REUTERS - A man accused of bombings in New York and New Jersey last month that injured dozens is set to be arraigned on New Jersey state charges on Thursday, one of his attorneys said on Tuesday.
Ahmad Khan Rahami, who was born in Afghanistan, is set to be arraigned at the Union County Courthouse by video feed from his hospital room where he is recovering from gunshot wounds suffered during his arrest, Alexander Shalom said. Union County prosecutors charged Rahami with five counts of attempted murder of a police officer and weapons charges.
Shalom, an attorney for the American Civil Liberties Union, is temporarily representing Rahami on separate federal charges until public defenders can take over the case.
Rahami, 28, has been held in a Newark, New Jersey, hospital with wounds suffered during a shootout with police on September 19 when he was arrested. He faces federal charges in both states stemming from a bombing the previous weekend in Manhattan’s Chelsea neighborhood that injured 31 people, and explosives found in two New Jersey locations. No one was killed in the blasts.
He also is accused of planting another pressure-cooker bomb in Chelsea that failed to explode, and multiple devices at a train station in Elizabeth, New Jersey. One of those exploded as a bomb squad robot attempted to defuse it.
Authorities described Rahami as a “jihadist” who begged for martyrdom and praised late al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden. Rahami bought bomb components on eBay, made a video of himself testing out homemade explosives, and kept a journal expressing outrage at the U.S. “slaughter” of mujahideen in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria and the Palestinian Territories, federal officials allege.
Reporting by Curtis Skinner in San Francisco; Editing by Sandra Maler