Story 1: Radical Islamic Terrorist Bomb Attacks In New York and New Jersey and Knife Attacks (9 Victims) Minnesota Stopped By Off Duty Police Officer Hero Kills Attacker — Desperate Denying Democrats Refuse To Say Radical Islamic Terrorist — Videos
New York City Bomb Explosion
9 Stabbed and Attacker Killed By Off Duty Police Officer in
Saint Cloud, Minnesota Crossroads Shopping Center
Seaside Park, New Jersey Bomb Explosion
Suspected Terrorist Attacks Over The Weekend
Walid Phares on the terror attacks in N.J. and NYC
Is there an international connection to NYC bombing?
‘Act of terror’: Manhattan explosion leaves 29 injured
Rudy Giuliani reacts to NYC terrorist attack (9/18/2016)
Terror In NJ: Bomb Explodes As Robot Attempts To Disarm It At Train Station In Elizabeth
Moment police robot accidentally detonates explosive devices at NJ train station
USA: FBI investigate bombs found in New Jersey after blast outside train station
Five men in custody in connection with NYC bombing
New York Explosion Video [Surveillance Footage]
Pipe Bomb Explodes in New Jersey
St. Cloud police are giving a press conference on last night’s stabbing at Crossroads Center.
ISIS Claims Responsibility For Stabbing Attack In Minnesota Mall!
Minnesota: Man Shouting “Allah Akbar!” Goes on Mass Stabbing Spree
Somali Community Condemns St. Cloud Mall Stabbings
At Least 8 People Injured From a Stabbing Attack at Minnesota Mall
Saint Cloud, MN Crossroads Mall Terror Attack – 9/17/2016
Saint Cloud, MN Crossroads Mall Terror Attack Interviews & Press conference 9/18/2016
President Obama on NYC and NJ bombings, Minnesota attack
The Truth About The NYC/NJ Terror Attacks
Why The Regressive Left Is Losing | Bill Whittle and Stefan Molyneux
Even More Untruth About Donald Trump
‘Act Of Terrorism’ Suspects Arrested In NYC As More Explosives Found In NJ
The FBI has arrested several people in connection with the New York City bomb explosion that ripped through 23rd Street and Sixth Avenue in Chelsea on Saturday night, authorities say.
The suspects were stopped as they drove along the Belt Parkway in Brooklyn on Sunday night.
Investigators believe they had come over the Verrazano Bridge from Staten Island.
An FBI spokesperson said,
No one has been charged with any crime. The investigation is continuing.
New York State Senator Marty Golden posted on Instagram,
Update from the NYPD: About an hour ago, the FBI took several individuals into custody on the Belt Parkway in the area underneath the Verrazano Bridge, with a possible connection to the bombing last night in Chelsea.
Meanwhile, bomb squads were called out once again Sunday night, this time to a railway station in Elizabeth, New jersey.
Train services along the Northeast Corridor from Newark Airport and Penn Station were halted and passengers were stranded while the area was investigated.
Five devices were found hidden inside a backpack, the office of Elizabeth Mayor Chris Bollwage confirmed — one of which exploded when a robot attempted to disarm it.
US authorities were investigating on Monday night whether the New York bomb attacks were an Islamist terror plot as it emerged the alleged perpetrator had travelled to Afghanistan and Pakistan several times and showed signs of having been radicalised.
Ahmad Rahami, 28, was captured on Monday in a gunfight with police in the city of Linden, New Jersey, after an intense manhunt.
Two officers were shot and wounded when they responded to a tip from the owner of a bar that a man resembling Rahami – whose photo was widely circulated on television news channels – was hiding in the doorway.
Rahami, whose nickname was “Mad” – an abbreviation of his first name – was carried by stretcher into an ambulance, taken conscious to hospital and was undergoing surgery last night having been shot in the leg and shoulder.
On Monday night he was charged with five counts of attempting to murder police officers during his dramatic arrest.
Rahami had travelled several times to both Afghanistan and Pakistan, people who knew him said on Monday night, and on his return appeared to have been radicalised.
Flee Jones, who grew up with Rahami, said that when he returned from one of the trips, he had a beard and wore traditional Muslim robes. He started praying regularly in the back of the family’s chicken restaurant.
“It’s like he was a completely different person,” Mr Jones said. “He got serious and completely closed off.”
It was reported on Monday night that Rahami had married a woman in Pakistan and later applied for her to come to the US. Her current location was unknown.
