Just 15 years after 9/11 another attack on New York by a Muslim extremist from Afghanistan.

28 year old Ahmad Khan Rahami was now arrested in New York in connection to the Chelsea bombing.

What do we know about him?

  • Afghan-born Rahami is currently undergoing surgery for a gunshot wound after confrontation with the police in New Jersey, which began when he was found asleep in a doorway.
  • Rahami came to the United States in 1995 as a child and became a naturalized US citizen in 2011.
  • He traveled for extended periods to Afghanistan and Pakistan in the last five years. In Pakistan in July 2011 he married a Pakistani woman. April 2013 he went to Pakistan and remained there for one year as well visiting Afghanistan.
  • His family runs a simple First American Fried Chicken restaurant in Elizabeth. The family has a history of clashes with the community over the restaurant.
  • Rahami was found sleeping in the doorway of Merdie’s Tavern in Linden – when a police officer approached to wake him and investigate, the suspect fired on him and two police officers suffered injuries before he was apprehended.
  • On Saturday morning, a pipe bomb exploded on the route of a charity race in New Jersey. Nobody was injured or affected because the road was empty at the time due to a delay caused by an unattended bag.
  •  Later that evening in Manhattan, New York, a pressure cooker filled with shrapnel exploded injuring 29 people in the Chelsea area – where there is a vibrant nightlife. This is the same kind of attack that happened at the Boston marathon in 2013.
  • A second, similar, bomb was removed safely only four blocks away. Police have identified two suspects who are seen on CCTV to have removed the device from an unattended bag and inadvertently disarmed it. They are seen as thieves, rather than attackers.
  • Overnight on Sunday five explosive devices were found inside a backpack lodged in a garbage can in Elizabeth, New Jersey – one of which exploded whilst being handed by a robot, which the city’s mayor confirms was “not a controlled explosion”.
  • Rahami was now charged with five counts of attempted murder of a law enforcement officer, second-degree unlawful possession of a weapon and second-degree possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose.

What a present for Trump!

As has been the case before, Republican Presidential nominee Donald Trump immediately seized on the news as vindication, reasserting that his hard line on immigration is the only plan that will defeat “radical Islamic terrorism”.

    • Mr. Trump said Rahami would be “indulged” by the US authorizes, showing signs that the country has become weak, he said at a rally in Florida later on Monday. “Now we will give him amazing hospitalization. He will be taken care of by some of the best doctors in the world”. Mr. Trump then repeated and reasserted calls for “extreme vetting” that would include determining whether potential immigrants and entrants to the United States share American values. A process that still remains foggy in its outline.

What is unknown:

The motivation for the attacks remains unclear. Govenor Andrew Cuomo has stated that while they are being treated as an act of terrorism, no ties have been found to international terror groups such as ISIS – although ISIS have since claimed Rahami was one of their “soldiers”.

Read here about true Islam and terrorism.