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tv   Wolf  CNN  September 19, 2016 10:00am-11:01am PDT

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september 11th we learned that it was local police, firefighters and emergency management that were the first responders on that fateful day. and it is true today, a decade and a half after that september 11th day when there is a new challenge that it is local police and public safety perns n personnel responding to the incidents that took place in our state and across the river. while we think of the federal government necessary in the investigator to ways they are, in the first instance, whether that bomb going off in seaside park or whether it is the bomb that went off in elizabeth, because it was detonated appropriately by the authorities as they were trying to disarm it, but the mere fact that that risk, who came first? it was the elizabeth police department and this community.
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it's the elizabeth fire department, and seaside park it was the local police and first responders. so in a post-september 11th world, in addition to what elizabeth needs to do every day, this town, this city, has part of newark international airport. it has part of the mega port of the east coast. the port of elizabeth and newark. it has tremendous chemical coastal issues which is why the fbi has determined that this region is the most dangerous two mimes in america. it is, has a major hospital. major universities, all in this community, and so the mutual aid and responsibility that the elizabeth fire department has taken on is incredibly important. so in the midst of the latest news, this is a reminder to all of us as we advocate in washington, senator booker, congressman cirrus and i, add crow kating for hyden tid heighs
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for both police, the cops grants and the fire safety grants to be able to have our communities be prepared for any eventuality, and in this new world that we live in, since september 11th, any eventuality is potential to happen at any given time. democratic senator robert menendez of new jersey. we'll continue to mondayer this news conference in biz length, new jerslength, -- elizabeth, new jersey. answering questions about the terrorist incidents. we'll get back to that but i start with the capture of the man police and the fbi believe is connected to a series of bombings and planned bombings in new york and new jersey. i'm wolf blitzer. we want to welcome viewers in the united states and around the world. ahmad khan rahami, 28-year-old u.s. citizen born in afghanistan who lives in new jersey. the fbi issued a warning he could be armed and dangerous, captured just a little while ago in linden, new jersey, after several shots were fired.
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two police officers hit. rahami also shot apparently in the right shoulder. this surveillance picture believed to be rahami in new york before the explosion in the chelsea neighborhood of manhattan. 29 hurt, no deaths. another bomb found three blocks away, never detonated. police want to know if he acted alone or built the bombs or was working with members of a possible terrorist cell in new york and new jersey. >> the investigation is now around rahami. did he act alone? there were other people on the surveillance video. multiple videos had multiple people. so who his co-conspirators, was there a cell, was he a lone wolf, et cetera. that has to go forward. second, would new yorkers, what people of new jersey, what americans have to realize is, this is the world we now live in. you know?
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this is a post-9/11 world. there's terrorism almost on a weekly basis. it's all around the globe. it's all around the country. it's small cities, big cities. i think new york may be more of a target, but, you know, it's been san bernardino, california. it's minnesota. it's everywhere. >> let's go through the latest developments. our jessica sniyder is near the scene and also in new york our correspondent. jessica, they have the man they want to question. he's been injured, shot in the right shoulder. talk a little bit about what they're hoping to learn from this individual, ahmad khan rahami? >> reporter: well, wolf, rahami now at a new york hospital treated for what looked like shoulder wounds after that shoot-out with linden police, but no doubt, rahami will face a laundry list of charges. in fact, federal officials tell cnn that he is likely connected to not just the explosion that happened right here in the
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chelsea section of manhattan, but also an explosion that happened earlier in the day at that marine corps charity run down in seaside park, new jersey. and then, also, the devices that were found overnight in elizabeth, new jersey. right now rahami at the hospital. acht a newark hospital along with one other officer involved in that shoot-out. another officer taken to a separate hospital. as you can see i'm at the epicenter where the investigation is focused in on on west 23rd street where that explosion happened. we've seen all morning this investigation is far from over. we've seen fbi evidence response team here and they are still focused in on this area. there is a lot to glean yet from what exactly rahami's intentions were. was he working with anyone else? and does he, in fact, have ties to international terror groups or anything else? did he travel overseas? all the questions that investigators will be looking at, but for now he is being treated at the hospital after that shoot-out with police.
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and you know, it's remarkable how quickly all of this unfolded. it was 7:30 this morning when police put out his picture, and desemin itaed that picture wildly over the internet and social media accounts asking for help. then a few hours late are they got a call from someone in linden, new jersey, saying they potentially spotted the suspect, and that's when police officers moved in and it resulted in that shoot-out. a lot to be gleaned in this investigation. one thing is for sure, this manhunt is overhami is in custody. >> tell us how they identified rahami and what else are you learning whether or not he has connections to other possible terrorists who may still be at large? >> that's the most argument question now for authorities, wolf. trying to figure if anyone was was assisting in this, new about this. this is strong suspicion among authorities there had to have been somebody who might have helped out or known about this.
