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Authorities Release Name Of Person Of Interest In Chelsea Bombing


Authorities in New York City have a person they are looking for. This is in connection with explosive devices that were planted around the New York region. Let's bring in NPR's Jeff Brady in New York City. He's been following this story. Jeff, good morning.

JEFF BRADY, BYLINE: Good morning.

GREENE: So who exactly is this man and why are the authorities looking for him?

BRADY: His name is Ahmad Khan Rahami. The FBI says he's 28 years old. And he was born in Afghanistan in 1988, again, according to the FBI. His last known address was in Elizabeth, N.J. That's where an explosive device was found near a train station last night.

And the FBI has put out a picture of him. They say he's 5-foot-6 inches tall and weighs about 200 pounds, brown hair, brown eyes, brown facial hair. And they say if anyone comes across him, to be careful because he may be armed and dangerous.

GREENE: Oh, so actually he is somewhere out there, and, I mean, they're really warning people to be careful if they come across him.

BRADY: Absolutely. They are warning to be very careful. And it's not really clear exactly what role he has in all of this. Investigators have been very careful about what information they release to the public, you know, not wanting to give any suspects an advantage as the investigation continues. And now that there's a person of interest, they don't want to tip their hand at all. New York Mayor - pardon me, New York Mayor Bill de Blasio, he was speaking on CNN this morning. And he said he's confident authorities will find this person.


BILL DE BLASIO: We shouldn't speculate yet how many people or what role each person played. What we do know is we need to get this guy in right away. Now, again, my experience with the NYPD and FBI is once they zero in on someone, they will get them.

BRADY: De Blasio says this investigation has started to move very fast now. And he expects that we're going to learn a lot more in the coming hours. And we're seeing a lot of activity around the region, including what looked like a police raid in Elizabeth this morning. I'm not sure if that's where this person they're looking for lived or not, but we're going to learn more here soon, I think.

GREENE: Well, Jeff, for listeners who are just waking up and hearing about all this for the first time, let's just review here. There was an explosive device that actually detonated in Manhattan, injuring 29 people over the weekend, another one found nearby. Then there was a separate explosive device in Seaside, N.J., Saturday morning. And then as you mentioned, last night, another one found in Elizabeth, N.J., the most recent one. What do we know about that?

BRADY: Right. Elizabeth Mayor Chris Bollwage says two men found this device in a trash can. And they picked it up, thought it might be something valuable. But then they saw wires coming out of it, so they reported it to the police. The police sent out a bomb squad. And as they were trying to disarm it with a robot, it exploded. And this stopped all train service in the area because this trash can or whatever it was where this device was found was near a train station. And...

GREENE: And a bar I think the mayor said. I mean, it really could've hurt a lot of people if it had gone off.

BRADY: It could have. And still, today, Amtrak says it could delay some travel along the Northeast Corridor.

GREENE: And then just in the few seconds we have left, there was that other separate one that was really the first one found over the weekend about 80 miles south of New York. That was in Seaside Park, N.J., is that...

BRADY: Seaside Park, N.J., yeah. And this was for a charity run that was happening. It went off - the pipe bomb went off before the run started, and no one was injured in that incident.

GREENE: OK, a lot to follow on a tense situation in New York City and the surrounding region this morning. And NPR's Jeff Brady joining us from New York. Thanks Jeff.

BRADY: Thank you.

GREENE: OK, that's NPR's Jeff Brady. Jeff, thanks a lot.

BRADY: Thank you. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

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