New York and New Jersey Bombings: What We Know


Source: ABC News

Suspect Ahmad Khan Rahami after being injured and captured by police

Natalia Torres, Staff Writer

On Saturday, Sept. 17, two bombs went off in two neighboring states.  In the morning, a bomb in Seaside Park, New Jersey exploded but injured no one.  Later that night, a bomb went off in the neighborhood of Chelsea in New York City, resulting in 29 non-critical injuries.  Several undetonated other bombs were discovered around these areas and were quickly and safely removed from the scene. The FBI began investigating and was able to link these incidents to one suspect, a 28 year-old man named Ahmad Khan Rahami.  After further investigation of the suspect and the crimes, the attacks were said to be acts of terrorism.

As a tourist, the news of these attacks doesn’t make me not want to visit. I still love New York and want to go. I just feel bad for the people who live there who are currently living in fear, especially because of everything that has happened there before

— Angelle Garcia

Investigators are now trying to understand Rahami’s motives as well as other details about the crime.  There is reason to believe that this alleged act of terror may have been a job completed by several individuals, and not only Rahami.  Apart from this, the FBI is attempting to find a possible connection between the suspect and terror groups such as ISIS.  Recently, ISIS has been calling for individual attacks from members in the West, so it is possible that this was an act on their behalf.  In fact, investigators noticed a reference to Abu Muhammad al-Adnani, a high-ranking ISIS member who was killed in August.  Adnani urged followers to attack targets in the West.

Additionally, information surfaced revealing that Rahami was flagged twice in 2014 for questioning and scrutiny.  On the first occasion, a customs official pulled him out for a secondary screening.  The National Targeting Center, which inspects potential threats, was notified and a report was passed onto the FBI, but nothing came of this.  A few months later, federal agents again examined Rahami after his father called authorities worried that his son may be displaying terrorist sympathies.  Despite this being the second time in 2014 that he was flagged for review, the report was found to not require further investigation.

“The bombing happened 45 minutes from where I lived in New York. It’s incredibly fortunate that no one was killed, but that doesn’t change the fact that someone deliberately tried to take lives. I wish that more people were able to accept each other for their differences, because that can start with just one person. It makes me incredibly sad that something like this can happen so often,” sophomore Sophia Heilman said.

In light of these events, President Obama has urged people to report suspicious activity as well as to not allow fear created by individuals such as Rahami or organizations such as ISIL to get the best of you. The Obama Administration believes that it is important for people to not succumb to that fear, because if we do, they win.  Furthermore, he urges the country to stay united and hopeful during these times.