Bombing Suspect's Dad Told Cops His Son Was a Terrorist

And then he took it back shortly after his 2014 statement
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 20, 2016 12:14 PM CDT
Bombing Suspect's Dad Told Cops His Son Was a Terrorist
Ahmad Rahami is taken into custody after a shootout with police Monday in Linden, NJ.   (Ed Murray/NJ Advance Media via AP)

The father of the suspect accused of two separate bombings in New York and New Jersey over the weekend, as well as planting bombs in a third location, reportedly told cops two years ago that his son, Ahmad Rahami, was a terrorist, two senior law enforcement officials tell the New York Times. That statement to New Jersey cops, which ended up spurring an FBI "assessment"—the agency's lowest-tier probe—was made in 2014 when Rahami was arrested for allegedly stabbing his own brother in a domestic dispute; he reportedly spent three months in jail as a result of the charges in that case, though a grand jury didn't end up indicting him. But when Newark agents talked to Mohammad Rahami as part of the investigation, he apparently took back his original statement and claimed he initially said it because he was angry at his son.

Confusing things a bit more, Mohammad Rahami talked to reporters in Elizabeth, NJ, Tuesday and said, "I called the FBI two years ago." When pressed on whether he was referring to his son being a terrorist, the elder Rahami first left the scene in a huff, then said later he didn't think his son was a terrorist and that "the FBI, they know that." Meanwhile, an anonymous law enforcement official tells CNN Rahami's wife took off from the US a few days before the bombings and that officials are trying to find her for questioning. She appears to originally be from Pakistan, and the official says US authorities are talking with Pakistani and UAE officials. CNN also delves into why Rahami wasn't on a watch list and how much his family might have known about his alleged radicalization. (Read more Ahmad Rahami stories.)

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