Rahami’s ex wants privacy, and his wife is headed to U.S.
Accused bomber Ahmad Khan Rahami's ex-girlfriend — and the mother of his child — is asking for privacy as the investigation into his alleged acts of terror through New Jersey and New York City continues.
In a statement released through her attorney and cited by multiple media outlets late Wednesday, the woman, whose first name is Maria, says Rahami has not come to see their 9-year-old daughter in More than two years.
"Ahmad Rahami and I have a child together, but neither my child nor I have had any physical contact with him in more than two years. In addition, he has only reached out to us one time in the last year," according to an account of the statement by NJ Advance Media.
Earlier this week, a judge granted Maria temporary sole custody of the child.
Maria also says in the statement she and her family were "deeply shocked and appalled" by Rahami's alleged bombings in Seaside Park, Elizabeth and the Chelsea section of Manhattan.
"Our thoughts and prayers are with all who were affected. Particularly those law enforcement officers who were injured in the line of duty," she said.
Two officers were injured in a shootout with Rahami in Linden Monday, during which he was captured.
Maria says in the statement that she has cooperated with authorities, and that her priority is her child's safety.
Also Wednesday, two federal law enforcement officials told the Associated Press Rahami's wife will soon return to the United States, after walking into U.S. Embassy in the United Arab Emirates and making a statement to authorities.
One official told AP investigators believe she left the U.S. for Pakistan in June. The officials spoke on the condition of anonymity because they weren't authorized to discuss the ongoing case, the AP said.
Rahami, who traveled frequently to Pakistan and Afghanistan in the last few years, married his wife overseas.
In 2014, he sent an email to Rep. Albio Sires, D-N.J., seeking help moving his pregnant Pakistani wife to the United States because her passport had expired. It’s not clear if she ever came to America.
Other updates in the case:
• A video published by NBC 4 New York appears to show Rahami wheeling luggage with a pressure-cooker bomb into Chelsea Saturday. The bomb seen in the video did not detonate; another a few blocks south did, hurting 31 people.
• Authorities are seeking two men seen in surveillance video a few minutes later, apparently removing the bomb from that luggage before leaving with the luggage itself. They are currently considered witnesses, not suspects in the case, authorities have stressed.
• A Manhattan U.S. magistrate judge has refused a request by public defenders to schedule an initial appearance for Rahami on federal charges. He said there is no evidence contrary to government claims that Ahmad Khan Rahami remains held on state charges in New Jersey and has not yet been arrested on the federal charges.
• A homeless man and his friend who discovered a backpack full of bombs near the Midtown Elizabeth trains station are being called heroes as three groups try to help them get a fresh start on life and honor their efforts.
“Had it not been for these heroes, Elizabeth would have experienced a devastating terrorist attack. We owe them a debt of gratitude,” Donald Goncalves of the organization At Heart’s Length told New Jersey 101.5.
• A Linden officer injured in a shootout with a man suspected of setting off bombs in New York and New Jersey is headed to a school to thank students for their well wishes.
Officer Angel Padilla will visit Linden School No. 5 on Thursday. Padilla is a member of the school's parent-teacher association and is very involved in events there and in the community. Padilla was shot in the torso, but his bulletproof vest saved him from a more serious injury. A second officer was grazed in the head by a bullet or shrapnel.
• Police in New York City say hundreds of 911 callers have reported suspicious packages since the Saturday night explosion in Manhattan. Police say they've received 406 phone calls of suspicious packages throughout the five boroughs between 8:30 p.m. Saturday and 4 p.m. Monday. None of the packages turned out to contain explosives.
— With reports by the Associated Press
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