In 2011 he spent time in Quetta, Pakistan, which is a stronghold of the Taliban. Between 2013 and 2014, he made another trip to Pakistan, staying there for 11 months, another official added.
Rahami is thought to be the sole attacker behind three attempted bombings on Saturday and Sunday.
One, in Manhattan, exploded and injured 29 people. An unexploded pressure-cooker bomb was found blocks away.
Earlier that day, a pipe bomb blew up in Seaside Park, New Jersey, before a charity race to benefit Marines. No one was injured.
Then on Sunday night, five explosive devices were discovered in a rubbish bin at an Elizabeth train station.
Preet Bharara, US attorney for the southern district of Manhattan, said there was “no indication that there’s a cell operating in the area or in the city.”
Rahami was born in Afghanistan and moved to the US with his family. His older brother Qasim is believed to have returned to Afghanistan after he was involved in a fight with police in New Jersey.
In 2011, Rahami and his father attempted to sue the city of Linden for discrimination after numerous court cases involving allegations of noise disturbance at the family takeaway.
They claimed they had been racially abused by local residents who told them: “Muslims don’t belong here.”
Three years later, he was arrested for unlawful possession of a weapon and domestic violence charges for allegedly attempting to stab his sister, but was not charged.
One of his sisters – it was unclear if it was the same one – reportedly said he was the “black sheep” of the family and did not get along with his father.
It was reported on Monday night that Rahami had a high school sweetheart in New Jersey, with whom he had a daughter.
A woman told Fox News they had been sweethearts at high school where he was the “class clown”.
She said Rahami had failed to pay child support for the daughter they had together.
She said he would rail against American culture and homosexuality.
But the woman, who was identified only as Maria, said: “I never thought he would do something like this. I think he was brainwashed.”
Donald Trump seized on the fact that the suspect was an Afghan immigrant to boost support for his controversial proposal to bar Muslims from entering the US. He insisted he had “predicted” the attacks and that the country, under Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton as secretary of state, had become “weak”.
Mrs Clinton, in turn, accused him of helping Isil recruiters with his rhetoric against Islam.
Suspicion remains that Rahami had outside assistance or training in order to assemble the eight bombs used in the attacks.
Despite the NYPD saying they were not actively looking for anyone else, some experts said the chance no-one else was involved was “infinitesimally small”.
“Normally the way this works, you have a cell doing logistics, bomb-making and assembly, and an operational one,” said Mike Rogers, former chairman of the House intelligence committee.
Bill Sweeney, an FBI special agent, said investigators were working on the suspect’s connections and movements. “I do not have information yet to show what the path of radicalisation was,” he said.
Andrew Cuomo, the governor of New York state, said that “information suggests it may be foreign-related, but we’ll see where it goes.”
Rahani demonstrated hatred for US military, says high school ‘sweetheart’
A woman claiming to be Rahani’s high school sweetheart said the father of her child demonstrated his hatred for the US military.
“One time, he was watching TV with my daughter and a woman in a [military] uniform came on and he told [their daughter], ‘That’s the bad person,'” the woman, who was identified only as Maria, told Fox News.
Rahani “would speak often of Western culture and how it was different back home,” she also told Fox, “How there weren’t homosexuals in Afghanistan.”
Maria said that Rahami failed to pay support for the daughter they had together.
“I didn’t want him to see my daughter,” she said. “If he loved her, he would have paid child support. My greatest fear is that he would try to take my daughter.”
Note found on unexploded bomb mentioned Boston, CNN reports
A handwritten note found with the unexploded pressure cooker bombon 27th St in New York City contained ramblings, including references to previous terrorists including the Boston bombers, an unnamed law enforcement official told CNN.
The pressure-cooker bomb that failed to explode was the same sort of improvised explosive devices that killed three people and wounded more than 260 in the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing.
The bombs used in Boston were built using instructions that Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, the brothers behind the attack, found on al-Qaeda’s “Inspire” online magazine.
Donald Trump laments that Rahani will be given ‘amazing hospitalization’
Donald Trump says that the United States must “use whatever lawful methods are available” to obtain information from the suspected New York and New Jersey bomber “to get information before it’s no longer timely. And Congress should pass measures to ensure that foreign enemy combatants are treated as such. These are enemies.”
Mr Trump, who was speaking to a crowd in Fort Myers, Florida, hours after Rahani was apprehended, complained that the 28-year-old suspect is receiving high-quality medical care.
