US man of Afghan descent detained over NY blast

Rahami lying wounded on the ground following a shoot-out with police yesterday in Linden, New Jersey. The police are investigating whether Rahami could have been influenced by international militant groups or the Afghan conflict.
Rahami lying wounded on the ground following a shoot-out with police yesterday in Linden, New Jersey. The police are investigating whether Rahami could have been influenced by international militant groups or the Afghan conflict.PHOTO: TWITTER
Rahami is believed to be behind last Saturday's explosion in New York that injured 29 people. Rahami lying wounded on the ground following a shoot-out with police yesterday in Linden, New Jersey. The police are investigating whether Rahami could have
Rahami is believed to be behind last Saturday's explosion in New York that injured 29 people.

Police have detained Ahmad Khan Rahami, a 28-year-old naturalised citizen of Afghan descent, who they believe is behind last Saturday's explosion in New York that injured 29 people.

The arrest came after a shoot-out yesterday in Linden, New Jersey. CNN footage showed Rahami being wheeled to an ambulance after being shot. Just hours earlier, the police released the first image of the suspect, described as 1.67m tall with brown hair and weighing 91kg, and urged residents to be on the lookout for him.

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio had warned that the man could still be "armed and dangerous".

The police are investigating whether Rahami could have been influenced by international militant groups or the Afghan conflict.

A house in Elizabeth, New Jersey - Rahami's last-known address - was raided early yesterday after two men found a backpack containing five explosive devices near a train station there on Sunday night.

A robot sent in to disarm the bombs detonated one of them accidentally. No one was injured.

Officials from the Department of Homeland Security believe that the explosion in the popular Chelsea neighbourhood of Manhattan and a pipe bomb blast hours earlier on Saturday morning in a New Jersey shore town are linked.

Investigators also said a pressure-cooker bomb filled with shrapnel was used in the Chelsea blast to cause maximum damage and injuries. The bomb went off on a street packed with eateries.

A similar bomb was found four blocks away but it did not detonate.

Security was stepped up in New York City yesterday, with an additional 1,000 state police officers and state troopers deployed.

"We would normally have an expanded presence for the General Assembly," said Mr de Blasio, referring to the United Nations General Assembly meetings this week.

"You will see an even stronger presence now," he added.

SEE TOP OF THE NEWS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 20, 2016, with the headline 'US man of Afghan descent detained over NY blast'. Print Edition | Subscribe