport. FBI agents swarmed the apartment early Monday.

Authorities said the blasts were looking increasingly like an act of terrorism with a foreign connection. They did not disclose how they zeroed in on Rahami as a person of interest in the bombing investigation.

The shootout came after a weekend of fear and anxiety in New York and New Jersey that had people on edge.

A pipe bomb exploded in Seaside Park before the Seaside Semper Five Marine Corps Charity 5K Saturday. No injuries were reported. Later on Saturday night, a bomb  injured 29 people in the Chelsea neighborhood in Manhattan, and an unexploded pressure cooker bomb was found in the area. On Sunday, five explosive devices were found in a trash can at an Elizabeth train station, which is on the Northeast Corridor line. One of the five devices found at the Elizabeth train station exploded while a bomb squad robot tried to disarm it. No one was injured.

New Jersey State Police said Monday that the bombings in Chelsea and Seaside Park were connected.

Krystal Knapp

Krystal Knapp is the founding editor of Planet Princeton. She can be reached via email at editor AT planetprinceton.com. Send all letters to the editor and press releases to that email address.

  • Joe

    It’s a miracle that no one was killed or seriously wounded (none with life threatening wounds, as far as I know) in these bombing attacks. Everyone was released from the hospital in the Chelsea bombings. If the police had not been wearing the bullet proof vests, there would have been a very different outcome.

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