New details about bombings revealed as federal charges filed against Ahmad Khan Rahami

ByEyewitness News WABC logo
Wednesday, September 21, 2016

NEW YORK -- Federal terrorism charges were filed Tuesday against Ahmad Khan Rahami -- including use and attempted use of a weapon of mass destruction, bombing a place of public use, destroying property and use of weapons.

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The charges were filed in federal courts in both Lower Manhattan and Newark, and stem from the bombings in Seaside Heights, New Jersey, and the bombing in Chelsea -- both on Saturday.

Rahami also remains charged with five counts of attempted murder of a police officer by the Union County Prosecutor's Office for the shootout Monday during his arrest.

He remains hospitalized.

Investigators say Rahami planted two bombs in Manhattan's Chelsea neighborhood Saturday night. One didn't go off. The complaint said 31 people were injured in that incident. One victim had ball bearings and metal fragments removed from her body, another was knocked unconscious while driving.

Another bomb exploded harmlessly in a New Jersey seaside town earlier the same day.

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The complaint also accuses him of leaving another set of explosives in a trash bin by a train station in Elizabeth, New Jersey. Prosecutors said fingerprints recovered from the five pipe bombs in the trash near the train station have been positively matched to the suspect.

Prosecutors said Rahami entered Manhattan via the Lincoln Tunnel at 6:30 p.m. Saturday and exited through the tunnel at 11:30 p.m.

The complaint includes excerpts from a handwritten journal authorities say they he wrote.

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It says the writer lauded Anwar al-Awlaki, a U.S.-born cleric killed in a 2011 drone strike, and Nidal Hasan, the former U.S. Army major who went on a 2009 rampage at the Fort Hood military installation.

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

Authorities said they also have video of the suspect exploding an object in his Elizabeth backyard two days before the Chelsea bombings.

It wasn't immediately clear whether Rahami had a lawyer who could comment on the charges.

Click here for more coverage of the bombings in Manhattan and New Jersey.