LINDEN, N.J. – The Afghan immigrant who authorities believe planted bombs in New Jersey and New York this weekend was captured Monday after a dramatic gun battle with police that was sparked when officers found him sleeping in the doorway of a bar.
Officials had launched a dragnet earlier Monday in search of Ahmad Khan Rahami, the 28-year-old naturalized U.S. citizen who was identified as the primary person of interest in the Saturday night blast in New York’s Chelsea neighborhood, an explosion in New Jersey’s Seaside Park on Saturday morning and a foiled bomb attack Sunday night near a train station in Elizabeth, NJ.
The hunt for Rahami turned out to be brief. A bar owner in Linden, NJ spotted a man sleeping in his doorway Monday morning and called police. An officer confronted the man around 10:45 a.m., and soon recognized the person as Rahami, officials said. Rahami pulled out a gun and shot the officer — who was wearing a bulletproof vest — in the abdomen, and more officers soon joined in a running gun battle with Rahami.
A second police officer was injured by glass shards during the gun fight, authorities said. Both officers were expected to be okay.
Rahami was shot at least once in the leg and eventually brought down and captured alive, Union County Prosecutor Grace Park said. He was taken to University Hospital in Newark where he underwent surgery, Fox News confirmed.
Linden, the city where Rahami was captured, is about four miles from Elizabeth, where Rahami was last known to have lived. The FBI had launched a raid at his apartment, located above a fried chicken restaurant, on Monday morning. Elizabeth is also the city where investigators discovered five suspicious devices — one of which exploded while a bomb squad robot tried to disarm it — near a train station on Sunday night.
“Today I believe we’re going to find out that [the bombing] was influenced by foreign sources,” Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Monday on “Fox & Friends.”
Two U.S. officials told Reuters on Monday that the bomb plot likely involved several individuals, a revelation that came hours after federal authorities on Sunday night conducted a traffic stop in Brooklyn of a “vehicle of interest” in the bombings.