Reports are now surfacing that Ahmad Khan Rahami’s father, Mohammad Rahami, reported to New Jersey police in 2014 that his son was hanging out with “undesirables” and that he was concerned that his son was a terrorist.
According to officials, reviews were done by federal agents who concluded that Ahmad Rahami had no terrorist ties. Despite these findings, it seems that the father’s fears were justified after all.
[Scroll Down For Video]
Ahmad Khan Rahami is allegedly linked to 10 explosive devices found in the region, including two pressure-cooker bombs, one of which exploded in Chelsea on Saturday night, injuring 29 people.
In an interview he gave to the press on Tuesday, Mohammed Rahami claimed he told FBI agents that his son went to Afghanistan multiple times and was possibly connected with terrorist cells. Mohammad’s neighbor said the father had expressed concern his son might be in contact with people overseas who were collecting explosives.
Ahmad Khan Rahami was arrested after a domestic dispute and accused of stabbing his brother. His father additionally told officers at that time that he felt his son was involved with terroristic groups.
The information was passed to the Joint Terrorism Task Force led by the FBI in Newark. The task force officers opened what is known as an assessment, the most basic of F.B.I. investigations, and interviewed the father, who then recanted his statement about his son. When asked why he recanted, Mohammed Rahami said he made the comment out of anger at his son.
Mohammad stated in the interview, “Two years ago I go to the F.B.I. because my son was doing really bad, O.K.?” he said. “But they check almost two months, they say, ‘He’s O.K., he’s clean, he’s not a terrorist.’ I say O.K.” He added: “Now they say he is a terrorist. I say O.K.”
When Ahmad Khan Rahami was captured after an intense shootout with officers on Monday, authorities claimed they found a notebook riddled with bullet holes and covered in blood. In the notebook, Rahami sympathized with Jihadist causes.
One officer that was involved in the shootout and found the notebook spoke about the investigation under anonymity. In a select section of the book, Ahmad Khan Rahami wrote of “killing the kuffar,” or the unbelievers. The official added he also praised Anwar al-Awlaki, Al Qaeda’s leading propagandist, who was killed in a drone strike in Yemen.
Authorities are reportedly looking into a series of trips that Rahami made to Afghanistan and Pakistan between 2010 and 2014, where he had a prolong stay for over a year. Authorities don’t believe he was part of a larger terrorist network, but they are investigating the possibility.
The FBI reported that they found no significant derogatory information in Rahami’s case. Sources for the FBI stated that the FBI does not have the resources to put every subject of a suspicious activity report under full-time surveillance. “We should not be keeping people under surveillance indefinitely,” adding it would go against constitutional rights.
The FBI came under scrutiny earlier this year about their ability to assess potential terrorist attacks after Florida native Omar Mateen opened fire in Orlando’s Pulse nightclub in June, killing 49 people and injuring many more.
In 2013 Mateen was on their radar and was being investigated for ties to Islamic extremist. After 10 months of investigation and two sperate interviews with Mateen, they deemed he was not associated with extremists. Three years later, he committed the attack on the nightclub.