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he built these pipe bombs, whether he built them at his home, right upstairs of the chicken restaurant that his family ran. it's not clear. but we know that one thing was, you know -- just over 24 hours ago the authorities had honed in on who was rahami? they figured it out from analyzing surveillance cameras. certainly around 27th street, the device that did not go off, there was very good images that showed him wheeling the duffel bag and also found he had also, was also caught on camera walking on 23rd street, the scene of the first, the explosion there that injure those 29 people on saturday night. and so what they did find from the bomb that did not go off, they found prints. they found a cell phone that tied back to rahami, and that's how they were sure just about 24 hours ago that they knew who he was and they started monitoring, started doing surveillance of his home to try to see if they could figure out what was going
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on there, whether they could try to arrest him. several hours later, wolf, they figured out he wasn't home. when they found thighs pipe bombs in elizabeth and authorities decided to move more quickly to urgently find him and arrest him, wolf. >> and evan, i want to be precise. they have evidence linking rahami to the two incidents in new york city, the other incident in elizabeth, new jersey, and a fourth incident in seaside park, new jersey, where there was a marine corps 5k race that was about to begin? >> reporter: at this stage in the investigation, wolf, obviously, there's a lot of work to be done, but they do believe he is behind all of these incidents, beginning with that marine corps race, the attempted bombing there. the bomb went off, luckily the race was delayed for logistical reasons and nobody was injured when that bomb went off in the garbage can and only one of three devices put in there did go off, wolf. it appears whatever expertise he
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had to build these bombs it wasn't good fluff to maenough t they worked every single time. the one on 23rd street injured a lot of people and a lot of luck there as well, because the bomb was placed somehow got underneath a metal dumpster, which meant that the force of the blast was dented so much by the dumpster, wolf. >> all right. evan, and jessica, both of you stand by, please. i want to bring in our correspondent jean casarez joining us on the phone from linden, new jersey, where the suspect was taken, was shot. what are you learning, jean? >> reporter: we're right here in the residential area where rahami was taken down by police, that shoot-out with police. the neighbors said she heard so many shots and that this is a peaceful neighborhood. there are a few businesses in the area, and he was taken down near and auto business. but it's a peaceful area, where families live. and they were shocked that the person that had just been taken
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down was who they were looking at on television when this all happened. wolf, as this was happening here, about five minutes away where i was just a few minutes ago was where the fbi execute add search warrant this morning. the first american chicken restaurant, and this is where i confirmed with the mayor of elizabeth, new jersey, that rahami and his family lived in the upper portion. a father and two sons operated this restaurant. the entire community in that area knew of the family, but not in a positive light. because that restaurant was open for a period of time, for 24 hours a day. the mayor told me there were noise ordinance violations, code violations. the neighborhood was complaining, because there were people there at all hours of the night. and so the city council got involved, and a lawsuit was filed by the rahami family saying that because they were muslim, they were being
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discriminated against. now, the mayor told me, and this is mayor chris bollwage of elizabeth, new jersey that in 2012, that lawsuit was actually settled, and the city won that lawsuit, he told me, but we also know that about one mile from the fried chicken restaurant is where the devices were found inside the backpack in the trash bin at 9:30 last night. and, wolf, one thing i really want to bring out. i learn from the mayor for the first time that it was two homeless people that found that backpack in the trash can. they took it under the train tracks. opened it up. they saw the pipes. they saw the wires. and they ran, i was told, to the police department, to alert authorities what they had just found, and that was the beginning of having that -- that -- the five bombs in it actually s lly subdued so no on
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injured and they are on their way now to quantico, virginia. >> good thing they did what they did, these two individuals. thank you very much, jean casar casarez. a lot of breaking news wee following. the suspect in new york city's bombing now linked to the bomb attempts in new jersey over the weekend and overnight. congressman peter king with the house homeland security committee is standing by to join us. that's next. our heart loves megared omega-3s... but did you know your eyes, your brain, and your joints really love them too? introducing megared advanced 4in1... just one softgel delivers the omega-3 power of two regular fish oil pills... so give your body mega support with megared advanced 4in1.
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right to this news conference in elizabeth, new jersey. details on what happened with this one suspect being taken into custody. >> there was an exchange of gunfire and he was then taken into custody. two of the officers that were in an exchange with him ultimately are not critical in terms of injures. they did exchange gunfire. one officer was struck in the abdomen but into this bullet-proof vest. the other had some glass that struck his forehead, but not into his skull. so we're really grateful the linden police officers who confronted rahami are not in critical condition at all. my understanding is that the suspect is currently undergoing surgery, but unfortunately i don't have further details on his condition. thank you very much.
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i'm sorry. yes. he was shot. my understanding is that he was shot at least in the leg, but i don't vi any furthhave any furt on that. >> [ inaudible ] actually asfleasleep in a vestibule? what was going on-[ inaudible ]. >> i didn't elaborate further on the details. i just know that they had some information he'd be in the area. and they confronted him. >> [ inaudible ] -- >> unfortunately that's under investigation at this point. >> there was litigation [ inaudible ] -- family [ inaudible ] -- someone [ inaudible ] -- on radar and law enforcement -- >> i can't really discuss that at this time.
