New York bombings: Suspect Ahmad Khan Rahami ‘may have been radicalised after visiting Afghanistan’

New York bombings: Suspect Ahmad Khan Rahami ‘may have been radicalised after visiting Afghanistan’, by Barney Henderson.

Ahmad Rahami, 28, was captured on Monday in a gunfight with police in the city of Linden, New Jersey, after an intense manhunt. …


The bombings:

Rahami is thought to be the sole attacker behind three attempted bombings on Saturday and Sunday.

One, in Manhattan, exploded and injured 29 people. An unexploded pressure-cooker bomb was found blocks away.

Earlier that day, a pipe bomb blew up in Seaside Park, New Jersey, before a charity race to benefit Marines. No one was injured.

Then on Sunday night, five explosive devices were discovered in a rubbish bin at an Elizabeth train station. …

Suspicion remains that Rahami had outside assistance or training in order to assemble the eight bombs used in the attacks. … Despite the NYPD saying they were not actively looking for anyone else, some experts said the chance no-one else was involved was “infinitesimally small”. “Normally the way this works, you have a cell doing logistics, bomb-making and assembly, and an operational one,” said Mike Rogers, former chairman of the House intelligence committee.

This was Jihad:

Rahami had travelled several times to both Afghanistan and Pakistan, people who knew him said on Monday night, and on his return appeared to have been radicalised.

Flee Jones, who grew up with Rahami, said that when he returned from one of the trips, he had a beard and wore traditional Muslim robes. He started praying regularly in the back of the family’s chicken restaurant. …

Rahami was born in Afghanistan and moved to the US with his family. His older brother Qasim is believed to have returned to Afghanistan after he was involved in a fight with police in New Jersey.

In 2011, Rahami and his father attempted to sue the city of Linden for discrimination after numerous court cases involving allegations of noise disturbance at the family takeaway. They claimed they had been racially abused by local residents who told them: “Muslims don’t belong here.”  …

A woman told Fox News they had been sweethearts at high school where he was the “class clown”. She said Rahami had failed to pay child support for the daughter they had together. She said he would rail against American culture and homosexuality. …


Donald Trump seized on the fact that the suspect was an Afghan immigrant to boost support for his controversial proposal to bar Muslims from entering the US. He insisted he had “predicted” the attacks and that the country, under Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton as secretary of state, had become “weak”.

Mrs Clinton, in turn, accused him of helping Isil recruiters with his rhetoric against Islam.

Mrs Clinton implies we should do as they want or they will blow us up. That’s not really working, is it?