New York bomb suspect travelled to Pakistan, Afghanistan many times

New York, Sep 20 (IANS) New York bombings suspect, Ahmad Khan Rahami, an Afghanistan-born American, had travelled multiple times to Pakistan and Afghanistan, and was even married to a Pakistani woman, investigations have revealed.

Rahami, 28, travelled to Quetta in Pakistan, which is said to be a stronghold of Islamic extremists, as well as to Kandahar in Afghanistan, reported UK daily Independent.

On his visit to Quetta in July 2011, he married a Pakistani woman.

Two years later, he made another trip to Pakistan along with his brother, Mohammad, and stayed there for a year, Independent reported. He stayed with his family members, who were refugees, in Quetta.

He was questioned every time he returned to the United States, as is standard procedure, but was not on the radar as someone who might have been radicalised.

According to Rahami’s neighbours in New Jersey, his behaviour had changed after he returned from his trip to Pakistan and Afghanistan. Flee Jones, who claimed to have known Rahami since they were teenagers, told reporters that he became more religious, started growing a beard and dressed differently after he returned from Afghanistan in 2014.

Rahami was taken into custody on Monday after a shootout with police in Linden, New Jersey and has been charged with murder. He is suspected of Saturday’s bombings in New York City and Seaside Park, New Jersey, and is believed to be connected to pipe bombs found Sunday night in Elizabeth, New Jersey, CNN quoted sources as saying.

Rahami was born in Afghanistan and came to the United States along with his father in 1995, seeking asylum. He became a citizen of the United States in 2011.

He is now in custody.

The New York City Police Department had earlier on Monday released a photograph of Rahami as the suspect in the Manhattan explosion incident, that left 29 people injured.

–IANS

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