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>> the suspect was not on the radar of local law enforcement, but the fried chicken place that they owned, the family owned, we had some code enforcement problems and noise complaints. when they opened in 2002, they ran a business for 24 hours. neighborhood complaints regarding a congregation of people as well as noise sought the city council in 2009 in order to pass an ordinance closing that restaurant at 10:00 in the evening. the police had to enforce that ordinance at which time the suspect's father and two brothers took the city of elizabeth to court and in october of 2012, the courts ruled in the city's favor that we were capable of closing that facility at 10:00 in the evening as a quality of life issue. >> mayor -- mayor -- [ inaudible ].
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>> i can tell you the restaurant's closed. regarding the people who live here, the county is extremely safe, businesses are open, trains are running, schools are open. people need to continue and move on with their daly lives. daily lives. >> [ inaudible ]. >> well, here's my view, when i say terrorism, anyone who implodes a bomb in any place that can harm individuals, to me that's an act of terrorism. whether that terrorism is self-inspired, whether that terrorism is coordinated with others, remains to be seen, but i think that anyone who takes a bomb and ultimately puts it in a public place with, from, i think it doesn't take a rocket scientist to understand you are looking to do harm to others for
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whatever your purpose, to me that's an essence of terrorism. we think of terrorism only as al qaeda and isis and whatnot. to me this and of itself is an act of terrorism and we'll find out as the investigation continues whether it's coordinated, inspired, led by others, how it developed, whether the person developed views or tendencies inspired by other international terrorist groups, but in and of itself from my perspective it's an act of terrorism. >> [ inaudible ] -- [ speaking in foreign language ]. all right. we're going to break away from the news conference, senator bob ma nends ez of new jersey, the democrat speaks in spanish a little bit. we'll continue to monitor it.
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joining us, peter king of new york, member of the homeland security committee, intelligence committee, subcommittee, high i should say on intelligence and counter terrorism as well. what have you heard, congressman about connections, this one individual now in custody, ahmad khan rahami may have had, as governor cuomo says, any foreign-related organization? >> yeah. i pretty much agree with the governor, and he and i have different sources but coming to the same conclusion. those i've spoken to very much want to find out whether or not there is any overseas correction or direction from overseas, whether he had any, again, involvement with people overseas answer also whether or not anyone in his family, in his neighborhood, in his circle of friends knew what he was doing, should have known what he was doing. assisted him in any way. where did he get his gun from? all of these supplies he purchased for the bomb. we in aware of, what they were
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being used for? any of the planning? that's why the cell phone recovered at the bomb on 27th street can be extremely helpful and already, you know, my understanding, they are talking to people in his circle of associates. >> based on what you know right now and i know you've been briefed, congressman king. does it look like he was an individual just acting on his own? or he was connected to some sort of a wider terrorist cell? >> wolf, i believe it's still too early to tell even at this stage. yesterday talking to people involved in the investigation they were pretty certain others were involved. today they're not so sure. they're not ruling it out. why this investigation is far from over. hopefully it is over. hopeful youly he's the om one and the only one involved in this, but the police cannot and fbi, cannot assume that and take that for granted. they're going to be talking with his family members with his neighbors, with anyone he's been in contact with, where the cell phone will be.
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that will be helpful on. where he purchased the supplies. who he's been meeting with over the last several days. all of this is, leaves us as far as i know, this is still a very open investigation even though they were all hoping he is the only one involved, but they're not sure of that yet. >> is there think indication this individual, ahmad khan rahami, actually built the bombs or somebody else helped him build these various pipe bombs, pressure cooker bombs, whatever they were? >> well, if anyone else helped him build them they would be certainly co-conspirators with him in this. again, that is still not known as far as i know. i believe his were probably the only fingerprints. again, i'm surmising at that. i do know again there was, basically that bomb on 27th street that did not explode which was the key factor in being able to get dna, able to get prints, able to get the cell phone, which really facilitated the investigation, but as to i do know, as govern every cuomo
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said, there are videos, other people with him in them, in the video, at different times. whether or not they were involved in this or whether or not he was really with them or just happened to be in the same area as them, so, anyway, i guess what i'm getting at is that this is still an open investigation. >> as you know, there's an additional 1,000 new york state and national guard troops patrolling new york city right now. it's the week of the united nations general assembly. more than 100 world leaders including the president of the united states are in new york. even as we speak. is it safe right now, do you think this incident is isolated or are there other threats that authorities are looking for? >> well, it's -- it's certainly safe as any big city can be. the nypd, the state troopers, as i said, cuomo. the national guard.
