Investigators focused on the motivation and inspiration of the bombing sequela.


Investigators focused on the motivation and inspiration of the bombing sequela.

The main suspect in this weekend’s bombing in New York and New Jersey, ahmad khan rahami, was captured and injured yesterday. Investigators are now focusing on his possible motives. They were also curious about his international travels. Let’s talk more to NPR’s Dina temple-raston. Good morning, dina.

DINA temple-raston, wired: good morning.

Edward green: so after a very tense weekend, I mean, it’s over. There were a lot of plays in linden, New Jersey yesterday. It sounded like.

TEMPLE-RASTON: yes, the police had a dramatic shootout and two police officers were injured. Rahami was taken to a hospital in New Jersey to treat his gunshot wounds. He was arrested yesterday morning on suspicion of trying to kill a policeman in a New Jersey bar where he was found guilty of killing five people.

Edward green: he’s snoozing at the door. I guess they woke him up, ready to start – and started firing at them.

Templeton: he just pulled out a gun and immediately punched a policeman into his stomach. He had a bulletproof vest, so – the cop – so he wasn’t hurt too much. Now, officials are questioning his brother and his father to see if they can light up anything that might inspire him, or whether they helped him in some way.

Greene: New York mayor Bill DE Blasio says it’s a terrorist act, and I mean it’s the language — it certainly gets people’s attention. Do officials think there are groups behind it? Is he alone, or is he with his family? What do they know so far?

TEMPLE-RASTON: there are some interesting clues that the police and fbi are following. First, a note was found in a plastic bag covered with pressure bombs that failed to take off in Manhattan. It was the twenty-seventh street, and a bomb exploded four blocks on Saturday night, injuring dozens of people.

Edward green: yes.

TEMPLE-RASTON: in that picture, they found the Boston marathon bomber. And investigators are looking for patterns to see if Rahami might share an ideology with a Boston bomber as a parody attack.

Edward green: I spoke to you yesterday about the Boston marathon bomb – pressure cooker and what you described. I mean, are there any other similarities between these attacks and what happened in Boston?

Temple-raston: yes. It goes well beyond equipment. Rahami suspects that the pressure bombs are more powerful than the Boston bombs. It has a more complicated detonator and launch system. But Rahami’s personal story reveals similarities. He is an afghan-american, often returning to Afghanistan and Pakistan.

He spent a lot of time – a lot of time in places with violent islamic groups. You may recall that the older brother, Tamerlan Tsarnaev, had returned to dagestan in the Boston bombing.

Edward green: yes.

TEMPLE-RASTON: this is Russia in the southernmost province of the country. Then he returned to the United States after a period of time to try to fight there. Rahami seems to have spent nearly a year in Quetta, a city on the border between Pakistan and Afghanistan. This is where the Afghan taliban ruling council or the shura council is located. Al qaeda also exists there. And he spent some time in Karachi, Pakistan, where the taliban have a huge presence. So the investigators haven’t made any conclusions about this or his motives, but clearly these trips are a priority area.

Edward green: I mean, I mean, if he’s been there for a while, he might wonder if he ever had military training with these groups.

Temple-raston: that’s true. The investigators have not yet found conclusive evidence that he did so, but they told me that the bombs he made were too complex, so they might need some kind of training. I mean, his equipment actually went out, which means some practice. I mean, they could be pressure cookers, but this is a similar place to Boston. There is something puzzling about the case.

You know, why did he choose his goals? In the 2010 times square bomber, who trained in Pakistan, he chose times square because of its symbolism. But what does it mean to be a symbol of the hutongs on the 23rd street?

Edward green: yes.

TEMPLE-RASTON: one of Rahami’s goals? So they try to connect all of these things together, trying to figure out what motivates him, and who he might be associated with.

Edward green: well, try to learn as much as you can from NPR’s dina temple-raston. Thank you very much, dina.

Temple-raston: you’re welcome.


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