NY, NJ bombings: Suspect wounded, charged with attempted murder of police officers

NEW YORK --  New York and New Jersey bombing suspect Ahmad Khan Rahami, 28, has been charged with five counts of attempted murder of a law enforcement officer after a shootout that led to his arrest.


Ahmad Khan Rahami

Rahami was taken into custody after a shootout with police in Linden, New Jersey, on Monday, during which Rahami was shot after shooting two officers, the mayor of the nearby city of Elizabeth said.

Monday morning, the owner of a bar in Linden, New Jersey, said he spotted Rahami sleeping in the doorway of his bar this morning and alerted police. Harinder Bains, owner of Merdie's Tavern, said he had been watching CNN on his laptop from another business he owns across the street and recognized Rahami.

Around 10:30 a.m. a uniformed Linden police officer approached Rahami outside the bar, at which time Rahami pulled out a handgun and shot the officer in the torso, but thankfully he was protected by a police vest and his injury isn't life-threatening. He was later identified as Angel Padilla.

More officers responded and got involved in a shootout, which took them several blocks away from the bar where it all started. Rahami was shot multiple times, and taken to an ambulance in a stretcher with his right shoulder bloodied and bandaged after the shootout.

A second officer, later identified as Peter Hammer, was hit in the head by a fragment of a bullet, but his injury isn't life-threatening. A third officer, identified as Mark Kahana, was treated for high blood pressure.

Rahami remains at a hospital after undergoing surgery, and has been charged in Union County, New Jersey with five counts of attempted murder of a police officer. He was also charged with second-degree unlawful possession of a weapon and second-degree possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose. He is being held on $5.2 million bail.

Federal charges connected to the bombings haven't yet been filed.

Finding Rahami

Investigators first identified Rahami Sunday afternoon, a senior law enforcement official told CNN Monday. They were able to identify him through a fingerprint, the official said. The cell phone on the pressure cooker device found at the 27th street location in Manhattan--four blocks from where the Chelsea-neighborhood bomb went off and injured 29 people--also provided some clues, the official added. Surveillance video from the area of the Chelsea bombing and the pressure cooker four blocks away also helped identify Rahami.

Rahami has now been "directly linked" to devices in New York and New Jersey, FBI Special Agent William Sweeney said Monday. Sweeney also that officials interviewed five people who were detained in a vehicle of interest during a traffic stop in New York Sunday night. Those interviews led to searches and further interviews in Elizabeth, New Jersey. Rahami's last known address was in Elizabeth, and an explosives-laden backpack was found there Sunday night.

"We have every reason to believe this was an act of terror," New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said Monday.

The FBI described Rahami as a naturalized U.S. citizen of Afghan descent with a last known address in Elizabeth, New Jersey -- the same city where an explosives-laden backback was found Sunday night.

Click here for complete coverage of the NY and NJ bombings. 

A terror cell at work, or a lone wolf?

The bombings and discovery of several unexploded devices led authorities to believe there may be a terror cell at work in those two states, law enforcement officials told CNN Monday. However, there has also been speculation that no foreign groups were involved and this was a lone-wolf type attack.

The first bombing occurred early Saturday, when a garbage can exploded near the starting line of a Marine Corps charity run in Seaside Park, New Jersey.

Saturday evening a pressure cooker exploded on 23rd Street in Manhattan, leaving 29 injured. Officials said the fact that it was partly under a metal trash container may have diminished the force of the blast. A pressure cooker that did not explode was found four blocks away. A federal law enforcement official said BBs and ball bearings were among the pieces of metal that appeared to be packed into the devices.

And later on Sunday night, a backpack with multiple bombs inside was found at a train station in Elizabeth, New Jersey. As authorities tried to investigate the devices with robots, one of those bombs exploded, but no one was hurt.

The series of attacks come as New York hosts world leaders at the United Nations General Assembly this week.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Monday the bombs had similarities, suggesting "there might have been a common linkage." He said he "wouldn't be surprised if we found a foreign connection to the act."

The last bomb discovery

The backpack in Elizabeth, New Jersey, was found around 9:30 p.m. Sunday in a wastebasket outside a neighborhood pub -- about 500 feet from a train trestle, officials said.

It contained up to five devices, Elizabeth Mayor Chris Bollwage said. The two men who found the backpack thought it might contain something valuable, but they alerted police when they saw wires and a pipe on the devices, the mayor said.

Bomb technicians sent a robot to examine the devices. As the robot was doing so, one of the devices detonated.

"The robot that went in to disarm it, cut a wire and it exploded," Bollwage said.

The remaining four devices in the backpack were taken to the FBI laboratory at Quantico, Virginia, Bollwage said.

Police checked all garbage cans in the immediate area, but found no other suspicious items.

Trains resumed Monday morning after the New Jersey Transit suspended service going through Elizabeth station on Sunday night. Elizabeth is about 16 miles southwest of New York City. Both New Jersey Transit and Amtrak warned of delays following the incident.

The bombing in New York's Chelsea neighborhood

Saturday's explosion shook New York City's Chelsea neighborhood and sent panicked people scrambling for cover.

A few blocks away from the blast site and shortly after the explosion occurred, investigators found a pressure cooker on 27th street with dark-colored wiring sticking out, connected by silver duct tape to what appeared to be a cell phone, officials said.

Surveillance video shows a man dragging what appeared to be a duffel bag with wheels near the site of the West 23rd Street explosion about 40 minutes before the blast. About 10 minutes later, surveillance video shows the same man with what appears to be the same duffel bag on West 27th Street.

In the video, the man leaves the duffel bag in the place where police later found the unexploded pressure cooker. After he leaves, the video shows two other men removing a white garbage bag believed to contain the pressure cooker from the duffel bag and leaving it on the sidewalk.

The device was transported to the NYPD Bomb Squad facility at Rodman's Neck Range in the Bronx.

NYPD and FBI Bomb technicians rendered the device safe. A forensic examination of the device and its components will be conducted at the FBI Laboratory at Quantico, Virginia.

'Bigger than ever' NYPD presence

New Yorkers will see an increased police presence around the city this week, Mayor Bill de Blasio said.

Heightened security across the city is common as world leaders arrive for the UN General Assembly meeting, which is already under way.

But after the Chelsea bombing, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said 1,000 additional New York State Police officers and National Guard troops will be deployed to patrol bus terminals, airports and subway stations.

"You should know you will see a very substantial NYPD presence this week -- bigger than ever," de Blasio said.