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secret service, with the president in town this week especially. as safe as it can be, there's no guarantees in this life, but as much as you can be guaranteeing anything, new york city is safe. again, they have to make sure there are no other bombs around, there's nobody else involved, this was not a precursor to follow-up attacks right now and i don't believe there's evidence of that, but none of that can be ruled out. remember, this happened less than 48 hours ago. so the fact it was solved quickly is amazing, but also that's another reason why the police and the fbi want to make sure nothing was missed. that it was solved so quickly before they claim victory they want to make sure every -- every i has been dotted, every t crossed and looked at everything that toebl were be looked into. >> one final question, congressman. i know you have to run. ahmad khan rahami, do you know if he was on any terror watch list? >> my understanding is he's not. i'm not certain of that, but that's what i've been told. i do know he has a criminal record, that he actually was involved in apparently
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attempting to stab his sister, and so he has domestic violence criminal record. whether convicted or just arrested i'm not certain but i know he has a domestic violence arrest, and so he is -- that way, similar to the boston marathon bomber as far as domestic violence. >> congressman peter king of new york. thanks for joining us. >> wolf, thank you, always. thank you very much. >> thank you. any moment now new york officials including the mayor of new york city, bill de blasio, will give us an update on the explosions in chelsea and new york city. looking at live pictures coming fr in from that news conference. right now the bombing investigation. how the construction of the bombs unfolded, providing clues to the suspect. we'll share that information with you when we come back. lexs comes with a 161-point inspection, 24/7 roadside assistance plan, 2 years or 20,000 miles of complimentary maintenance,
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tommy galotty, carlos gomez, ben tucker -- we have vanessa gibson from city council, from the manhattan d.a.'s office and bill sweeney from the fbi. an extremely busy two days. obviously. and many people have worked intensely, tirelessly, relentlessly and seamlessly in this investigation into the bombings that occurred in new york city and new jersey. and it's, came out successful. so today our efforts were successful. thanks to the brave police officers from the linden, new jersey, police department. that captured this dangerous individual. ahmad khan rahami right here. however, in doing so, we had two police officers that were injured out in, in linden, new jersey, and i wish them best and hopefully a speedy recovery. this is another example what law enforcement does every day. they put themselves in harm's way to protect others, ras
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regardless of the risk and this all started saturday when i went down to that scene on 23rd to see the devastation from the blast and the response by not only nypd, the atf, fbi, fire department, port authority, state police. they all went to the danger, and for my first day on the job, this is my first day on this job but certainly not my first day on the job. so proud of what i saw that day. the work that was done and how it was done together. all of the agencies just, the level of cooperation was, was impressive. with, we're joined today, as i said, by the assistant director in charge of the new york fbi office bill sweeney. giving you details about the investigation, but you do need to understand that this case is very much active. still very much active. our primary focus identify and apprehend the person responsible for these crimes.
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now that we have a suspect in custody the investigation can focus on other aspects, such as whether thid individual acted alone and his motives. i offer my personal thanks to everyone who worked exceptionally in bringing this individual to justice. a tough way to start my new position as police commissioner but again as i've always been so proud to be a member of this agency, the new york city police department. mr. mayor? >> thank you very much, commissioner. i want to also say our first responders, from the gvery begis of this investigation performed with extraordinary skill and courage, nypd and all other city agencies, our state partners, pr federal partners i want to thank them all and share a deep concern for the two officers in new jersey and we are hoping they will have a very speedy recovery. this is a situation where we have rapidly unfolding information. you're going to hear some from
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us now. i'm sure there will be a lot more to say in the coming days. as per usual, there are some things we're not going to able to talk tab, and i say that up front but we'll do our best to tell you what we can give you. i want to also note up front i received a call a few hours ago from president obama. he wanted me to tell the people of new york city how much he admired the resilience of the people in new york city. how our people handled this crisis from moment one, with strength and resilience now, and so impressive that people are back to business yesterday and today. in addition, of course, the president offered his congratulations to our first responders for all they had done. now, we have as i said a lot more information, and the coming in all the time. we have so much more information, obviously, than we even had a few hours ago, based on the information we have now. we have every reason to believe this was an act of terror. we will be going into some
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detail, and there is still a long investigation ahead, but now we have, as i said, every reason to believe this was an act of terror. in addition, i want to note because this is an ongoing investigation, all new yorkers should remain vigilant, at any given point new yorkers may find a piece of information, hear a conversation, see something that could very much aid the nypd and partners and i want all new yorkers to are vigilant and provide that information if you get it at any point in time. reminder kahl 1-800-577-tips with any information you have. we activated earlier today a messaging system useed by our office of emergency management that allowed us to get information out to all new yorkers across the board. and it had an extraordinary effect, also reached many people in the metropolitan area. we were able to reach all of our
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police officers simultaneously because of the technology they have now as well. that is something that proved to be very helpful in this instance, getting that message out broadly, putting everyone on alert in a mutual way. we believe that was very helpful in this equation, but there is still information we'll need going forward. so i want people to be patient because it will be an ongoing investigation. i want people to be vigilant and, finally, as i said, even though this suspect is apprehended, i said, over the last 24 hours, we will have a very strong and visible nypd presence because of this incident and the obviously because of the united nations general assembly. you will continue to see throughout the week a strong visible nypd presence especially from our critical response command, strategic response group, you will see heavily trained officers and well-armed officers. you will see our officers in the subway. you will see bags being checked.
