‘New York bombing suspect’s family may have had pro-jihadist leanings’

New York, Sep 23 (IANS) New York bombing suspect Ahmad Rahami’s family may have had pro-jihadist views, the media reported on Friday.

Site Intelligence Group published Facebook posts by Rahami’s sister sharing quotes of radical cleric Anwar al-Awlaki, while in other posts she appears to praise terrorists, CBS News reported.

“It seems like the family may have adopted some of the viewpoints as he did, but again, it’s too early to say if they were directly involved with the attack itself,” said Tara Maller, a senior policy advisor at the Counter Extremism Project.

Rahami’s friends and family have told investigators that he changed after a year-long trip to Afghanistan in 2014 and became more religious and started distancing himself.

In an interview, Rahami’s father said he warned federal agents in 2014 about some of his son’s suspicious activities but Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) slammed the reports saying “at no time did the father advise interviewing agents of any radicalisation or alleged links to the terrorists”.

Rahami’s current wife, Asia Bibi Rahimi, was interviewed by the FBI in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) on Tuesday and said she had no knowledge of her husband’s alleged plot, a senior law enforcement official told NBC News.

Meanwhile, Rahami is still hospitalised after a shoot-out with New Jersey police.

Twenty-nine persons were injured in the New York City bombing while no one was injured in Seaside Park, where a military charity race was due to take place. Rahami is also considered a person of interest for the five pipe bombs found near the Elizabeth, New Jersey, train station on Sunday.

–IANS

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