“The bad part,” he said, “now we will give him amazing hospitalization. He will be taken care of by some of the best doctors in the world. He will be given a fully modern and updated hospital room. And he’ll probably even have room service, knowing the way our country is. And, on top of that, he will be represented by an outstanding lawyer.”
Some members of his packed crowd shouted, “Hang him!”
Mr Trump said that, because of how long it takes to try someone, “in the end, people will forget and his punishment will not be what it once would have been.”
Linden police captain describes capture
James Sarnicky, Linden police captain, describes the capture of suspect Ahmad Khan Rahami on Monday morning:
Rahami was petitioning to bring Pakistani wife to US
Rahami was petitioning to bring his Pakistani wife to the United States, according to a law enforcement official who reviewed his travel and immigration record.
He filed the paperwork in 2011, the year in which he got married during a visit to Pakistan, and it was approved in 2012. But the official said it was unclear if she ever came to the United States, CNN reports.
Muslim community centre president: We didn’t see him all the time
Nawaz Sheikh, president of the Muslim Community Centre of Union County, said Mohammad Rahami, Ahmad’s father, was one of 10-15 people who attended prayers at the centre every day.
“He’s a pretty quiet person, pray and leave, that’s it,” he said.
Mr Sheikh said of Ahmad Rahami, “we don’t see him all the time.”
Eric Munoz, who attends prayers at a different mosque in Elizabeth, said he knew the Rahami family by sight, in part because they were one of very few Afghan families in town.
“I knew them as the Afghan family,” he said. “Most of the members of the community here are actually African-American.”
Mr Munoz described the local Muslim community as close knit, but said he had his own brush with Islamic radicals when someone claiming to be with al-Nusra, the former Syrian branch of al-Qaeda, tried to recruit him online.
Despite the NYPD saying they were not actively looking for anyone else, some experts said the chance no-one else was involved was “infinitesimally small”, Nick Allen reports.
Mike Rogers, former congressman, and former chairman of the House intelligence committee, said: “No way he did this all by himself. The odds of this one person acting alone is infinitesimally small. “Normally the way this works, you have a cell doing logistics, bomb-making and assembly, and an operational one. Even if you merge those into one small cell you had to have lots of activity going into both locations.”
Rahami ‘was a completely different person’ after visiting Afghanistan
Flee Jones, who grew up with Rahami, said that he thought the suspect had visited Afghanistan around four years ago. When he came back he had a beard and wore traditional Muslim robes. He started praying in the back of the family’s chicken restaurant.
“It’s like he was a completely different person,” Mr Jones told the New York Times. “He got serious and completely closed off.”
Suspicion remains that Rahami had outside assistance or training in order to assemble the eight bombs
Reports on Sunday suggested the devices were packed with a chemical similar to Tannerite, used in shooting targets.
On Monday police were investigating the suggestion that the bombs contained HMTD, or hexamethylene triperoxide diamine – a high explosive that is relative easy for terrorists to “home brew” from instructions found on the internet. HMTD is similar to triacetone triperoxide (TATP), used in the London tube bombings, the “Shoe Bomber” attempt to blow up an airliner, and the train station and airport bombings in Brussels earlier this year.
NYPD police commissioner James O’Neill’s challenging first days in new job
It took James O’Neill more than three decades as a cop to ascend to the top of the nation’s largest police department, but only a little more than day to get his first real test, the AP reports.
O’Neill’s first full day as New York City’s police commissioner ended with him racing to the scene of an explosion on Saturday in the Manhattan’s bustling Chelsea neighborhood that injured 29 people. He immediately took charge of the investigation, offering the nation its first, up-close look at his no-nonsense, just-the-facts management style.
And less than 40 hours later, a suspect was behind bars, believed to be responsible for the blasts in both New York and earlier in a New Jersey shore town.
“It’s a pretty tough way to start in my new position,” O’Neill acknowledged on Monday at a news conference detailing the capture of 28-year-old Ahmad Khan Rahami.
“But I was just so proud of what I saw that day,” he said. “The work that was done together, how it was done, all the agencies, the level of cooperation was impressive.”
The 58-year-old known to his colleagues as Jimmy Is a measured departure from the media-savvy style of his more political predecessor, William Bratton. In news conferences, O’Neill largely deferred to Mayor Bill de Blasio and his department chiefs, stuck mostly to what investigators knew and didn’t know, and didn’t even change expression, even when talking about the fast, successful arrest.
‘Did he plant bombs somewhere? Should I take my kids and leave?’