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bomb sniffing dogs that will continue throughout the week and we want that high level of readiness, of course, from the nypd. so i ask all new yorkers, continue your vigilance. continue to share information with law enforcement, and i want to thank assistant director sweeney for the exceptional work and the great cooperation of the fbi in this matter. thank you. >> thank you, sir. good afternoon. since the last briefing with provided yesterday, hundreds of personnel from the new york and newark, new jersey, jttfs along with the nypd detective bureau have been working around the clock developing and tracking leads reviewing surveillance footage, employing sophisticated investigative techniques and executing searches. based on our evidence collection and supported by other analysis, the jtts began to focus on ahmad khan rahami working to develop his whereabouts and possible locations for surveillance.
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last night the jttf conducted a traffic stop of a vehicle near the bridge in brooklyn. that vehicle had been observed by jttf personnel at location associated with rahami. based on the totality of circumstances, the jttf execute add stop of that vehicle. the passengers in the car were questioned by jttf agents and detectives, no one in that car is under arrest. based on our evidence collection, supported by other analysis, searches and interviews were conducted at residences in elizabeth, new jersey, and in perth, anboy, new jersey. additional leads followed as well and we turned to the public this morning more assistance initially using a more recent photo of rahami. a short time ago as you know rahami was arrested in linden, new jersey. two linden police officers were inhave youred apprehending him and our thoughts are with hem
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and we hope for their quick recovery. we will continue to conduct investigative activity to ensure we completely understand rahami's social network. for that reason i do not plan to answer specific questions about our techniques, or our knowledge of the devices, other than that we have directly linked ra hamm t rahami from new york and new jersey from saturday. law enforcement personnel and contributions of an engaged public have been exceptional. thank you. >> [ inaudible ]. >> so obviously a lot has happened over the last 40 or so hours. i want to add my comments to those, the people standing behind me. condolences to the officers and
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victims in new york. i believe a charge probably launched based on the shooting of the officers in linden, new jersey, by the local prosecutor there in union county. while that is pending and the defendant is being held, you can expect that the u.s. attorney's office here perhaps the u.s. attorney's office in new jersey will be working to put together as comprehensive and thorough a collection of allegations as makes sense. we are not rushing against each other to bring charges. we have all been racing together to try to catch the perpetrator and that's now done but we'll take care and time to make sure if we bring charges in the manhattan district court we do it in a way that's careful and thorough. thanks. >> do you have any knowledge in mr. rahami in training for -- [ inaudible ] since you did say he's been associated with devices in newark and new jersey? >> we have no knowledge with the investigation that continues.
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>> [ inaudible ] -- incident in new jersey on saturday, are you ruling out last night, what happened in elizabeth, connecting it to that at all? >> no. we're not ruling anything out. the investigations take a while. the evidence collection at different scenes takes time. we're absolutely not ruling anything out. >> who was in the car you pulled over? >> i'm not going to comment on that. >> would you please speak to whether there are celling now under investigation? anything that at least gives us an inkling where this investigation might be leading now? >> sure. the question about cells, i have no indication there is a cell operating in the area or in the city. the investigation is ongoing. as we develop more information we continue to -- i have no indication there's a cell operating here. >> for mr. sweeney. was the [ inaudible ] put out any help? i understand there may have been a photo which triggered some civilian to call and say
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[ inaudible ]. >> i believe it was a help. i don't know that for fact myself, but i believe that's what initiated the call to the linden, pd. you'd have to confirm that with new jersey. >> and [ inaudible ] -- the target was just an opportunity -- >> no. i don't vi any information on that at all yet. >> and the commissioner for the fbi [ inaudible ] invested a lot of money to track people in the city or events just like this that were you able to use, whether facial recognition or surveillance cameras [ inaudible ] -- >> i won't comment on the types of tools we use, other than to say the tools in the city are fabulous. they are exceptional. they're necessary. i think the other comments i leave for the commissioner. >> so a lot of technology involved in this, but a lot of good, old-fashioned police work, too. between the fbi and nypd, members of the joint terrorism task force, this is a pretty quick turnaround. this happened 50 hours ago and
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we have our suspect in custody. i think it's a tremendous job by all involved. the alert system is very helpful to, to police department and the fbi and in thissish and other instances also gets everybody involved, that sense of shared responsibility. amidst 36,000 of us, a number of fbi agents. if we can get everybody engaged in the city helping keep us safe, this is the way to go. this is the future. >> the pressure cooker. how is it [ inaudible ] in terms of gaining information? not having to have exploded yesterday, quite safe, what did you gain from that pressure cooker and any video that helped you with it? >> bill? >> i want comment specifically on something from the pressure cooker that led us somewhere. any piece of evidence we obtain whether a piece, fragment, something whole, is worthwhile. so i would leave it at that. >> commissioner, was there anything significant about the particular day on saturday that you knew of? >> lisa, that's all part of the
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investigation. with the motivation, we don't have that yet. this is going to be part, as we go forward here. >> for the -- [ inaudible ] was rahami on a radar of any kind, and do you believe there are any other bombers or bombs that you're actively looking for, or [ inaudible ]. >> bill? >> i don't do -- i don't have information we're actually looking for any kind of device as all, but we keep all options open and the investigation is ongoing. we'll see what we see. >> on radar? >> nothing to indicate currently he was on our radar. we had a report of a domestic incident some time ago. the allegations recanted. i don't have any other information. we'll keep digging. >> for the mayor. was governor cuomo invited here, are you working with. and criticism that you guys haven't really had that many joint appearances? >> yes, he was invited.
