Legal officials squabble over status of accused New York bomber

By REUTERS
September 22, 2016 16:29

 
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NEW YORK - Prosecutors and New York's top federal public defender squabbled on Thursday over when the suspect in the series of weekend bombings around the city and New Jersey will get a lawyer.

Ahmad Khan Rahami, 28, has been held in a Newark, New Jersey, hospital since he was arrested on Monday after a gunfight with police. He faces federal charges in both states for a Saturday night bombing in Manhattan's Chelsea neighborhood that injured 31 people and a pair of blasts in New Jersey.

Rahami, a naturalized US citizen who emigrated from Afghanistan with his family at the age of 7, was motivated by militant Islamic views, prosecutors said, citing a journal he was carrying in which he begged for martyrdom and expressed outrage at the U.S. "slaughter" of Muslim fighters in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria and Palestine.

The case is being treated by authorities as an act of terrorism, and while prosecutors currently believe Rahami acted alone they are still searching for anyone who may have helped him plan the attack or build the homemade bombs.

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