Rahami was captured after a gunfight with police in Linden, New Jersey, a working class city just across the river from New York’s Staten Island, David Lawler reports from the scene of the arrest.
He had been spotted sleeping in the vestibule of a local bar, and the bar’s owner contacted police believing him to be a vagrant.
Police arriving on scene recognised him as the bombing suspect, and as they pulled near he fired several times.
Witnesses said he then fled down East Elizabeth Avenue, directly past the home of a woman named Amy, who asked that only her first name be used.
“I was in my bedroom, I heard about seven shots. When I came to the window I saw police with guns chasing him, and that’s when everything happened out here,” she said.
Rahami shot one police officer, who was saved by a bulletproof vest, and was hit himself in the second firefight.
Police officers then converged, and he was detained and transported to a local hospital.
“I’m very shocked because nothing like this happens around here,” Amy said. “How can I relax with all this going on? Now I’m nervous because I’m like, ‘did he plant bombs somewhere? Should I take my kids and leave?'”
“Now we’re really frantic. Is a bomb going to explode? You can’t really keep calm because you don’t know what’s going on.”
Derek Armstead, the mayor of Linden, New Jersey, confirms that two officers were injured in the shoot-out. One was hit by a bullet fragment while sitting in a car, the other shot in his bullet-proof vest. He said:
Thank God that he [the first officer] had his vest on.
And I think that was very helpful for him. I think that saved his life.
Rahami previously charged with unlawful possession of a weapon
The suspect was charged in August 2014 with aggravated assault and unlawful possession of a weapon, NBC News reports. He posted bail of $25,000 but for reasons that are unclear a grand jury decided not to indict him.
If you thought he was holding back a little yesterday, now a suspect of Afghan origin has been arrested, expect the Donald Trump media machine to kick into full action
“Hillary Clinton’s weakness while she was Secretary of State, has emboldened terrorists all over the world to attack the U.S., even on our own soil,” the Republican presidential candidate writes on Facebook.
“They are hoping and praying that Hillary Clinton becomes President – so that they can continue their savagery and murder.”
Some details are emerging on how police tracked down and arrested the suspect.
The mayor of Linden, New Jersey has told ABC7 NY that police received a tip that a man was sleeping in the hallway of a bar. When officers arrived on scene, they recognised Rahami and a shootout ensued.
One officer was shot but reportedly saved by a bulletproof vest. The officers fired several times at Rahami before taking him into custody.
Some videos and pictures of the arrest are starting to emerge on social media.
It is worth pointing out that at this point, Rahami is still only a suspect. He has not yet been charged with any offences.
President Barack Obama has just addressed the nation from New York, where he is attending the United Nations general assembly.
He refused to discuss details of the suspect or his reported arrest. Instead, he praised the emergency service personnel and commended those living in New York and New Jersey for refusing to give in to terror.
“They are trying to hurt innocent people, but they are also trying to inspire fear in all of us.
“So as we have to be vigilant and aggressive, we all have a role to play as citizens in making sure we don’t succumb to that fear. And there is no better example of that than the people of New York and New Jersey.
“Governor Cuomo and Mayor De Blasio said: ‘Folks aroud here, they don’t get scared. They’re tough. They go about their business every day’.
” That’s the kind of strength that makes me so proud to be an American. By showing the whole world that, as Americans, we do not give in to fear.”
Rahami’s father has had run ins with the law over his restaurant
From Harriet Alexander, in New York:
The father of Ahmad Rahami, the New York bombing suspect, has had his own run ins with the law.
Court documents show that Mohammad Rahami had been in trouble with the authorities over his fast-food restaurant, First American Fried Chicken.
The takeaway restaurant is in the ground floor of their home on Elmora Avenue, neighbours said, and employed Ahmad and some of his brothers.
His sister Zobydha is believed to be a student at Rutgers University, and volunteers as a student assistant at the Asian American Cultural Center – which aims “to foster an educational climate based upon diversity and inclusiveness.”
In February 2014 Mr Rahami went to court to appeal against complaints about the restaurant, which had first began in 2008.
He was charged with staying open late, and violating the city’s restrictions on restaurant opening hours – but prosecutors then dropped the accusations.
In 2009 both Ahmad and Mohammad Rahami were brought before a court again. And in 2011 they pleaded guilty to operating outside of licenced hours, and were fined $200 with $33 in court costs.
