He snapped during prayer: Rahami tried to beat sister with dumbbell, she told cops
ELIZABETH — The man accused in the Manhattan and Seaside Park bombings was once accused of attacking his family in a violent rage in which he stabbed his brother in the leg and threatened to beat his 17-year-old sister with a dumbbell.
Ahmad Khan Rahami’s 2014 arrest has been previously reported, but explicit details about the incident only came to light Tuesday after Elizabeth officials responded to police records requests made separately by New Jersey 101.5 and The Associated Press.
Rahami now is facing local and federal terrorism charges and remains hospitalized after a shootout with police in Linden on Sept. 19.
After his arrest, Rahami’s father told reporters that he tipped off the FBI to his son’s suspected involvement in terrorist activities. Mohammad Rahami blamed the FBI for not investigating his son. FBI officials, however, have said that Rahami’s father backed off his suspicions, but admitted they never conducted a full investigation of Rahami.
In 2014, Elizabeth police were called to the First American Fried Chicken restaurant that the Rahami family owns on Elmora Avenue on a report of a “disturbance” involving 10 people.
One of Rahami’s brothers, Nasim, then 18, told police he had been stabbed by Rahami a day earlier. Nasim was treated and released from the hospital.
Rahami’s sister, Zobydha, told police that her brother had attacked her and then attacked her brothers Nasim and Kasim, who had come to her aid.
Zobydha, who attends Rutgers University, said the incident began as Rahami was about to start praying. He threw an object at her. When she asked what his problem was, he emptied a water bottle on her and began to whip her and her mother with a phone charger.
She said she cursed at him, and he slapped her.
Kasim and Rahami then get into a scuffle. Nasim placed Rahami into a chokehold and they fall to the floor, she said, which is when Rahami grabbed a knife from a coffee table and stabbed Nasim.
Rahami's wife also joined the fray and tried to get the knife out of her husband's hand.
After the stabbing, Rahami went into the kitchen and threw a pan at Nasim, who then told Rahami to get out of the house, their sister told police.
When police asked Zobydha why they hadn't called police on the day of the attack, she said they "did not want to get our brother in trouble."
Rahami tried to leave the Elmora Avenue house the following day and when police arrived they saw him carrying a suitcase. But Zobydha said her father called police to have him arrested after they got into an argument about his leaving.
Less than a month after the attack, both siblings declined to press charges against Rahami and signed waivers of prosecution, according to records obtained by New Jersey 101.5.
A Union County grand jury then declined to indict Rahami on the aggravated assault charges.
Rahami declined to give police a statement about the incident.
Sergio Bichao is deputy digital editor at New Jersey 101.5. Send him news tips: Call 609-438-1015 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.