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yes, we're working with him. obviously we got together at the site yesterday and spoke to the folks in the community. a lot of close coordination with the state, with the federal government, et cetera, and i think we're all -- you know, you can see the results of this kind of combined effort, and as the commissioner said, including the people very deeply in helping us get to the solution here has made a huge difference. so high level of coordination. >> why wouldn't you -- >> ask his team about that. >> commissioner, does the suspect have a record and any sense in this early stage at what point he may have become radicalized? >> i don't have -- i -- the question as radicalization, i do in the have information yet to show what the path of radicalization was. your first question was about a record. >> yes. >> to be honest, i currently do not recall what i read on the record and would have to get back to you. >> a remark by donald trump who
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says law enforcement officials should probably go back to some type of profiling in order to prevent things like this. [ inaudible ] -- widespread sort of [ inaudible ] -- >> i think we right now are addressing a specific crisis and i think even though it's a perfectly fair question, i don't think we want to talk about partisan politics at this point. i would say i'm very, very proud of the work of the nypd and the fbi, and the way they have so quickly found this suspect, and the kind of cooperation that's going on. so i have a lot of faith in law enforcement and how they do things right now. >> commissioner, or mr. mayor, i would think what we want to know now is what the chances there could be another device and what they should be looking for as their asked to be vigilant? >> at this point, we are extremely grateful we're able to apprehend the suspect out in linden, new jersey. as i always say, we always have
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to be in a state of alert, in new york city. we are the number one target in the world, but as far as this investigation, and working, again, with the fbi, i think, you know, i'm a lot -- a lot happier today than i was yesterday. so i think all new yorkers should feel secure that the nypd and all the other law enforcement agencies in new york city will continue to keep them safe, and we'll continue in this investigation to make sure that we get to know who was involved, and why, which are the important things. >> let me add to that quick. first of all, there is no other individual we're looking for at this point in time, and that's very important, to answer your question. second, vigilance is called for, and it's very, very important, if people see anything unusual, particularly an unattended package, that they report it immediately. call it in or find a law enforcement officer. so i think commissioner's exactly right. we are have are very
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appreciative for the men and women who worked to get this suspect but we want to remain vigilant. >> so did anybody give us a fill on the ap proo henprehension ane you glad the suspect survived the apprehension? how valuable is that to you? >> the apprehension myself, definitely much more relieved than i was last night. the fact he survived is excellent from an investigative value and the fact we didn't lose a life. >> and [ inaudible ] where he's been living, can you tell us who he is. >> i can't tell you who he is. we have to build out that whole picture and i don't have enough information to fill that out. >> [ inaudible ]. >> in new yojersey most recentl but i'm not in a position to do that here. >> and [ inaudible ] at his house, in his car, on him that
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was just -- suggests radicalization or intent? >> no, not right now. >> mr. commissioner on the emergency i lealert, can youspecific how that was helpful, given caught in new jersey and the first time used for a manhunt purpose like this, how was that decision reached and do you contemplate using it in the future? >> several questions. we think it's a very valuable tool. we think it created a lot of focus and urgency. our law enforcement colleagues including colleagues in new jersey will be able to fill in the blanks for you on exactly what the positive effect was, but from what we know right now it definitely contributed to the successful ap prehence of this suspect. this is a tool we will use again in the future. in similar situations. there obviously was an eminent threat and a very appropriate situation in which to use it and another example of the innovation going on with nypd and oem that there was a way to
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reach people, different from the past. no more wanted poster on the precinct house wall. this is a modern approach that really engaged the whole community. so, yes, we will use it, and the reason used in this case was the specific potential danger and it made sense to do a very broad ale alert. >> thank you. >> the two gentlemen with the su suitcase on 27 -- >> let the chief talk about that. >> to answer your question we identified, well, we have a video of two persons who picked up the bag, took the device out of it and then walked off with the bag. now, we went back to see where they came from. they look like there were two gentlemen just strolling up and down 7th avenue at the time. we have no idea that would link them to this at all. however, we still want to talk to them, obviously. considering them witnesses right now. once they picked up the bag, they seemed incredulous, picked it up off the street and walked
