CBS News: Rahami May Have Been Casing Chelsea Neighborhood 2 Days Before Bombing

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — New information is coming out about terror suspect Ahmad Khan Rahami, who is accused of planting bombs in New York City and New Jersey, as CBS News reports he is unconscious, intubated and unable to travel.

CBS2’s Dick Brennan reported that law enforcement sources told CBS News that Rahami may have been casing the Chelsea neighborhood two days before the bombing. It’s not clear to investigators if he was part of a terror cell, or someone who may have been inspired.

“We don’t have specific evidence of a cell,” Mayor Bill de Blasio said. “We are concerned to know that there are other people. We just don’t have a final answer on that yet.”

Police want to talk to two guys who removed a second device from a bag on West 27th Street and walked off with the piece of luggage.

“Now me, and this is just me, if I open up a bag and I see a pressure cooker with a cellphone taped to it, and wired, I’m probably gonna leave it, but these two guys put the pressure cooker down and they walk away,” said John Miller, NYPD Deputy Commissioner of Intelligence and Counterterrorism.

Authorities are looking for a possible bomb factory and have found residue in a location in Perth Amboy.

Investigators are also pouring over a bullet-pierced, blood-stained notebook found on Rahami when he was arrested, where he names Osama bin Laden.

“It’s almost like a confession when you read it. He talks about wanting to set off bombs in the streets of New York. He talks about wanting to set off explosive devices before a 5K run,” said Rep. Michael McCaul, R-Texas, chairman of the Homeland Security Committee.

Law enforcement sources said Rahami’s wife arrived in the U.S. Wednesday night as investigators have learned it was an arranged marriage.

In the meantime, Maria Mena, the mother of Rahami’s child from Edison, New Jersey, said in a statement she was shocked and appalled by the bombings and offered prayers to the victims.

“Ahmad Rahami and I have a child together, but neither my child nor I have had any physical contact with him in more than two years,” Mena said in a statement released by her attorney.

There are also new reports raising questions about whether the FBI did do enough to investigate Rahami after he returned from Pakistan and was reportedly flagged twice by the feds.

“There’s a thousand of these reports to check out this guy and check out that guy that come in every year, and there’s also limits – legal limits in the Department of Justice, guidelines in the NYPD guidelines – about how long you can investigate someone based on what someone without evidence of a crime,” said Miller.

CBS News reported the FBI thought they had Rahami under surveillance Sunday night and they feared he was trying to flee in a car.

They stopped a car on the Verrazano Bridge, but it turned out the five people in the vehicle were related to him, but later released.


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