NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — The wife of the man suspected in the New York and New Jersey bombings is back in the United States.
Ahmad Khan Rahami’s wife, Asia Rahami, arrived in the U.S. from Dubai Wednesday night, law enforcement sources confirmed to CBS News.
Rahami’s wife was traveling in the Middle East when the bombings in Chelsea and Seaside Park, New Jersey took place on Saturday. CBS2 was told she checked in with authorities and agreed to return to the U.S.
Authorities don’t consider her a suspect, but they are trying to determine whether her husband acted alone.
“The question is, could one person make that many devices, cover that amount of ground, do all that by themselves,” NYPD Deputy Commissioner for Intelligence John Miller told “CBS This Morning” on Thursday. “It’s certainly possible, but it is equally possible that there may be others involved.”
In addition to his wife, Rahami also has a child with another woman. In a statement issued by her attorney Thursday, Maria Mena said neither she nor their child have had any physical contact with Rahami in more than two years.
“In addition, he has only reached out to us one time in the last year,” she said. “I have cooperated with authorities and told them all I know about Ahmad Rahami.”
She said she and her family were “deeply shocked and appalled” by the bombings and said “our thoughts and prayers are with all who were affected. Particularly those law enforcement officers who were injured in the line of duty.”
She also asked for privacy for her and her family and said she would not be commenting further at this time.
On Wednesday, a judge granted Mena temporary sole custody of their child. The request cited the ongoing terror investigation against Rahami.
Meanwhile, law enforcement sources told CBS News that Rahami may have been casing the Chelsea neighborhood two days before the bombing.
Investigators are talking to witnesses who said they saw Rahami in the area, but investigators are trying to determine if their accounts are accurate.
Multiple federal law enforcement and intelligence sources also told CBS News that Rahami’s friends and family told investigators that they noticed a change in his dress and appearance when he returned from a trip to Afghanistan in 2014.
They said he became more religious and started distancing himself from friends and family. Rahami was also apparently distressed about discrimination and financial problems, sources told CBS News.
A bullet-pierced, blood stained notebook found on Rahami when he was arrested names some of his key influences as Osama bin Laden and ISIS’ second in command, Abu Muhammad al-Adnani, who was killed in a U.S. drone strike in August.
“It’s clear from this journal that Mr. Rahami was receiving inspiration from the ISIS spokesman, Mr. Adnani,” House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Michael McCaul said Wednesday.
Law enforcement sources also confirmed to CBS News that the gun used in the shootout with police in Linden, New Jersey was purchased in July in Virginia during the period he was allegedly shopping for bomb ingredients on eBay.
As the FBI sorts through the many pieces of physical evidence, they also continue to try to locate two men who investigators say found an unexploded pressure cooker bomb in West 27th Street that they believe Rahami left in a suitcase.
The pair was seen removing the device and walking off with the luggage.
“We want the bag,” Miller said. “It may have evidence, it may have explosive residue, forensics and it’s very valuable.”
Rahami, 28, was arrested on Monday following the shootout with Linden police. He remains hospitalized and is being held on $5.2 million bail.
On Wednesday, a Manhattan U.S. magistrate judge refused a request by public defenders to schedule an initial appearance for Rahami on federal charges.
U.S. Magistrate Judge Gabriel W. Gorenstein noted that court rules require an arrested person be brought before the court “without unnecessary delay.”
He said there is no evidence contrary to government claims that Rahami remains held on state charges in New Jersey and has not yet been arrested on the federal charges.
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