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Feds In NJ, NY Charge Rahami With Using Weapons Of Mass Destruction

Ahmad Khan Rahami
Ahmad Khan Rahami Photo Credit: COURTESY: FBI

Authorities in New Jersey and New York on Tuesday brought federal charges against Ahmad Khan Rahami for "conducting and attempting to conduct bombings in New York City and various locations in New Jersey" on Saturday and Sunday.

Rahami, 28, of Elizabeth, New Jersey, is charged in U.S. District Court in Newark with two counts of using and attempting to use weapons of mass destruction – for a bomb that detonated before a charity 5k run in Seaside Park at the Jersey Shore on Saturday morning and for explosive devices later found at the Elizabeth train station.

If convicted on those crimes alone, Rahami could face a lifetime federal prison sentence.

He is also charged in federal court in New Jersey with one count of bombing and attempting to bomb a place of public use and public transportation system, which also carries a maximum lifetime prison sentence upon conviction.

The FBI’s Newark Field Office also charged Rahami with one count of attempting to destroy property by means of fire or explosive, and two counts of using or trying to use weapons of mass destruction.

The U.S. Marshals Service will first take Rahami to federal court in Manhattan to be presented with similar charges there in connection with the detonation of a bomb that injured more than 30 people Saturday night, authorities said Tuesday night.

News of the charges was released jointly by U.S. Attorney General Loretta E. Lynch, Assistant Attorney General for National Security John P. Carlin, U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman for the District of New Jersey, U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara for the Southern District of New York, FBI Director James B. Comey, Assistant Director-in-Charge William Sweeney of the FBI New York Field Office, Special Agent in Charge Timothy Gallagher of the FBI Newark Field Office and New York Police Commissioner James O’Neill.

The group praised “the outstanding efforts of the FBI’s New York Joint Terrorism Task Force, which principally consists of agents from the FBI and detectives from the NYPD, and the FBI’s New Jersey Joint Terrorism Task Force.”

Bharara and Fishman also thanked the Counterterrorism Section of the Department of Justice’s National Security Division for its assistance.

The federal prosecution in New Jersey is being handled by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Dennis C. Carletta, Francisco J. Navarro, Margaret Ann Mahoney, and James M. Donnelly of Fishman’s National Security Unit, with assistance from Trial Attorney Brian Morgan of the National Security Division’s Counterterrorism Section.

The prosecution in the Southern District of New York is being handled by that Office’s Terrorism and International Narcotics Unit. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Nicholas J. Lewin, Emil J. Bove III, Andrew J. DeFilippis, and Shawn G. Crowley are in charge of the prosecution, with assistance from Trial Attorney Brian Morgan of the National Security Division’s Counterterrorism Section.

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