(NEW YORK) — A federal complaint released Tuesday night against the suspect in a series of bombings and attempted bombings in New York and New Jersey this weekend appears to highlight his radicalization.
Steps he took prior to the incidents paint a picture of what seems to be a calculated plotter aggrieved at his adopted home country and concerned over the possibility of being apprehended before he was able to commit acts of terror.
According to the complaint, the suspect, Ahmad Khan Rahami, spent months gathering materials he ordered on eBay, while leaving a trail of writings that expressed sympathy for terrorists and admiration for jihad, or holy war.
Federal investigators uncovered a social media account tied to the suspect Rahami. Posting under username “Yaafghankid78,” Rahami favorited posts praising jihad, including one translated in the complaint as “jihad is a martyr’s anthem.”
Rahami was born in 1988 in Afghanistan and is a naturalized U.S. citizen, according to the FBI.
Police also found a handwritten journal that Rahami carried at the time of his arrest, which the complaint states includes the passage, “You [USA Government] continue your [unintelligible] slaught[er] against the mujahidean, be it in Afghanistan, Iraq, Sham [Syria], Palestine…”
In what federal investigators called “an expression of concern at the prospect of being caught before being able to carry out a suicide attack,” a passage in the notebook reads “the F.B.I. & homeland security [unintelligible] looking for me … [unintelligible] my heart I pray to the beautiful wise ALLAH. To not take JIHAD away from. I beg [unintelligible] for shahadat [martyrdom].”
The complaint said his writings praised Nidal Hasan, who shot and killed 13 people at Fort Hood, Texas and referred to the former leader of al-Qaeda and author of the 9/11 terrorist attacks as “Brother Osama Bin Laden.”
The notebook made a reference to seeking guidance and wrote that it came in the form of “Sheikh Anwar” — which the federal agent filing the complaint believes to be a reference to the radical U.S.-born cleric Anwar Al Awlaki — who, according to the notebook, “said it clearly attack the Kuffar [non-believers] in their backyard.”
The notebook found on Rahami closes with the following chilling passage, “[God willing] the sounds of the bombs will be heard in the streets. Gun shots to your police.”
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