The FBI has released the picture and name of a Muslim wanted for questioning in the New York City bombing on Saturday.
Anyone with information on the whereabouts of 28-year-old Ahmad Khan Rahami are being asked to contact police immediately. He should not be approached, as he is considered armed and dangerous.
Twenty-nine people were injured Saturday night when a pressure-cooker bomb exploded inside a dumpster in the Chelsea neighborhood of Manhattan.
Surveillance video reportedly shows the same man dropping off a bomb on that street, as well as another street where an unexploded IED was later found.
According to the FBI’s wanted poster, Rahami is a naturalized U.S. citizen who was born in Afghanistan. He is about 5’6″ tall and weighs about 200 pounds. He has brown hair, eyes and facial hair.
‘We need to get this guy in right away,’ New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said on CNN. ‘My experience is one the FBI zeroes in on someone, they will get them.’
The FBI also revealed that Rahami’s last known residence was in Elizabeth, New Jersey, where pipe bombs were found over the weekend.
Late Sunday, five suspicious devices were found near a train station in Elizabeth, New Jersey. Elizabeth Mayor Christian Bollwage said the devices were found in a bag in a trash can by two men who reported seeing wires and a pipe coming out of the package. One of the devices exploded as a bomb squad used a robot to try to disarm it. No injuries were reported.
Law enforcement have also been searching through an apartment in the town, which is located above a First American Fried Chicken restaurant. Public records show Rahami has lived at the apartment, with several other members of his family.
In addition to the bombing in Chelsea, and the thwarted attack at the Elizabeth train station, a pipe bomb was also detonated at a military charity run in Seaside Park, New Jersey. No one was injured in that incident.
On Sunday, a car full of five armed men was pulled over near the Verrazano-Narrows bridge, headed for JFK airport. Those five men are believed to be from the same family and were taken to the FBI building in Manhattan for questioning in connection to the Manhattan blast.
In an interview on CNN Monday morning, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said that the bombs have similarities suggesting ‘there might have been a common linkage’.
Cuomo had said Sunday that there was no evidence to suggest that the bombing was related to international terrorism, but he appeared to walk that back Monday.
‘Today’s information suggests it may be foreign related, but we’ll see where it goes,’ he said.
He added that he ‘wouldn’t be surprised if’ the investigation ‘zeroes in on a particular individual’ and he ‘wouldn’t be surprised if we found a foreign connection to the act’.
Cuomo, touring the site of Saturday’s blast that injured 29 people in Manhattan’s Chelsea neighborhood, said the unexploded pressure cooker device appeared ‘similar in design’ to the bomb that exploded in Chelsea, but he didn’t provide details.
On Sunday, a federal law enforcement official said the Chelsea bomb contained a residue of Tannerite, an explosive often used for target practice that can be picked up in many sporting goods stores. The discovery of Tannerite may be important as authorities probe whether the two New York City devices and the pipe bomb at the Jersey shore are connected.
Cellphones were discovered at the site of both bombings, but no Tannerite residue was identified in the New Jersey bomb remnants, in which a black powder was detected, said the official, who wasn’t authorized to comment on an ongoing investigation and spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity.
There was no immediate word on whether the devices in Ezliabeth were similar to those in nearby Seaside Park or New York City.
Officials haven’t revealed any details about the makeup of the pressure cooker device, except to say it had wires and a cellphone attached to it. On Sunday night, police blew up the device, rendering it safe. A forensic examination of the device will be sent to the FBI Laboratory at Quantico, Virginia, police said.
Homemade pressure cooker bombs were used in the Boston Marathon attacks in 2013 that killed three people and injured more than 260.
The Chelsea explosion left many rattled in a city that had marked the 15th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks only a week earlier and that was schedule to hold a United Nations meeting Monday to address the refugee crisis in Syria.
Witnesses described a deafening blast that shattered storefront windows and injured bystanders with shrapnel in the mostly residential neighborhood on the city’s west side.
One New Yorker, Anthony Stanhope, was in his apartment when the blast went off. At first he thought it was thunder and lightning.
‘Then all of a sudden, car horns went off, and I thought, “Oh, my God, this isn’t lightning. This is too loud,”‘ Stanhope said. ‘This is a bomb.’