The 28 year old NY/NJ bombing suspect Ahmad Khan Rahimi, a U.S. citizen born in Afghanistan, has made numerous trips to his home country and Pakistan between 2011 and 2014, according to an exclusive report from DEBKA. While he was on those trips, he engaged in clandestine meetings with senior al-Qaeda and Taliban leadership while under the guidance of his handler, an al-Qaeda controller.
Rahimi maintained contact with his al-Qaeda controller, who was also responsible for running numerous sleeper cells in America, when he launched his bombing attacks in New York City and in New Jersey.
Sources state that Rahimi was dispatched to a Taliban camp in Kandahar, Afghanistan from Quetta, Pakistan to train on building explosive devices and learn urban warfare/guerrilla combat tactics. His controller put him in contact with a Pakistani woman from a Taliban family, which he married, so that he could apply for a visa to bring her to America and strengthen the al-Qaeda network on U.S. soil. Her application was denied by U.S. authorities.
Despite being interviewed by FBI agents about his frequent trips to Afghanistan and Pakistan, his ties to terrorist factions never surfaced nor did the Taliban facility in Kandahar appear to be known to U.S. counterterrorism officials. Rahimi’s father claims he tried to inform the FBI two years ago about his son’s association with terrorists and his warnings were ignored. Rahimi’s father used the case of the Nigerian student Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab who tried unsuccessfully to bomb a Northwest Airlines plane – Abdulmutallab’s father had also tried to warn the FBI, but the warnings went unheeded.
Once Rahimi was in custody, papers found on his person mentioned Anwar al-Awlaki, the American-born al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) leader who was killed in a 2011 U.S. drone strike and known for orchestrating several terrorist acts from his Yemeni compound.
It was also discovered that Rahimi deliberately constructed two kinds of bombs to confuse the investigation – the pressure cookers for Manhattan, including the one that blew up and injured 29 people in Chelsea, and pipe bombs in two places in New Jersey.
As the forensic evidence mounts against Rahimi, especially his fingerprint on an explosive device and the gravity of his crime, one is left wondering why he was charged with five counts of attempted murder of a law enforcement officer, along with two weapons crimes when he should be charged with terrorism first and foremost. His bail has been set at $5.2 million.