New York and New Jersey bombing suspect Ahmad Khan Rahami has been detained by police after a shootout.
The 28-year-old, who was born in Afghanistan but is a naturalised US citizen, was named by the FBI as wanted in connection with an explosion in the Chelsea neighbourhood of Manhattan, as well as a pipe bomb which exploded in New Jersey.
It was several hours after an alert was sent to New Yorkers’ mobile phones urging them to be vigilant. Broadcasters showed footage of Rahami being loaded in the back of an ambulance.
Linden Mayor Derek Armstead told WABC that the owner of a bar found someone sleeping in the hallway and called police.
“One of our police officers went to investigate and to wake him up, and realised that he was [Rahami], the suspect that had been being sought in the bombings,” Armstead said. “He realised it was the suspect and, within moments, the suspect fired on him. And thank God that he had his vest on. And I think that was very helpful for him. I think that saved his life.”
After he shot the officer, Rahami proceeded to walk down the street firing a handgun, Linden Police Captain James Sarnicki said.
“The gentleman got up and started walking down the street in a westerly direction,” Sarnicki said. “I’m told that he was randomly discharging his handgun and one of the officers was able to get close enough to him and return fire.”
The officer who was shot in the bar was wearing a bulletproof vest and was not seriously injured, CBS2 reported. Several reports said a second officer was also injured.
Video from the scene showed Rahami being loaded into an ambulance after the shootout.
An FBI poster had earlier warned Rahami could be “armed and dangerous”.
It also described him as around five foot six and weighing approximately 200 pounds.
Conflict News cited the Daily Beast as saying he was not on any federal terror watch lists.
A mobile alert has been sent out asking New York residents to dial 911 if they see Rahami.
Governor Andrew Cuomo said as investigators gathered information they learned there were “certain commonalities among the bombs,” leading authorities to believe “that there was a common group behind the bombs.”
The Chelsea explosion left 29 people injured on Saturday night.
A pressure-cooker bomb packed with shrapnel exploded in the Chelsea neighbourhood at about 9pm local time (2am UK time).
One pipe bomb exploded and two more were recovered along the route of a 5K charity race at Seaside Park in aid of Marines on Saturday morning. No one was injured.
According to NBC News, an address was being searched in Elizabeth, New Jersey, in direct connection with Rahami.
Five suspected explosive devices were found earlier at a train station in the New Jersey city.
Elizabeth’s mayor said one of five devices found in a backpack near a train station exploded while a bomb squad robot was attempting to disarm it.
Cuomo had said on Sunday that there was no evidence to suggest that the bombing was related to international terrorism, but he appeared to do a U-turn on that on Monday.
He said: “Today’s information suggests it may be foreign related, but we’ll see where it goes.”
Five people have also been questioned in relation to the New York blast.
The Associated Press reported that FBI spokeswoman Kelly Langmesser said “a vehicle of interest in the investigation” of the Manhattan explosion was stopped. She said no one has been charged.
Authorities were still working to determine whether there is a connection between multiple explosive devices found over the weekend in two states: the Manhattan explosion, an unexploded pressure cooker device found nearby, a pipe bomb blast at a Jersey shore town and five explosive devices at a New Jersey train station.
The BBC cited reports which said that both New York devices were pressure cooker bombs, which also featured fairy lights and mobile phones as detonators.
Authorities said the Manhattan bomb contained residue of an explosive often used for target practice that can be picked up in many sporting goods stores, according to the Associated Press.
All those who were injured in the incident have since been released from hospital.
The weekend saw a number of incidents, including bomb explosions in New York and New Jersey, as well as a mass stabbing in Minnesota.
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