NY-NJ Bombing Suspect Visited Taliban Stronghold in Pakistan

Ahmad Khan Rahami traveled to Pakistan and Afghanistan in 2013 and '14.

— -- The suspect in a spate of bombings that terrorized the New York City metropolitan area this weekend visited a city in Pakistan known for being a hotbed of insurgent activity, a source told ABC News.

The suspect, Ahmad Khan Rahami, was born in 1988 in Afghanistan and is a naturalized U.S. citizen, according to the FBI.

Rahami spent time in Quetta, Pakistan, and Afghanistan during a trip, from April 2013 to March 2014, the source said.

A spokesman for the Taliban, Zabiullah Mujahid, told ABC News that there was no link between the Taliban and Rahami.

Afghan and U.S. government officials say they believe Quetta has sheltered the Afghan Taliban's leaders since the U.S. invasion forced them to flee the country in 2002. The Taliban's central leadership council, believed to be based there, is known as the Quetta Shura.

The area has a major border crossing that leads to Kandahar in Afghanistan and is reported to be a transit point for extremists traveling in and out of Afghanistan and a hub for illegal trade crossing the porous and largely unsecured border.

Several al-Qaeda militants have been killed or captured in the area, and the United States last year destroyed an al-Qaeda base across the border in Kandahar province that U.S. officials said was the largest militant training camp discovered in the history of the Afghanistan war.

Quetta harbors a long-simmering insurgency against the Pakistani government. The city has seen a number of significant violent attacks and bombings, most recently last month, when a blast killed more than 70 people and injured over 100 others.

In May of this year, a U.S. airstrike in Baluchistan province, which encompasses Quetta, killed Taliban leader Mullah Akhtar Muhammad Mansour.

Top Stories

Top Stories

Top Stories

Top Stories

ABC News Live

ABC News Live

24/7 coverage of breaking news and live events