NYPD Investigating Chelsea Bomb Explosion


Authorities are looking for a naturalised Afghanistan citizen for questioning in a weekend explosion in a Manhattan neighborhood that injured 29 people as the governor conceded on Monday (Sept 19) that investigators could no longer rule out global terrorism.

Bill de Blasio says he could be armed and unsafe.

Authorities say Rahami is wanted in connection with pipe bombs found in New Jersey Sunday as well. Officials have been sifting through evidence retrieved from the scenes of the blasts in NY and New Jersey, a stabbing spree in Minnesota, and a backpack loaded with explosive devices discovered in Elizabeth, N.J.

The investigation is being conducted by a joint FBI-New York Police Department task force.

The investigation began when a pipe bomb blew up Saturday morning in Seaside Park, N.J., before a charity race to benefit Marines.

Mr Cuomo said that, while the bombs discovered in Manhattan and New Jersey were not identical, there were "certain commonalities" among the chemicals and technologies used.

"We need to get this guy in right away", Mr de Blasio said on CNN. "Things are moving very quickly".

The incident may have been an act of terrorism with a foreign connection, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo told the Associated Press Monday, a day after telling multiple media there was no evidence to suggest the link. One of the bombs exploded while being disarmed by a police bomb squad robot. No one was injured in that blast.

Then a shrapnel-packed pressure-cooker bomb exploded Saturday night in New York's Chelsea section, wounding 29 people, none seriously.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said it was clearly "an act of terrorism", although it hadn't been linked to an worldwide terrorist group. "It was a distress to people in the neighborhood", Mayor Christian Bollwage said at a press conference Monday morning outside the Elmora Avenue restaurant, which Rahami's family lived above.

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The intense investigation into the weekend bomb blasts in NY and New Jersey is leading authorities to signs of a possible terror cell in those two states, law enforcement officials told CNN Monday.

Rahami's involvement in the two bombings is unclear at this time, but officials believe Rahami is the man seen in surveillance footage rolling a duffel bag near the scene of the bombing in the Chelsea neighborhood of NY.

Authorities stopped a "vehicle of interest" in the NY blast last night near the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge in NY, the Federal Bureau of Investigation said. An officer went to investigate and recognized the man as Rahami, police and the mayor said.

After the bombing in the Chelsea neighborhood in New York City, Governor Andrew Cuomo and New York Mayor Bill deBlasio went to great lengths to assure New Yorkers that worldwide terrorism was not involved.

Two law enforcement officials said residue of tannerite - used primarily for making exploding targets for firearms practice - was found in material that had detonated in NY.

Cuomo was at Manhattan's Penn Station to thank state troopers and National Guard members for their work protecting the public during and after the New York City and New Jersey shore town bombings.

The official says two officers were shot in the encounter in Linden, New Jersey. The race was cancelled.

Obama stressed there was no known connection between the NY and New Jersey incidents and the Minnesota attack, but said the FBI are investigating the shopping mall mass stabbing as a potential act of terrorism. The Islamic State group claimed responsibility.

Late Sunday night, five explosive devices were discovered in a trash can at an Elizabeth train station, about 3 miles from where Rahami later was found asleep in the doorway of a bar.