Image source: ABC News screen grab
NEW YORK — Bombings in New York City and New Jersey, along with a stabbing in Minnesota, might be the start of a new radical Islamic offensive on US soil.
The reign of terror began in Seaside Park, New Jersey, on Saturday morning with a bomb explosion in a garbage can at a charity race. Investigators said there were other bombs in the trash can that did not go off as planned. Thankfully, nobody was injured.
Club goers on West 23rd Street in Manhattan were not so fortunate, as 29 of them were injured when a bomb exploded around 8:30 p.m. that night. Police later found a second device that did not explode
An hour later, a knife-wielding man attacked nine people at the Crossroads Mall in St. Cloud, Minnesota. All of those attacked were injured, and the attack only ended when an off-duty cop shot and killed the attacker.
On Sunday night, bombs were found in a garbage can by homeless men outside an Elizabeth, New Jersey, trash can. They did not harm anyone, although one detonated when a robot was trying to dismantle it.
Here are four things you should know about these incidents.
1. Authorities regard them as terrorism. “We are currently investigating this as a potential act of terrorism,” Richard Thornton, the top FBI agent in Minnesota, told the media. President Obama confirmed that the FBI was investigating the St. Cloud attack as terrorism. New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio on Monday said of that region’s incident: “We have every reason to believe this was an act of terror.”
2. Both attackers were radical Muslims. The suspect in the New York and New Jersey attacks, Ahmad Khan Rahami, was captured Monday following a shootout with police. He was born in Afghanistan and is a naturalized U.S. citizen. The New York Times reported that Ramani was carrying a backpack full of pipe bombs when he was caught. The knife attacker was named by Minnesota media as Dahir A. Adan, whose family is Somali. He has lived in the US for about 15 years and reportedly asked victims if they were Muslim – supposedly to ensure he did not kill anyone of that religion. He also reportedly was wearing a security guard uniform. ISIS media called him a “soldier of the Islamic State.”
3. It is unclear if the Minnesota attack was related to the other ones. “At this point, we see no connection between that incident and what happened in New York and New Jersey,” President Obama told the press. ISIS has a strategy of encouraging “lone wolf” attacks in which sympathizers carry out random acts of violence.
4. The 71st General Assembly of the United Nations will be held this week in NYC. President Obama will be among those in attendance. New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has ordered 1,000 state police officers and National Guardsmen into the city to bolster the NYPD.
“Now for all New Yorkers, a central message we want to give today is be vigilant,” de Blasio said. “Be vigilant because the police need your help, and if you see anything that might be pertinent to this case, we need you to call it in.”
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