Ahmad Khan Rahami, [a suspect who was] earlier named a person of interest in the weekend explosions in New York City and New Jersey, was taken into custody and hospitalized this morning after a shootout with police in Linden, New Jersey, the Union County acting prosecutor said today.
by EMILY SHAPIRO, AARON KATERSKY, JOSH MARGOLIN and MIKE LEVINE
(GMA) – Rahami has been “directly linked” to the devices used in the New York and New Jersey explosions on Saturday, FBI official Bill Sweeney said.
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said this afternoon there is “every reason to believe this was an act of terror.”
But there is “no indication that there is a cell operating in the area or in the city,” Sweeney said, adding that “the investigation is ongoing.”
“We will continue to conduct investigative activity to ensure we completely understand Rahami’s social network,” Sweeney said. “For that reason, I do not plan to answer specific questions about our techniques, or our knowledge of the devices.”
Rahami was taken into custody in Linden, about 4 miles south of Elizabeth, after being injured in the altercation, during which a responding officer was shot in his bulletproof vest and second officer was injured.
Rahami was taken to a hospital in Newark, where he is undergoing surgery, said Grace Park, the Union County acting prosecutor. The extent of his injuries was not immediately clear.
The confrontation happened at about 10:30 a.m., when an owner of a Linden bar reported that someone was sleeping in a hallway of his establishment, Linden Mayor Derek Armstead told ABC New York station WABC.
The bar owner, Harry Banes, told ABC station WABC in an exclusive interview that “it was my gut reaction” to call the police.
Armstead said, “One of our police officers went to investigate and to wake him up and realized that he was [Rahami], the suspect that had been being sought in the bombings.”
“He realized it was the suspect, and within moments, the suspect fired on him,” Armstead said. “And thank God that he had his vest on. And I think that was very helpful for him. I think that saved his life.”
President Barack Obama said this afternoon that he spoke on the phone with the officers who apprehended Rahami.