Late Sunday night five bombs were found near the train station in Elizabeth, New Jersey. Two homeless men found a very heavy backpack containing five explosives, some of which were pipe bombs, on the top of a municipal garbage can. They took the bag about 200-300-feet and then noticed that the bag had pipes and wires. The men left it in the street and called the police. Bomb squads and FBI were soon on the scene.
A bomb robot was dispatched, but before it could disarm the multiple improvised explosive devices, the bomb detonated on its own power shortly after 3:00 a.m. Monday. There were no injuries.
The New Jersey Transit rail system halted rail service near Newark Airport due to the police activity, but all service has since been restored, but morning rush hour public transportation could see delays due to heightened security. Nearly 1,000 police officers and National Guard troops would be sent to bus stops, train stations, and airports.
Law enforcement also conducted raids in Elizabeth, N.J. in an attempt to find the main suspect Ahmad Khan Rahami. It is believed that FBI took five suspects into custody including Rahami’s father and two brothers. The cell phone left behind with pressure cooker bomb in Chelsea helped police identify Rahami. Rahami may also have been identified by surveillance video appears to show the same man at the two locations in Chelsea where explosive devices were recovered following a large blast in Manhattan Saturday night that injured 29 people.
CBS News is reporting that sources told them Rahami is also sought in connection with the bombing in Seaside Park as well as the five explosive devices found in a backpack near a train station in his hometown of Elizabeth.
Five suspects were detained by the FBI in Brooklyn. They were driving on the Belt Parkway and may have a possible connection to the bombing in Chelsea.
Officials are not sure if any of the recent bombings in Chelsea, a 5K charity run by Marines in Seaside Park, N.J., or the Elizabeth bombs are connected. The bombs in N.J. and N.Y. utilized flip phones, but there was some differences in design. The two bombs in Chelsea have some of the signatures seen from bomb-making designs posted online, including in Al Qaeda’s Inspire magazine.
Both Chelsea bombs utilized Christmas lights for wiring, and the pressure cooker bomb found intact had a label on it for the chemical Tannerite, an explosive often used for target practice that can be picked up in many sporting goods stores. That pressure cooker bomb was described by a source as being extremely heavy, containing shrapnel.
Islamic State nor Al Qaeda didn’t make take credit for the New York and New Jersey incidents. ISIS did claim responsibility of the stabbing spree by Dahir Adan at the mall in St. Cloud, Minnesota.
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said “This is the nightmare scenario,” and that the Chelsea bombings could be the work of international terrorism.
“This was an intentional act, but we do not know the motivation. That’s what we have to do more work on,” said New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio. “We know there was a bombing. We will be very careful and patient to get to the full truth here.”
No one has been charged yet with the explosion, and the investigation is currently ongoing.
Call #800577TIPS with any information.