J. Christian Bollwage, mayor of Elizabeth, told The New York Times that the restaurant initially stayed open all night.
Neighbors, including Dean McDermott, who lives on the corner of Linden and Elmora Avenues and works as a news videographer, said the restaurant drew rowdy crowds past midnight.
Mr McDermott called the police after finding patrons loitering in his yard and urinating in his driveway.
“The City Council voted to shut it down at 10,” said Mr Bollwage. “They kept getting complaints from neighbours; it was a distress to people in the neighbourhood.”
Mr McDermott said one of Ahmad’s older brothers got in a fight with an officer who came to shut down the restaurant. Before the case could be resolved, Mr. McDermott said, the son fled to his home country, Afghanistan.
The elder Rahami sued the city, Mayor Bollwage said. Mr McDermott said that the lawsuit charged that Mr Rahami had been discriminated against because of his ethnicity.
“It was neighbour complaints, it had nothing to do with his ethnicity or religion,” the mayor said. “It had to do with noise and people congregating on the streets.”
Mr McDermott told the paper that the Rahami family and the community came to an uneasy truce.
The restaurant wouldn’t close at 10pm, but police stopped hassling them, and they would close at midnight or 1am.
President Barack Obama is due to speak at 11.30 New York time (4.30pm).
The FBI, prosecutors and New York Mayor Bill de Blasio will then hold a press conference at 12.30pm (5.30pm), so we should get some more details on the 28-year-old suspect, Ahmad Khan Rahami, who is still wanted by police.
Mrs Clinton has moved on to say why she is better equipped than Donald Trump to lead the nation at this difficult time.
Trump’s comments have been used online for the recruitment of terrorists, she said, citing the former head of the CIA Michael Hayden and the former head of the National Counterterrorism Center, Matt Olsen.
“As I’ve said, I am the only candidate in this race who has experience of taking hardened terrorists off the battlefield,” Mrs Clinton said.
“I have sat at that table in the situation room. I have analysed the threats. I know how to do this, and won’t let it get any bigger than it is.
“We will work with our allies to take Isis down and have a strong counter-ideology to defeat the terrorists online.
“I am ready to take on the challenges – to do the hard work, to put in place strategies and intensify our efforts.
“You don’t hear a plan from him. He keeps on saying there is a secret plan. Well, he doesn’t have a plan.”
Hillary Clinton is now speaking to the press, before boarding her campaign plane in New York. She said:
“If you see something, say something to law enforcement authorities.
“We choose resolve not fear. We will not turn on each other because we face the challenge stronger together.
What about Donald Trump using this to promote his immigration policies?
“It is true that a suspect of interest has been identified. But let us remember – there are millions and millions of naturalised citizens in America from all over the world.
“This is the kind of challenge that law enforcement is made to address. So I am absolutely in favour of tough vetting – not just people who come here to settle.
“We need a strong visa system. The 9/11 attackers were not refugees. So let’s not get diverted by the rhetoric coming from the other side.
Should we be doing more on lone wolves?
“I think that the lone wolf problem is one that more resources and time should go on planning.
“The recruitment and radicalisation that goes on online must be more vigorously intercepted and prevented.
“The recruiters for Isis and these other groups look for people who demonstrate the online paranoid, the level of disillusion, the level of disappointment, that is then exploited by these recruiters. That’s why I mentioned Silicon Valley in my remarks.
“I think we need to do much more. The government cannot do this without the close cooperation of the tech companies.”
New Jersey police appeal for information on the suspect
New Jersey police are seeking information on New York bombing suspect Ahmad Khan Rahami in relation the Chelsea explosion and the earlier attack in New Jersey on Saturday morning, which was on the planned route for a charity run.
Josh Earnest, the White House press secretary, is speaking on CNN now and says that President Barack Obama will likely address the New York bombings later today.
But he insisted Americans were safer now than in 2001, at the time of the Twin Towers attacks.
“I think we are safe. “And there is no denying that, 15 years after 9/11, our country is much better equipped to combat terror.
“That is due to our people here, and also our troops abroad.
“Just earlier this month the US military took two separate strikes against senior Isil leaders. We are continuing to apply pressure. “But another thing we need to do is disrupt these lone wolf attacks. “The president has acknowledged that this is a big challenge.
“We’ve seen the Department of Homeland Security doing a good job to shut down online hatred – working with Google Facebook and so on.”
US: Investigators search for links in trio of weekend attacks
Officials described all three attacks as deliberate, criminal acts and are investigating them as potential “acts of terrorism”.
