Sunday 17 December 2017

New York bomb suspect 'received instructions to attack'

Ahmad Khan Rahami said he received instructions to attack. REUTERS
Ahmad Khan Rahami said he received instructions to attack. REUTERS

Barney Henderson

The New York bombing suspect said that he had received instructions from "terrorist leaders . . . to attack non-believers where they live", as he was charged on Tuesday night with the use of weapons of mass destruction.

Ahmad Khan Rahami's journal revealed that he accused the US of slaughtering Islamist fighters in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria and the Palestinian territories.

The document ends: "The sounds of the bombs will be heard in the streets. Gun shots to your police. Death To Your OPPRESSION."

Rahami was charged by federal prosecutors with four counts, including the use of weapons of mass destruction and bombing a public place.

His wife, Asia Bibi Rahami, left the United States shortly before Saturday's attacks and was stopped in the United Arab Emirates.

She is cooperating with investigators, a US official said, and has not been accused of any wrongdoing.

The number of wounded in Saturday night's bomb attack in Manhattan was revised up from 29 to 31 and included a Briton. A second bomb nearby did not detonate and there were two further unsuccessful attempted bombings in New Jersey on Saturday and Sunday.

Officials said they believed Rahami had bought ingredients for the bombs on eBay.

According to the court complaint, Rahami's journal included a passage that said: "You [USA Government] continue your [unintelligible] slaught[er]" against the mujahideen, or holy warriors, "be it Afghanistan, Iraq, Sham [Syria], Palestine ... "

Another portion expressed concern at the prospect of being caught before being able to carry out a suicide attack and the desire to be a martyr, the complaint said.

It added that another part included a reference, on a page that is largely unintelligible, to "pipe bombs" and a "pressure-cooker bomb", and declared: "In the streets they plan to run a mile."

Before the federal charges were filed, Rahami (28), was already being held on $5.2m (€4.8m) bail, charged with the attempted murder of police officers during the shootout that led to his capture on Monday outside a bar in Linden, New Jersey.

His father, Mohammad Rahami, briefly emerged on Tuesday from the family's restaurant in Elizabeth, New Jersey, about 30km west of New York City, telling reporters, "I called the FBI two years ago."

The FBI said that it began an assessment of the younger Rahami in 2014 based on comments by his father.

Irish Independent

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