How NYC-NJ Bombing Suspect Was Tracked Down

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Ahmad Khan Rahami after capture. Photo by Paladin Justice via Flickr

Aided by technology, tips, and luck, authorities wrapped up a tension-filled weekend yesterday with the arrest of a man suspected of setting off homemade bombs in New York and New Jersey that injured 29 people, the Wall Street Journal reports. Ahmad Khan Rahami, 28, was shot and injured in a gun battle with police from Linden, N.J., where he was spotted sleeping outside a bar. Rahami, a naturalized U.S. citizen from Elizabeth, N.J., is suspected of planting bombs in four locations, beginning with an explosion Saturday morning near the starting line of a 5K race in Seaside Park, N.J. No one was hurt, but a blast that night in New York City injured 29 people. Five pipe bombs were found in an abandoned backpack by passersby near the train station in Elizabeth.

No motive has been cited by authorities, who believed Rahami had acted alone. Prosecutors in New Jersey charged Rahami with the attempted murder of police officers in the shootout. Those charges are likely to keep him in custody while federal prosecutors in New York and New Jersey prepare terrorism charges.  Yesterday, alerts screeched, buzzed, and flashed across mobile devices seeking the public’s help in tracking down Rahami. The Wireless Emergency Alert would emerge as an important part of the manhunt, along with surveillance video, fingerprint experts and the bomb squad. “There was a lot of technology involved in this, but a lot of good old-fashioned police work, too,” said New York Police Commissioner James O’Neill, who is in his first week on the job. One official called Rahami “a very good bomb-maker despite his mistakes.”

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