Police Capture NY/NJ Bombing Suspect Ahmad Khan Rahami

( [email protected] ) Sep 20, 2016 05:16 PM EDT
Police have hamd Khan Rahami in custody after a dramatic gunfight in which two police officers were injured and Rahami was shot multiple times. Rahami was afterwards taken to a hospital.
A still image captured from a video from WABC television shows a conscious man believed to be New York bombing suspect Ahmad Khan Rahami being loaded into an ambulance after a shoot-out with police in Linden, New Jersey, U.S., September 19, 2016. Courtesy WABC-TV via REUTERS

Ahmad Khan Rahami, the suspect in a series of explosions in New York and New Jersey, was charged Monday evening with five counts of attempted murder of a law enforcement officer in his shootout with police Monday morning in New Jersey.

The weekend bombings - one that injured 29 people Saturday night in Manhattan and the other near the site of a charity race Saturday morning in Seaside Park, N.J. - can be pursued as state or federal crimes. 

Rahami, 28, a naturalized U.S. citizen from Afghanistan, was held on $5.2 million bail in connection with the shootout, during which two Linden police officers sustained gunshot wounds, a third was struck by a bullet fragment and two others were injured, authorities said.

CNN reported this morning that Rahami's last known address was in Elizabeth, New Jersey, the FBI says. That's the same city where a backpack with multiple bombs inside was found Sunday night, but so far authorities haven't publicly said whether they believe Rahami is linked to those explosives. Sources say they believe he is.

Police captured Rahami after a shootout in Linden, New Jersey, on Monday morning. A local business owner reported that the suspect was discovered sleeping in the doorwa of a bar. His dramatic arrest came just hours after officials plastered his photo on a wanted poster, saying Rahami was wanted for questioning in connection with Saturday's blast that injured 29 people in New York City and an explosion that occurred near a charity race in Seaside Park, New Jersey, earlier that day. 

Authorities believe Rahami to be the main culprit but are still looking into the possibility of whether he had collaborators. 

NBC News reports that the Union County Prosecutor's Office said Rahami was also charged with second-degree unlawful possession of a weapon and possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose.

While New York officials like Mayor Bill de Blasio have described the incidents as terrorism, federal law specifies that a charge of domestic terrorism must find a specific intention to "intimidate or coerce a civilian population" or to "influence the policy of a government by intimidation or coercion" - above and beyond killing or injuring people or damaging property. 

Rahami could still face life in prison if he's convicted under either section of the federal law. 

Tags : New York Bombing, ISIS, Boston Bombing