New York bombing suspect ‘critical’ as missing wife sought

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 20 September, 2016, 10:32pm
UPDATED : Tuesday, 20 September, 2016, 11:22pm

The suspect being held on suspicion of carrying out Saturday’s bomb attacks in New York and New Jersey is in critical but stable condition in hospital, police said, as authorities worked to track down his wife, who had left the US just days before the bombings.

Ahmad Khan Rahami, 28, was wounded in a shoot-out with police in Linden, New Jersey, on Monday, just four hours after the FBI released his picture and sent text message alerts to millions of people.

This falls in the same category of what we’ve been worried about – the self radicalisedindividual
Senior intelligence official

Rahami’s wife left the US days before the explosions, a law ­enforcement source told CNN on Tuesday.

US officials are working with counterparts in Pakistan and the United Arab Emirates to get in touch with her, according to the official, who was not identified.

Rahami, who is suspected in the weekend bomb plots, married his wife in Pakistan and took her to the US, according to media reports. At one point, Rahami is said to have contacted the US embassy in Pakistan after having trouble getting her an American visa.

Police are still investigating the motives behind the bombing in Chelsea, Manhattan, which ­injured 29 people, and a blast at a charity race in a Jersey shore town.

Law enforcement and intelligence officials said Rahami made several trips to Afghanistan and Pakistan between 2011 and 2014 and they were trying to determine whether he was radicalised abroad.

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One senior intelligence official said he didn’t see any indication that was the case. “I think this falls in the same category of what we’ve been worried about – the self radicalised individual,” the official said.

Authorities said there was still significant ground to cover. FBI agents said they were stillworking “to make sure we completely understand Rahami’s social ­network”, William Sweeney Jnr, assistant director in charge of the FBI’s New York division, said. The case was “still very much alive,” New York Police Commissioner James O’Neill said.

Additional reporting by Reuters, Agence France-Presse