NY and New Jersey bomb suspect in custody after shootout

Update 4.30pm: A suspect wanted in connection with explosions in New York City and New Jersey has been taken into custody following a shoot-out with police officers, a law enforcement official said.

The official said two officers were shot in the encounter in Linden, New Jersey.

Authorities were looking for Ahmad Khan Rahami, a naturalised US citizen from Afghanistan with an address in Elizabeth, New Jersey.

Elizabeth mayor Christian Bollwage said county authorities told him that the officers shot in Linden are expected to be OK.

He said was one was struck in a protective vest and the other in the hand.

President Barack Obama said investigators are focusing on a "person of interest" in the New York and New Jersey bombings, but see no connection to the stabbings in Minnesota.

Mr Obama said the country is "extremely fortunate" nobody was killed in the bombings.

He said he has spoken to the governors of New Jersey and New York and pledged all needed federal assistance.

He spoke around the time police in New Jersey arrested Rahami.

Update 3pm: Police have connected the New York City and New Jersey bombings, saying the same man is being sought for questioning in both.

Update 1.15pm: New York's governor has now said the Manhattan bombing could be an act of terrorism with a foreign connection.

Earlier: The New York Police Department said that it was looking for a 28-year-old man for questioning over a weekend explosion in a Manhattan neighbourhood that injured 29 people.

Mayor Bill de Blasio said Ahmad Khan Rahami, a naturalised citizen from Afghanistan, could be armed and dangerous.

"We need to get this guy in right away," Mr de Blasio said on CNN. "My experience is once the FBI zeroes in on someone, they will get them."

Authorities are still working to determine whether there is a connection between multiple explosive devices found over the weekend in two states: the Manhattan explosion, an unexploded pressure cooker device blocks away, a pipe bomb blast at a Jersey shore town and five explosive devices at a New Jersey train station.

On Sunday night, FBI agents in Brooklyn stopped "a vehicle of interest" in the investigation of the Manhattan explosion, according to FBI spokeswoman Kelly Langmesser.

She would not provide further details, but a government official and a law enforcement official who were briefed on the investigation said that five people in the car were being questioned at an FBI building in Manhattan.

No one has been charged with any crime, and the investigation is continuing, Ms Langmesser said.

Democratic Governor Andrew Cuomo, touring the site of Saturday's blast that injured 29 people in Manhattan's Chelsea neighbourhood, said there did not appear to be any link to international terrorism. He said the unexploded pressure cooker device appeared "similar in design" to the bomb that exploded in Chelsea, but he did not provide details.

On Sunday, a federal law enforcement official said the Chelsea bomb contained a residue of Tannerite, an explosive often used for target practice that can be picked up in many sporting goods stores.

NY and New Jersey bomb suspect in custody after shootout

The discovery of Tannerite may be important as authorities probe whether the two New York City devices and the pipe bomb at the Jersey shore are connected.

Mobile phones were discovered at the site of both bombings, but no Tannerite residue was identified in the New Jersey bomb remnants, in which a black powder was detected, said the official.

The pipe bomb exploded on Saturday in Seaside Park, New Jersey, before a charity 5K race to benefit Marines and sailors. The race was cancelled and no one was injured.

Late on Sunday, five suspicious devices were found near a train station in Elizabeth, New Jersey.

Elizabeth mayor Christian Bollwage said the devices were found in a bag in a rubbish bin by two men who reported seeing wires and a pipe coming out of the package. One of the devices exploded as a bomb squad used a robot to try to disarm it. No injuries were reported.

There was no immediate word on whether the devices were similar to those in nearby Seaside Park or New York City.

Officials have not revealed any details about the make-up of the pressure cooker device, except to say it had wires and a cellphone attached to it. On Sunday night, police blew up the device, rendering it safe. A forensic examination of the device will be sent to the FBI Laboratory at Quantico, Virginia, police said.

Homemade pressure cooker bombs were used in the Boston Marathon attacks in 2013 that killed three people and injured more than 260.

On Sunday, a team of five FBI agents searched an Uber driver's vehicle that had been damaged in the Manhattan blast. The driver had just picked up three passengers and was driving when the explosion occurred, shattering the car's windows and leaving gaping holes in the rear passenger-side door.

The Chelsea explosion left many rattled in a city that had marked the 15th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks only a week earlier and that was schedule to hold a United Nations meeting Monday to address the refugee crisis in Syria.

Witnesses described a deafening blast that shattered store front windows and injured bystanders with shrapnel in the mostly residential neighbourhood on the city's west side.

One New Yorker, Anthony Stanhope, was in his apartment when the blast went off. At first he thought it was thunder and lightning.

"Then all of a sudden, car horns went off, and I thought, 'Oh, my God, this isn't lightning. This is too loud," Mr Stanhope said. "This is a bomb."

More in this Section

Warren challenges Biden for top spot in Democratic primary pollsWarren challenges Biden for top spot in Democratic primary polls

Homeless man found guilty of stalking Harry StylesHomeless man found guilty of stalking Harry Styles

Christopher Columbus statue vandalised in US national holiday protestChristopher Columbus statue vandalised in US national holiday protest

Far right marchers vent anger at Ukraine’s president over peace planFar right marchers vent anger at Ukraine’s president over peace plan


Lifestyle

Helen O’Callaghan says we are the least strict in all of Europe.Praise over punishment: Irish parents least strict in Europe - study

Kya deLongchamps detects a hint of rebellion behind the ritual of afternoon tea.Vintage View: English tradition of afternoon tea won't exit with Brexit

Friends and Young Offenders actors Shane Casey and Dominic MacHale speak to Pat Fitzpatrick about struggling to make it but why they are not seeking out fame.‘I was down to a euro’ - The Young Offenders actors tell of struggle to make it in acting

Gerry Fitzgerald runs Bandon Books Plus in Riverview Shopping Centre, Bandon, Co Cork.We Sell Books: Turning over a new leaf from bank to bookshop in Bandon

More From The Irish Examiner