Authorities are searching for 28-year-old man named Ahmad Khan Rahami after a string of improvised bombs targeted parts of New York and New Jersey, including a blast Saturday night in Manhattan’s Chelsea neighborhood which wounded 29 people. Authorities say Rahami is originally from Afghanistan and a naturalized American living in Elizabeth, New Jersey. His whereabouts are unknown. New York Mayor Bill de Blasio said on CNN the investigation was moving very quickly.
Mayor Bill de Blasio: “The fact that they have now, in just the last moments, put out a photo shows real confidence on the part of law enforcement that this is someone that was likely involved in one way or another. But we shouldn’t speculate yet how many people, or what role each person played. What we do know is, we need to get this guy in right away. Now, again, my experience with the NYPD and the FBI is, once they zero in on someone, they will get them.”
Rahami was identified after the FBI detained five men Sunday night in Brooklyn. The agency said it was questioning the men without charge in connection with the Chelsea bombing. Police also say they identified a suspect in surveillance video seen planting two bombs in Manhattan—one 23rd Street, which did explode, and four blocks away on 27th Street, which did not explode. Police described this device as a pressure cooker bomb connected to a flip phone, packed with shrapnel and wired to detonate with Christmas lights. Police told CNN videos showed the same person near both devices. Elsewhere, a pipe bomb left in a garbage can exploded Saturday morning in Seaside Park, New Jersey. No one was injured in the blast, which appeared to target a charity run hosted by the U.S. Marines. Cell phones were used in the Seaside and New York devices. And in Elizabeth, New Jersey, early this morning, police discovered a bomb in a backpack at a commuter rail station. Part of the device exploded when a police robot attempted to disarm it. It’s not known whether the three bombing attempts are related. They came just before world leaders began converging on New York for this week’s meeting of the United Nations General Assembly. The NYPD says it will beef up security, with more bag checks in train and subway stations, and heavy weapons teams deployed in transit centers. Governor Andrew Cuomo has called up 1,000 members of the National Guard and police.