By FRANCESCA CIUFFO
On Saturday, Sept. 18 at 8:30 p.m., one of New York City’s most popular neighborhoods, Chelsea, was rocked when a bomb exploded.
The first blast was believed to be the result of a home-made, pressure-cooker, flip phone and Christmas lights. Another bomb that looked similar to this was found on 27th Street but did not detonate. Officials say that these bombs were intentional and appeared designed to create maximum chaos and deaths.
These bombs were filled “fragmentation materials.” The bomb that exploded at 23rd Street was packed with small bearings. The bomb that did not explode appeared to be filled with the same materials.
On Saturday morning, a bombing took place in New Jersey at a marathon for marines. In New Jersey, three pipe bombs were tied together, placed in a trash can and also employed a flip phone as a timing mechanism.
“There is no evidence of an international terrorism connection with this incident,” Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo said Sunday, but many experts believe it could be international terrorism.
Experts proved that the explosive material was similar to a compound called tannerite. Tannerite is made by combining ammonium nitrate and aluminum powder and has hardly been used in improvised bombing strategies in the United States. An expert on unplanned explosive devices used by terrorists worldwide said that a device constructed as intricate as this one indicates a higher-than-average competence than what people in the United States can create.
Ahmad Khan Rahami, a 28-year-old naturalized U.S. citizen, was charged for the Saturday night blast in New York’s Chelsea neighborhood, an explosion in Seaside Park on Saturday morning and a foiled bomb attack Sunday night near a train station in Elizabeth, NJ.
Rahamj’s most recent address is in Elizabeth, NJ. This city is where investigators discovered five skeptical devices, one which exploded near a train station on Sunday night.
Rahami had been on the radar of federal agents two years ago, when his father told the police that he suspected his son to be involved in terrorism. They checked him for almost two months and said that he was not a terrorist. Now, the FBI says he is a terrorist. After Rahami was captured during a shootout on Monday, the police found a notebook with a bullet hole in it. The notebook expressed jihadist beliefs, and wrote of killing the “unbelievers.” It also praised Anwar al-Awlaki, once Al Qaeda’s leading propagandist who died in a drone strike in Yemen.
Rahami is linked to 10 explosive devices found in the region. The investigation of whether he worked alone, or was part of a terrorist organization is still ongoing. They believe he worked alone.
It is important for the news media to cover stories like this because terrorism and public safety are huge topics today. The United States is going through a period of time that terrorist attacks are happening at least once every few months. Bombings are important for the news media to cover because the public wants to know what is going on and if people are safe or were killed because of these attacks.