Police Search For Man Sought In Connection With Weekend Bombing | KERA News

Police Search For Man Sought In Connection With Weekend Bombing

Sep 19, 2016
Originally published on September 19, 2016 7:56 am
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STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

We have a photo this morning. Police released a photo of a person they want to find in connection with last weekend's attack on New York City. NPR's Jeff Brady is in New York. He's covering the story. Jeff, good morning.

JEFF BRADY, BYLINE: Good morning.

INSKEEP: So I'm looking at this picture - man with short hair, short beard, looking right at the camera, looks relatively young. Who is he?

BRADY: His name is Ahmad Khan Rahami. And we just heard Mayor de Blasio - New York Mayor de Blasio - say that police are looking for him, that he should be considered armed and dangerous. And de Blasio said it is important to get this person quickly. He's asking the public for help. They've already received help from the public during the series of three devices found around the New York region. De Blasio said it's too early to say if this particular person is part of some sort of broader group of people who are doing this around the region, planting these explosive devices, but the mayor says they just want to get this person in and will need some help from the public to do that.

INSKEEP: And I just want to be clear on who they think he is. I'm guessing from the armed and dangerous phrase that they do consider him a suspect and not just some potential witness or person of interest. Is that how you understand it?

BRADY: Yeah, and they're not being that specific yet. They're just really saying we want to find this person, we want to talk to this person and just be careful if you come across him.

INSKEEP: And they haven't said exactly what they think he's done then.

BRADY: No. They're - all throughout this process over the weekend, they've been concerned about releasing too much information that might actually help a suspect, you know, evade police or something else. So they've been pretty guarded with information over the weekend.

INSKEEP: Has the mayor or anyone else said who Mr. Rahami is, what his background is, what - was he born in the United States or born somewhere else, anything else about him?

BRADY: The only thing that I've heard is Mayor de Blasio said he is a naturalized citizen. That's about all we know. We know his name. We have a picture now, and they just want to find him.

INSKEEP: And I guess we should remind people naturalized citizen means someone who may have been born elsewhere or born not a U.S. citizen and took an oath of citizenship at some point...

BRADY: Exactly.

INSKEEP: ...In their life or got the citizenship in another technique. Now, let's remember where this stands. There was an explosion in Chelsea in Manhattan. There was an explosive device found a few blocks away, and then there was this explosion overnight in Elizabeth, N.J. What happened there?

BRADY: Yeah, this was an interesting case. It - Elizabeth, N.J., Mayor Bollwage - I can't - I don't have his first name right now - but he says that two men came across this device in a trash can. They picked it up. They saw wires coming out of it, and they put it down, contacted police. And then a local bomb squad came out, tried to disarm the device. While that was happening, it exploded. Now, this was near a train station. So trains throughout the area were stopped. Folks were waiting for hours. And now Amtrak says to expect delays along the Northeast Corridor throughout today. I should say when that device exploded, it was a robot trying to disarm it, and no one was injured.

INSKEEP: OK, so three devices, a couple of which went off, another of which was found. How much tension is there in the morning commute in New York City today?

BRADY: Well, I haven't been out in the community yet.

INSKEEP: (Laughter) You've been reporting, OK.

BRADY: (Laughter) I have been reporting. And I can imagine, though, that the mood has changed 'cause yesterday, when I was out talking with locals and tourists, people were very firm, like, I'm not going to let this change how I'm going to go about my day. But we have three events now around the region, all connected, and I imagine that folks are getting a little more concerned.

INSKEEP: And I just got to be really clear - all connected or they think they may be connected.

BRADY: They think they may be connected.

INSKEEP: OK, all right.

BRADY: Yeah, very careful in the investigation.

INSKEEP: Jeff, thanks very much, really appreciate it.

BRADY: Thank you.

INSKEEP: That's NPR's Jeff Brady in New York on this day when authorities have said Ahmad Khan Rahami is a man they want to find in connection with last weekend's explosion in New York. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.