Federal investigators sought to determine on Sunday if there were links among three attacks across the United States this weekend, involving bombings in New York City and New Jersey and a stabbing rampage at a Minnesota shopping mall.
While officials described all three as deliberate, criminal acts and are investigating them as potential “acts of terrorism,” they stopped short of characterizing the motivation behind any of them until more evidence is uncovered.
Twenty-nine people were wounded by an explosive device that rocked New York’s Chelsea neighborhood late on Saturday, sending a deafening roar and powerful shock wave through several blocks of the popular Manhattan shopping district. Also on Saturday, nine people were stabbed in St. Cloud, Minnesota, 1,300 miles (2,100 km) away.
No international militant group immediately claimed responsibility for the New York blast, or for an undetonated pressure-cooker bomb found four blocks away or a similar device that went off earlier along the route of a Saturday road race in suburban New Jersey. But New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said the act of blowing up a bomb in a crowded area of Manhattan “is obviously an act of terrorism.”
No suspects were immediately identified in the New York and New Jersey attacks.
The Islamic State militant group quickly claimed responsibility for the Minnesota attack by a man who made references to Allah and asked at least one person if he or she was Muslim before he assaulted the person. An off-duty police officer fatally shot the assailant.
Police did not immediately identify the Minnesota attacker, citing an ongoing investigation, although some local media reports gave his name and said he was an African-born junior college student. Reuters could not immediately confirm his identity.
Additional Police Deployed
In New York, officials said they would deploy an additional 1,000 uniformed police officers and National Guard troops around a city already on a high state of alert heading into this week’s United Nations General Assembly. The event will bring some 135 heads of state and government to America’s most populous city.
Federal Bureau of Investigation experts were examining remnants of the two devices that went off in Chelsea and Seaside Park, New Jersey, some 80 miles (130 km) south of New York City, as well as the third undetonated device. That third device was built in a pressure cooker, the same bomb design that killed three people and wounded more than 260 in the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing.
A law enforcement official who spoke on condition of anonymity said investigators considered it very strange that similar devices would be planted adjoining states on the same day.
No one was hurt by the New Jersey pipe bomb.
Both presidential candidates spoke out about the attacks, with Democrat Hillary Clinton on Sunday issuing a statement condemning “the apparent terrorist attacks.” On Saturday, Republican Donald Trump said following the New York blast: “We better get very tough, folks.”
The United States has experienced a series of deadly attacks over the past year by gunmen inspired by Islamic State, which has been fighting a long civil war in Syria. A man who claimed allegiance to the group fatally shot 50 people at an Orlando, Florida, nightclub in June, six months after a married couple massacred 14 in San Bernardino, California.
All of the New York victims had been released from the hospital by Sunday, Mayor Bill de Blasio said. Three of the people wounded in Minnesota remained in the hospital on Sunday, although their injuries were not considered life-threatening, St. Cloud Mayor Dave Kleis told a news conference.
‘All over the internet’
Investigators at the FBI’s lab in Quantico, Virginia, were set to look to see if the three devices in the New York area had a common design, although a US official familiar with the inquiry said that would not be proof in itself the attacks were linked.
“Almost anybody could have fabricated these bombs and used cellphones as timed detonators,” said the official. “There are instructions all over the internet, and the crudity, positioning, and relative ineffectiveness of these does not suggest that a more sophisticated group played any role in this.”
The bombs used in the Boston Marathon bombing were built using instructions that the pair of brothers behind the attack found on al Qaeda’s “Inspire” online magazine.
The FBI considers the Minnesota episode a “potential act of terrorism,” Richard Thornton, FBI special agent in charge of the agency’s Minneapolis division, told a news conference on Sunday.
He said the investigation was in its early stages and it was not known if the man had discussed his plan of attack with others.
Amaq, the news agency affiliated with Islamic State, issued a statement on Sunday saying: “The executor of the stabbing attacks in Minnesota yesterday was a soldier of the Islamic State and carried out the operation in response to calls to target the citizens of countries belonging to the crusader coalition.”
Reuters was not immediately able to verify the Amaq assertion.
A man who described himself as a childhood friend of the 28-year-old busted today in connection with this weekend’s New York-area bombings told the Herald the suspect made a life-changing trip to Afghanistan two years ago.
“At one point he left to go to Afghanistan, and two years ago he came back, popped up out of nowhere and he was real religious,” friend Flee Jones, 27, said of suspect Ahmad Khan Rahami. “And it was shocking. I’m trying to understand what’s going on. I’ve never seen him like this.”