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off with it. we'll find out, put their images out and hopefully get them identified. >> yes. to clarify, commissioner, based on what you said earlier, and based on what you know, do you believe this guy [ inaudible ]. >> that's all going to be -- right now we have what we need to have, and that's nj as we go forward in this investigation, part of what we do. talk to family, friends, see what connection are. this is part of an active investigation. right now we're not actively seeking anyone. >> back in the individual and the bag. any identification of -- [ inaudible ] any way to tell -- >> good question. to be determined once we speak to them. it's difficult to say right now, if they at all inadvertently perhaps even pull add wire. that's something for us when we talk to them going forward. can't say that now because i don't know if they played a role or not. >> and played there -- are you
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confident in saying that the undetonated pressure cooker was, in fact, a device? can you say that definitively? and while you're there, does this arrest at all make you rethink central park? >> again, with the central park, go back to that. from what we have now, know now, two separate incidents completely. two different devices wholly different and a couple months ago. we're always rethinking central park, it's still an open case. the other question i can't answer. mr. sweeney might be able to answer that question. >> can you say the undetonated pressure cooker was now in fact a device? >> i'm not willing to say that, and not describe the device and how it would work. >> [ inaudible ] working into custody last night, are they still in custody [ inaudible ] can you describe whether they could still face charges? >> five individuals from last night are not still in custody and i'm not going to discuss
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what they could face in the potential future. >> mr. sweeney or for commissioner o'neill, did the suspect make any statements during or after the [ inaudible ]. >> the question's about, did the subject make any statements during the apprehension today? no. not that i'm aware of. but new jersey and a team from the newark jttf are out there. so that will continue as well. >> mr. o'neill, how valuable were surveillance cameras in identifying rahami and/or his associates? [ inaudible ] all over the place, surveillance cameras and some images available to us? >> that's the world we live in now. any street, any incident in new york city, you get to most of the time that's captured on video surveillance. so as we go through the investigation as we continue to gather more surveillance video it's going to help us move forward with this case, and make sure that this, this suspect, this subject, is brought to justice, and pays the maximum price. >> two more questions, please.
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ashley? >> yes. i just want to ask, what kind of terrorism are we talking about? you can assume that it's [ inaudible ] obviously nothing you can do, and talking about fundamental and [ inaudible ] terrorism what criteria is here today that wasn't present yesterday that makes you now willing to say, this is terror? >> so in understanding how to reach a terrorism charge in a criminal investigation, you have to understand the difference between a bomb going off in a crowded street in new york city as a terrifying act. whether that's an act of terrorism requires that you find out who did it, which is something we didn't know at the early stages of yesterday. and then why they did it. in order to meet the statutory requirements, the basic definition of terrorism on the federal law side is the use of fear, violence or intimidation or the threat of to achieve
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political or social change. from the outset of this case, our first priority was to understand who was behind it, and to identify that person and bring that person into custody. our ability to see through the rest of that optic which is, why they did it, what was behind it, and whether it was terrorism, required us first to understand who did it. the searches conducted last night, the interviews being conducted today, the broadening understanding about the suspect who's in custody right now, for the shooting of a police officer, or police officers, is going to be the part that brings the elements forward that will eventually result in a charge, and it will be laid out in those charges documents. so that's -- that's kind of the process piece behind your question of, how do you get from, from there to terrorism?
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and the amount of progress that was made in 24 hours between the work of the jttf, the intel team, some extraordinary work by the detective bureau in terms of surging the concentric circles to develop the elements that brought us to the identification of this person were all the steps to get us there. so, that's a question that, as bill sweeney has said, it will be part of the investigation, but those pieces are still being gathered. >> can you, without divulging any trade secrets, can you say a little bit more about what leads you to believe that the explosion on 23rd street and the explosion in seaside park are somehow linked or what links him given the differences and the type of bombs that went off? >> the question is about how do
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we link the device at seaside park to the device in engineeje. the only thing i can say is by evidence and analysis. i can't go beyond that. >> thank you, everybody. >> there's the news conference with new york city mayor bill de blasio, the fbi officer on the scene as well as james o'neill, the new police commissioner in new york, bill sweeney the fbi representative in new york, the agent in charge of that area. bill de blasio, the mayor saying this clearly was an act of terror. he also said no other individual -- they're looking for no other individual, at least right now. let's discuss and analyze what we just heard. important information. joining us, our justice correspondent pamela brown, former fbi assistant tom fuentes and cnn international security and author of "united states of jihad," peter bergen.
