FBI interviewed father of bombings suspect in 2014 after he expressed concerns about son
NEW YORK — The FBI interviewed the father of bombing suspect Ahmad Khan Rahami in 2014 after a violent domestic dispute led to a tip to authorities alleging that the father was calling his son a terrorist, two US officials said Tuesday.
There were contradictory accounts of how Rahami came to the attention of law enforcement, with the father telling reporters outside his restaurant Tuesday that he himself contacted the FBI expressing concern after the dispute.
In the interview, the father ended up downplaying the concern, saying it was a misunderstanding.
Ultimately, federal investigators believed it was a domestic dispute, several federal officials told CNN.
At the time of the FBI interview, Rahami was already in jail following the family dispute, which included him stabbing one of his relatives.
The FBI ran through more checks, but never interviewed Ahmad Rahami, according to officials.
At the time, Rahami had just returned from an extended trip to Pakistan and Afghanistan, one of several he’d made to the region.
Rahami was never placed in an FBI database of potential terrorists, officials said.
The capture of bombings suspect Ahmad Khan Rahami alive gives investigators a rare opportunity to try to establish his motivations and affiliations — if they can get him to talk.
Law enforcement officials launched a manhunt for Rahami after identifying him through a fingerprint, and he was taken into custody Monday after a shootout with police in Linden, New Jersey.
But questions remain about the events leading up to Saturday’s bombings in New York and Seaside Park, New Jersey, and the discovery of pipe bombs Sunday night in Elizabeth, New Jersey.