NYPD releases PHOTO of man wanted in connection with Chelsea bombing
NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio says the suspect has been identified as 28-year-old Akhmad Khan Rahami, a New Jersey resident and naturalized US citizen born in Afghanistan.
Investigators believe there are more people involved, but have identified no other persons of interests besides Rahami, two US officials told Reuters.
Authorities also plan to question Rahami over another incident, an explosion in New Jersey on Saturday.
According to the New York Post, authorities are looking into the possibility of a local terror cell.
A home in Elizabeth, New Jersey is currently being searched by FBI agents in connection with the man, as it belongs to a person with a similar name.
"The FBI is executing a search warrant," Elizabeth Mayor Christian Bollwage said on CNN. "They will be there for the next few hours, going through this location to find any evidence possible, whether it's in relation to this incident or the Chelsea incident."
“I suspect there may be a foreign connection [to the bombings in New York and New Jersey],” New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said, as cited by CBS.
Explosive devices in New York and New Jersey may be linked, a homeland security official told Reuters.
Federal authorities have already questioned five people with a possible connection to the bombing, the NY Daily News reported. According to NBC News and the New York Times, these were members of Rahami's family, and were stopped on the way to the airport.
Authorities are also looking into an alleged manifesto posted on Tumblr which is said to claim responsibility for the bomb blast in Chelsea. The post titled “I Am The NY Bomber” has been taken down from social media, but the New York Daily News, citing a source in the New York Police Department, says police are taking the threat seriously. Its authenticity has not yet been confirmed.
“The explosives detonated in New York City, that was me,” the posting reportedly read. “Those were just some tests, I know where I have made errors and I will not make the same mistake next time.”
US law enforcement sources now believe suspect is connected to all incidents including Seaside, Elizabeth & both Manhattans @CBSThisMorning— Norah O'Donnell (@NorahODonnell) September 19, 2016
Two bombs exploded in NJ and NYC on Saturday. Initially, an explosion in a garbage container near a Marine Corps charity run in New Jersey took place at around 9:30am local time. No injuries were reported, but the partial blast delayed the start of the race in which more than 5,000 runners competed. Later, investigators in New Jersey discovered three pipe-bomb-type devices wired together near the boardwalk.
On Saturday evening, a second bomb exploded in Chelsea, an upscale Manhattan neighborhood which houses a number of art galleries and nightclubs. 29 people were injured in the blast, all of whom were released from the hospital after receiving medical treatment.
Over 1,000 additional State Police officers and National Guard officials were assigned to patrol New York’s bus and subway stations after the blasts on Saturday, Governor Cuomo said Sunday.
Apart from New York, the state of Minnesota was also the target of violence this weekend, when a man dressed in a private security guard uniform stabbed eight people in the Crossroads Center Mall in the city of St. Cloud. The man was killed by an off-duty policeman, and none of the victims sustained life-threatening wounds. Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) terrorist group has claimed responsibility for the stabbing, acknowledging the attacker as one of its “soldiers,” without specifying, however, if the still-unnamed suspect was in direct contact with them.