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give me your immediate reaction because you've been investigating this very closely. pamela, what jumps out at you? >> i would say a couple thins. the fact they're saying they're not looking for any other individuals. we know how early it is in the investigation. my colleague, evan perez and i had been hearing there was a high suspicion that he didn't do this alone. i think partly because of, you know, the bombs, there were different kinds of bombs, pipe bombs, a pressure cooker. that's interesting to me, they haven't identified anyone else. they questioned the five people in the car. they're not in custody, as we heard bill sweeney say, assistant director of the fbi. it will be interesting to see once they interview the suspect, who's in the hospital right now, if there are any other individuals. >> that's the same thing i was thinking. they haven't identified anybody else they're looking for. so far it appears he acted alone. by now, they would have a lot more information about that if he was tied with other people, and they would be putting that out because of the threat of that. if there's additional co-conspirators out there,
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there's a continued danger to the city and the region. the fact they're so far not able to identify somebody else is a pretty good sign. >> the suspicion was maybe this individual distributed these homemade bombs, if you will, but there was a bombmaker who was actually helping him build these bombs. that was the suspicion going into this news conference. >> many of us also thought there could be two bomb makers, one that did the pipe bombs that were used in new jersey, and then the pressure koomer bombs, the two devices in manhattan. so, that indicated that -- but they're all fairly rudimentary devices, so it would be possible for one person to become skilled enough to do the separate devices. >> what i found interesting on that note is we know from law fingerprints were found on the device that didn't go off on 27th street, which was a huge clue in order to identify him as a suspect. we heard bill sweeney say they connected the bomb that went off in seaside, new jersey, to the suspect. so, clearly, there appears to be evidence tying him to that as well.
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>> it could be -- when i was running the fbi operation in iraq in 2003, we had exploded devices, and the pieces from some of those devices had fingerprints and dna on them. it's possible even from the 23rd street device that they could have gotten physical evidence from that identifying to him as well as the 27th street pressure cooker that did not explode. >> peter, you studied terrorism for a long time. this individual now in custody, apprehended, ahmad khan rahami, 28 years old, naturalized u.s. citizen, born in afghanistan. does this have, based on everything you've seen so far, the hallmarks of at least some sort of isis or other terror organization inspired event? >> what's interesting is this guy is absolutely typical of every paris attack we've seen since 9/11. typically they're not refugees or recent immigrants. the other thing i think that's
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interesting here, wolf, is that he was not on the radar of law enforcement for militancy. usually when someone engages in a significant terror attack like the one we've just seen, he's usually come to the attention of the fbi. the exception is the san bernardino case, the couple who killed 14, were not on law enforcement. the ft. hood attacks, usually the fbi has interviewed somebody or at least thought they might be of interest. so, the fact -- it leads an interesting question for me, how did this guy sail beneath the attention of the law enforcement? >> also, as we learn more information about the suspect, my friend, drew griffin have been talking to his friends and family, we learned he's been back to afghanistan, where he was born, multiple times. the timing of that is unclear, but you would imagine that could raise suspicion among authorities. clearly it did not, though, because he was not on any terror watch list until he was identified recently as a suspect in these bombings. >> he was apparently implicated
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in a domestic incident a few years ago, we just heard from peter king of homeland security committee, apparently drawing a knife or whatever, to his sister. we just heard the fbi director in new york, bill sweeney, say that was recanted, that particular incident, meaning the accusation against him was recanted, presumably by the sister. that raises some alarm bells, too. >> that's typical of a family disturbance like that. the family member who raises the complaint often recants, often says, never mind and it was just a domestic disputed. the fbi if they started tracking every person in this country because they were accused of a domestic disturbance, much less not even convicted, you just wouldn't be able to do it. >> multiple trips back and forth to afghanistan, that would not raise the interest of the fbi? >> it would depend how many trips, when he took them and after he became a citizen. we have a lot of people that go back to their original countries because they have family there. so, in and of itself going to visit family isn't going to by itself raise those --
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>> peter? >> domestic abuse will be increasingly seen as a precursor. the nesa attack was violent to his wife. orlando attack, his first wife claimed the orlando terrorist was abusing her. often these things get recanted because it's embarrassing, that may be signs you're tolg do other forms of violence. >> his apparently family apparently filed a lawsuit against the city of elizabeth, new jersey, because there were issues with a chicken restaurant the family owned and police, with noise ordinances and tickets that police were giving. the family in this lawsuit claimed they were being discriminated against for their muslim religion. perhaps, that could be -- >> apparently they were open 24 hours a day and residents were complaining about the noise and crowds that were gathering overnight, and eventually the city shut it down. we'll stay on top of all of this. this is breaking news we're
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following at cnn. i'll be back at 5:00 p.m. in the situation room. "newsroom" will start after a very quick break. they feel good? no... you wouldn't put up with part of a pair of glasses. so when it comes to pain relievers, why put up with part of a day? these are not useful. live whole. not part. aleve. ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ geico motorcycle, great rates for great rides.
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what powers the digital world? communication. like centurylink's broadband network that gives 35,000 fans a cutting edge game experience. or the network that keeps a leading hotel chain's guests connected at work, and at play. or the it platform that powers millions of ecards every day for one of the largest greeting card companies.
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businesses count on communication, and communication counts on centurylink. you're watching cnn. i'm brooke baldwin. you're watching cnn breaking news, a rapidly moving investigation. lots of pieces sort of beginning to come together here in multiple bomb tax, or would-be attacks, planned bombings here in new york and in new jersey. first, let me show you some video. this is the suspect, ahmad khan rahami. as you can see, captured alive, after a shootout with police in linden, new jersey. now, this man being wheeled on this -- being wheeled into this ambulance, bloodied but conscious, saw his eyes open, hands cuffed behind his back. that arrest


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