Ahmad Khan Rahami, 28, was captured on Monday after a shootout with police when the owner of a bar in New Jersey discovered him sleeping in the doorway of his establishment. He has been charged with five counts of attempted murder of a law enforcement officer, second-degree unlawful possession of a weapon, and second-degree possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose.
The mother of his young daughter, identified only as Maria by Fox News, said Rahami, her high school sweetheart, did not pay child support and that she had not seen him in two years. She added that he often railed against Western culture, saying there weren’t any gay people in Afghanistan. He is reportedly a U.S. citizen but made trips back to Afghanistan often to see family, according to the mother of his child.
“I never thought he would do something like this,” she said through tears. “I think he was brainwashed.”
His father told police in 2014 that he believed his son might be involved in terrorism, The New York Times reports, prompting a review by federal agents. He spoke with FBI agents just after his son was arrested for stabbing another one of his sons, leading to a criminal investigation. An official claims that he made the comment out of anger and later recanted.
Rahami was not indicted for stabbing his brother, Nasim Rahami, nor for a charge of possession of a knife and possession of a firearm “with a purpose to use it unlawfully against the person or property of Nasim Rahami,” Daily Mail reports.
Authorities found a notebook on Rahami, pierced with a bullet hole and covered in blood, expressing opinions sympathetic to jihadist causes, according to a law enforcement official who agreed to speak to The New York Times about the investigation only on the condition of anonymity.