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.
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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."