Bombing suspect Ahmad Rahami to be arraigned Thursday
NEW YORK, N.Y. — Ahmad Khan Rahami, who was wounded in shootout with police last month after allegedly setting off bombs in New York and New Jersey, will be arraigned this week, according to one of his attorneys.
Alexander Shalom, senior staff attorney for the American Civil Liberties Union, said Rahami will be arraigned Thursday afternoon at the Union County Courthouse in New Jersey via Skype from his hospital bed.
Rahami, 28, is charged with five counts of attempted murder of a law enforcement officer after the shootout with police in Linden, New Jersey, according to prosecutors. He is also charged with second-degree unlawful possession of a weapon and second-degree possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose.
He had been “incapacitated and intubated” in a hospital from wounds suffered in the shootout and has not had a court hearing, according to a federal court filing.
“I don’t have any update beyond the fact that he’s well enough to be arraigned,” Shalom said of his client’s medical condition.
Shalom is representing Rahami on federal, not state, charges. It’s unclear who is representing him on the state charges.
Rahami was charged in federal court with four counts: use of weapons of mass destruction, bombing a public place, destruction of property and use of a destructive device.
Complaints filed in federal court in Manhattan and New Jersey contain details from the investigation and Rahami’s handwritten journal, which was damaged in the police shootout.
The federal complaint describes how he came to Manhattan about two hours before the first blast on West 23rd Street in Chelsea, but does not explain a three-hour gap from then to when he is believed to have left the city via the Lincoln Tunnel at approximately 11:30 p.m., around the same time the New York Police Department and New York mayor held their first news conference regarding the incidents.
Rahami was arrested September 19 in New Jersey after the shootout with police on suspicion of detonating bombs days earlier, first in Seaside Park, New Jersey, and then in New York’s Chelsea neighborhood.
No one was injured when the New Jersey bomb exploded in a trash bin along the route of a Marine Corps charity race. The New York blast injured 29 people shortly before a second suspicious device was found nearby. That second bomb did not detonate.
Rahami, who born in Afghanistan, first came to the United States in 1995 and became a naturalized citizen in 2011. He had been living with his family in New Jersey.
Rahami was captured after the owner of a bar in Linden found him sleeping in the doorway of his bar. Harinder Bains, owner of Merdie’s Tavern, said he was watching CNN on his laptop from another business across the street. At first, he thought he was some “drunk guy” resting in the vestibule. Then, he recognized Rahami and called police.