Ahmad Khan Rahami, the suspect in placing two bombs in Manhattan on Saturday – one of them exploded, injuring twenty-nine people, while the other was disarmed — has been arrested in Linden, New Jersey. He was spotted by residents sleeping in a vestibule next to a bar, and they called the police. Fire was exchanged as the police closed in on him, and two policemen, and Rahami himself, were injured, but not seriously. The Rahami family’s chicken restaurant had problems city ordinances in Elizabeth, New Jersey, and in 2011 the family sued that city and its police department for discrimination and harassment.
- Ahmad Khan Rahami, the suspect in placing two bombs in Manhattan on Saturday – one of them exploded, injuring twenty-nine people, while the other was disarmed — has been arrested in Linden, New Jersey.
He was spotted by residents sleeping in a vestibule next to a bar, and they called the police. Fire was exchanged as the police closed in on him, and two policemen, and Rahami himself, were injured, but not seriously.
The police said that Rahami was linked to the bomb explosion in Chelsea after he was identified on surveillance video nearby.
Earlier on Monday the authorities sent an email and SMS alert to millions of people in the New York area warning them that he was “armed and dangerous.”
- FBI agent Bill Sweeney said the initial investigators had “directly linked” Rahami to several bombs: one that exploded in Chelsea, Manhattan on Saturday night, injuring 29 people; a second unexploded pressure cooker bomb found four blocks away; pipe bombs found in Seaside, New Jersey on Saturday; and a device discovered near the train station in Elizabeth, New Jersey, on Sunday night.
Sweeny added: “I have no indication that there’s a cell operating in the area or in the city,” he says, with the caveat that “the investigation is ongoing.”
- In 2011, after several years of problems the Rahami family-run restaurant – the First American Fried Chicken restaurant, which the family opened in 2002 – had with the authorities, Rahami sued the police for discrimination, alleging that he and his family were subject to “selective enforcement” of city rules.
Rahami claimed that police were forcing the family’s chicken restaurant to close too early, while letting other similar restaurants in the area remain open. The police acted after neighbors complained that the restaurant was open twenty-four hours a day, in violation of city and state regulations.
In his 2011 suit, Rahami charged that the police was “harassing” and “intimidating” his family over a period of several years.
Rahami brought the lawsuit along with his father, 53-year-old Mohammad Sr., and his brother, Mohammad.
In court documents, the family claimed that they suffered racial abuse from residents in Elizabeth, New Jersey, who said that “Muslims don’t belong here.”
In the lawsuit, which was filed in Newark, lawyers for the family claimed “discrimination,” “false arrest,” and “abuse of protest.”
The lawsuit claimed that the problems with police began in 2008, when the family started to receive summons and tickets for not closing the restaurant at 10 p.m. each night.
The lawsuit charges that the plaintiffs and their business suffered “false and baseless complaints” from unidentified people between 2009 and 2011.
The prosecution argued that in 2008 the restaurant failed to receive an exemption to the 10 p.m. closing time ordinance, and this is why police officers kept giving the owners tickets. Still, the lawsuit alleged that the defendants – municipal officials, including several named police officers — sought on several occasions in 2009 to “harass, humiliate, intimidate, retaliate against and force” the family to close by 10 p.m.
“The tickets, summons and complaints were all baseless, unfounded, and designed solely to intimidate and harass plaintiffs,” claimed the papers the family’s lawyers filed with the court.
The family charged that several police officers continued to issue tickets and summonses even after the plaintiffs closed the business at 10 p.m. as required.
Another officer allegedly told them that “Muslims should not have businesses here” and are contributing to a “high crime area.”
On 15 June 2009, four police officers came again to the restaurant to issue a ticket, and the family tried to record the conversation with a handheld device. A fight ensued, and Rahami and his father were arrested. The father was let go, but Rahami was charged with disorderly conduct and preventing the police from lawfully performing an official function.
The lawsuit was dismissed with prejudice in 2012, meaning it cannot be brought again.
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