Police this morning released a photo of Rahami, an Afghan immigrant and U.S. citizen, wanted for questioning in the bombings that rocked a Manhattan neighborhood and a New Jersey shore town. Rahami was taken into custody after a gunfight in nearby Linden today at 11:20 a.m. (See that story here…)
The terror suspect’s arrest came after investigators this morning swarmed a chicken restaurant and apartment here in connection with the hunt for Rahami, Elizabeth Mayor Christian Bollwage told the Herald.
“They’re going to be in there for a few hours investigating not only the fried chicken place but the residences upstairs,” Bollwage said.
Bollwage told the Herald the search began after five people were pulled over on the Belt Parkway last night in connection with the bombing in Chelsea. That led to the search of First American Fried Chicken and the apartment above it in Elizabeth, Bollwage said, but it was unclear how the people detained were connected to the restaurant.
In addition to the blast in Manhattan’s Chelsea neighborhood on Saturday that injured dozens, a pipe bomb exploded in a New Jersey shore town before a charity 5K race and an unexploded pressure cooker device was found blocks away from the explosion site in Chelsea. Yesterday, five explosive devices were discovered at an Elizabeth train station.
FBI agents as well as state and local police were in the eatery and the apartment upstairs, which are cordoned off by yellow crime tape. Investigators towed a black Toyota sedan away from the street in front of the restaurant this morning.
The mayor said the restaurant has been slapped by local officials in the past for staying open late, but had never been flagged for anything serious.
“They’ve been monitored for code enforcement and noise complaints over the years, but we’ve never suspected anything like this,” he said.
According to an Elizabeth resident, Rahami worked the register at the restaurant and was in charge when his father was gone.
ampier Perez told the Herald the family who ran the restaurant seemed “pretty calm, chill.”
This morning, as a giant media horde watched federal agents comb the building, he was shaken.
“I could’ve went there for food one day and something could’ve happened,’ he said.
Suspect in Minnesota mall stabbings appeared to be a ‘lone attacker,’ officials say
By Kristine Guerra, Jessica Contrera and Brian Murphy
Authorities are still trying to find out what drove a young man, whose run-ins with law enforcement involved only minor traffic violations, to stab nine people inside a Minnesota mall Saturday night.
The FBI in Minneapolis and the St. Cloud Police Department are investigating the attack as a potential act of terrorism after a news agency linked to the Islamic State militant group claimed that the attacker, identified by community leaders as Dahir Aden, was “a soldier of the Islamic State.”
Authorities said Monday, though, that Aden appeared to have acted alone. Investigators have not found evidence that he had direct or indirect communications with the Islamic State, or that the militant group planned the attack or knew of it beforehand.
“We haven’t uncovered anything that would suggest other than lone attacker at this point,” St. Cloud Police Chief William Blair Anderson said at a news conference Monday.
The stabbings occurred around 8 p.m. inside the Crossroads Center mall in St. Cloud, Minn., about 70 miles northwest of Minneapolis. It ended inside a Macy’s store, where an off-duty police officer shot and killed the assailant.
St. Cloud Mayor Dave Kleis said the attacker lunged at Jason Falconer, a part-time police officer in Avon, Minn., 15 miles northwest of St. Cloud. Falconer then fired shots at the stabber, who fell but got up three times before he died.
Officials have not released any information about the attacker.
“What we’re doing is we’re trying to find out as much as we can about this individual’s background,” Anderson told The Washington Post. “Right now, that’s at the top of our list. The hope is that we will be able to figure out his motivation. I want to know everything about him from the day he was born.”
Aden was a student at St. Cloud State University and a private security guard at Electrolux, a home appliance store located near the mall. Abdul Kulane, of the Central Minnesota Community Empowerment Organization, said he was contacted by Aden’s parents, who did not know what their son’s motive was for the attack.
Aden — identified by some news organizations as 22-year-old Dahir A. Adan — moved to the United States from Kenya at age 2, Kulane said. He grew up in St. Cloud and graduated from Apollo High School in 2014. His parents described him as smart, quiet and interested in soccer. Kulane said he does not believe Aden had taken any recent trips overseas and added that his family and community are in shock.
Authorities in Minnesota are still exploring the possibility that terror groups have reached out to members of the large Somali community in the state. Census data from 2010 indicate that about 85,700 people with Somali ancestry live in the United States, 25,000 of them in Minnesota. Aden is of Somali descent, according to the St. Cloud Times.
