Tags: Mohammad Rahami | FBI | Bomb Suspect | Terror Attacks

NY Bomb Suspect's Father Told FBI: 'Keep an Eye on Him'

Image: NY Bomb Suspect's Father Told FBI: 'Keep an Eye on Him'

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By    |   Friday, 23 Sep 2016 09:04 AM

Mohammad Rahami, the father of Ahmad Khan Rahami, the suspect in the New York and New Jersey bombing incidents said he warned the FBI two years ago about his son, telling them "keep an eye on him."

In an interview with The New York Times,  Mr. Rahami detailed what he told the FBI.

Mr. Rahami's first contact with law enforcement came in August 2014, when police were called to their home because Ahmad Rahami had stabbed his brother.

"I told the FBI to keep an eye on him. They said, 'Is he a terrorist?' I said: 'I don't know. I can't guarantee you 100 percent if he is a terrorist. I don't know which groups he is in. I can't tell you," Mr. Rahami told the Times.

Mr. Rahami said he told the FBI about his son's fandom of Islamic extremism, that he admired al-Qaida propagandist Anwar al-Awlaki and pointed out "the way he speaks, his videos, when I see these things things that he listens to, for example, al-Qaida, Taliban, he watches their videos, their poetry."

In Sept. 2014, the FBI told Mr. Rahami his son had been cleared of terror ties and the case was closed. Officials said his son had associated with "bad people," not terrorists.

The FBI, however, said Mr. Rahami did not provide them with the details he claims.

An FBI statement said it had investigated Ahmad Khan Rahami for terror ties and found nothing that warranted a closer look.

"At no time did the father advise interviewing agents of any radicalization or alleged links to al-Qaida, the Taliban, or their propaganda," the statement said, according to the Times. 

Mr. Rahami told the Times that the FBI's contradiction of his statements was wrong. "It's a lie," and "they didn't do their job."

Officials told the Times that customs officials flagged Ahmad Khan Rahami in 2014 after he returned to the U.S. after a nearly year-long visit to Pakistan. Investigators are looking at whether he was trained in bomb-making while he was overseas, and if he had connections to any terror networks.

"His travels give us these two distinct choices, both of which are bad," a counterterrorism official told The Times.

Ahmad Khan Rahami is accused of building 10 bombs, the Times reports. One exploded in lower Manhattan and injured 31, one detonated in Seaside Park, N.J. with no injuries, and five were found outside a train station in Elizabeth, N.J.

The counterterrorism official suggested that Rahami had training. "Most guys who go on the internet make one type of bomb. Here's a guy who did two types of pressure-cooker bombs and two different kinds of pipe bombs," the official said.

Mr. Rahami said he had been worried about his son before he spoke to federal agents and before the stabbing incident. He said his son's internet activities were a "disease."

After he stabbed his brother, Mr. Rahami visited his son in jail and Ahmad Rahami asked him for forgiveness. Mr. Rahami said he would not forgive his son until the FBI cleared him of being a terrorist.

After the FBI cleared his son, Mr. Rahami said, "They didn't find anything on him. But they didn't interview him. I still had my doubts. I was never 100 percent clear."

By sharing his concerns with law enforcement, Mr. Rahami said he did what he needed to do, but his son is an adult. "What was required of me, I did — and he's not a kid, he's 28 years old," he told the Times.

The bombing suspect remains hospitalized with gunshot wounds. Authorities said he wrote in a handwritten journal, "Death to your oppression."

Investigators have not been able to interview him because he is "incapacitated and intubated," according to Paul J. Fishman, the U.S. attorney for New Jersey.

The Washington Post reports that in July, Ahmad Rahami legally bought a gun and passed the federal background check to purchase it.

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Mohammad Rahami, the father of Ahmad Khan Rahami, the suspect in the New York and New Jersey bombing incidents said he warned the FBI two years ago about his son, telling them "keep an eye on him."
Mohammad Rahami, FBI, Bomb Suspect, Terror Attacks
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2016-04-23
Friday, 23 Sep 2016 09:04 AM
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