US bombing suspect vowed 'bombs will be heard' in streets

2016-09-21 07:02
New York City bombing suspect Ahmad Khan Rahami is taken into custody after a shoot-out with police. (Nicolaus Czarnecki,Boston Herald via AP)

New York City bombing suspect Ahmad Khan Rahami is taken into custody after a shoot-out with police. (Nicolaus Czarnecki,Boston Herald via AP)

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New York - Ahmad Khan Rahami vowed to martyr himself rather than be caught after setting off explosives in New York and New Jersey, and he'd hoped in a handwritten journal championing jihad that "the sounds of bombs will be heard in the streets," federal terrorism charges lodged against him on Tuesday alleged.

Criminal complaints in Manhattan and New Jersey federal courts provided chilling descriptions of what authorities say drove the Afghan-born US citizen to set off explosives in New York and New Jersey, including a bomb that injured over two dozen people when it blew up on a busy Manhattan street.

Meanwhile, more details emerged on Tuesday about Rahami's past, including the disclosure that the FBI had looked into him in 2014 but came up with nothing.

Desire to be a martyr

According to the court complaints, Rahami's journal included a passage that accused the US government of slaughtering Muslim holy warriors in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria and elsewhere.

"Inshallah (God willing) the sounds of the bombs will be heard in the streets. Gun shots to your police. Death to your OPPRESSION," the journal ended.

One portion expressed concern at the prospect of being caught before being able to carry out a suicide attack and the desire to be a martyr, the complaints said.

Another section included a reference to "pipe bombs" and a "pressure cooker bomb" and declared: "In the streets they plan to run a mile," an apparent reference to one of the blast sites, a charity run in a New Jersey shore town.

There also were laudatory references to Osama bin Laden, Anwar al-Awlaki - the American-born Muslim cleric who was killed in a 2011 drone strike and whose preaching has inspired other acts of violence - and Nidal Hasan, the former Army officer who went on a deadly shooting rampage in 2009 at Fort Hood, Texas, the complaints said.

Authorities said some of the journal was unintelligible because it was damaged in gunfire when Rahmani, 28, initiated a shootout that led to his capture on Monday outside a bar in Linden, New Jersey. Initially charged with attempted murder of police officers, he was held on $5.2m bail.

Rahmani remains hospitalised with gunshot wounds. It wasn't immediately clear whether he had a lawyer who could comment on the charges.

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