In a statement Sunday, the Amaq news agency — linked to the Islamic State, also known as ISIS — said the attacker “carried out the operation in response to calls to target citizens of countries belonging to the crusader coalition.”
Richard Thornton, FBI special agent in Minneapolis, said during the Sunday news conference that the stabbings are being investigated as a “potential act of terrorism,” but that the suspect’s motive remains unknown.
The attacker, who was wearing a private security uniform, made at least one reference to Allah during the attack and asked at least one person whether they were Muslim before attacking them, according to St. Cloud police.
Officer Jason Falconer was off duty when he shot and killed a man who stabbed nine people in a Minnesota mall Saturday. (Avon Police Department)
Authorites said the attacker was shot multiple times by Falconer.
Kleis, the St. Cloud mayor, said the off-duty officer “clearly prevented additional injuries and potential loss of life,” adding: “His heroic actions are exemplary.”
Falconer is the former police chief of Albany, Minn., and president and owner of Tactical Advantage Firearms Training.
Aden’s fatal encounter with the off-duty officer at Macy’s was caught on surveillance video. Investigators are canvassing the entire mall for other videos that could provide a definitive timeline of the attack, Anderson said.
All the victims, seven men and two women whose ages range from 15 to 53, suffered injuries that were not life-threatening. Three were hospitalized Sunday, authorities said.
Anderson said investigators have executed search warrants at two apartments in St. Cloud. Investigators also found and impounded the attacker’s vehicle in the mall parking lot.
Sydney Weires was at the mall during the incident. She told the St. Cloud Times that she and her friends were walking down a hallway when they heard a loud scream.
“I saw this security guard sprinting down the hallway toward Target,” Weirs told the paper. “He was yelling, ‘Call the cops! Call the cops!’”
She said they later saw two men drenched in blood; one was bleeding from the side of his face, while the other had blood on the back of his shirt.
“He was screaming at us, ‘Get the F out!’” she said about one of the men, according to the paper.
Weires and her friends were able to leave the mall before authorities enforced a lockdown.
“We could have been one of the victims,” she told the paper. “It’s insane.”
Another witness, Harley Exsted, said he and his wife were in St. Cloud on Saturday to watch their son play in a college golf tournament, according to the St. Cloud Times.
“All of a sudden I heard pop pop pop,” Harley told the paper. “I just thought someone tipped over a shelf. All of a sudden these people started running. I just saw everybody running away.”
“But then when we heard the screaming, then we knew it was time to go,” he added.
The attacker has had encounters with police before, Anderson told reporters, but most were for minor traffic violations.
Hours after the incident, groups of shoppers huddled inside the mall’s food court. They were eventually released, said Sgt. Jason Burke, a spokesman for the police department, though the mall was closed Sunday as the investigation continued.
Many of the attacks that the Islamic State has claimed since the coordinated shootings and bombings in Paris in November have been carried out by individuals who were simply inspired by the Islamic State’s ideology and probably never came into direct contact with the group’s operatives,The Post’s Max Bearak wrote in July.
Matthew Henman, who heads the Terrorism and Insurgency Center at IHS Jane’s, a private firm specializing in military and security analysis, said in an email Monday that the militant group’s claim for the Minnesota stabbing “is the latest in a long series” of attacks that have been “seemingly conducted by lone actors who had not traveled to Iraq and Syria and did not have clear links to Islamic State.
“Nonetheless,” he continued, “there have been multiple indications that the group has been in contact with such individuals, directing and guiding their operations. Even if only indirectly linked, the Islamic State can claim to have inspired the attack in Minnesota, as it follows the kind of operations that it has called on its supporters to conduct.”
He added: “Lone actor attacks require less planning, organization, skill and expertise, so we are likely to see more. They are far harder for security services to detect and prevent.”
On Sunday night, law enforcement combed an area around an Elizabeth, N.J., train station where a backpack with “multiple improvised explosive devices” was found. Elizabeth Mayor J. Christian Bollwage said up to five devices were discovered inside a backpack, and one of the devices exploded as it was being disarmed, shortly after 12:30 a.m. Monday.
Speaking in New York on Monday, President Obama said there is no known connection between the stabbings in Minnesota and the explosions in New York and New Jersey.
In a statement, mall officials said they were “devastated by the events that happened at Crossroads Center. The safety and well-being of our customers and employees is our number one priority. Our thoughts and prayers are with those who were impacted by this tragic event.”
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