Police are searching for a 28-year-old man, described as a naturalized citizen of Afghan descent, Ahmad Khan Rahami, in connection with the bombing in Manhattan on Saturday night, sending out a cellphone alert to millions of residents.
“I want to be very clear that this individual could be armed and dangerous,” Mayor Bill de Blasio of New York said Monday. “Anyone seeing him should call 911 immediately.”
De Blasio would not go into detail about why Khan was wanted, but he said finding him was critical to the safety of the city.
“What we do know is we need to get this guy right away,” he said.
Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, who had said Sunday that the attack did not appear to have a link to international terrorism, said new evidence might change that thinking.
“I would not be surprised if we did have a foreign connection to the act,” he said on CNN Monday.
Rahami was born on Jan. 23, 1988, in Afghanistan. His last known address was in Elizabeth, New Jersey. He is described as about 5 feet 6 inches tall and weighs about 200 pounds. Rahami has brown hair, brown eyes and brown facial hair.
Hours before his name was released, police discovered five pipe bombs near a train station in Elizabeth, detonating one of them overnight as they sought to disarm them. Before dawn, agents conducted a series of raids in the New Jersey city.
FBI agents with dogs and Elizabeth police officers swarmed a residential neighborhood of low-rise apartment buildings, multiple family homes and small businesses.
In a separate appearance, de Blasio said New Yorkers should be prepared to see a large increase in police presence across the city.
“In the coming hours we are going to be able to say a lot more about what happened here,” de Blasio said during an interview on the show “Good Morning America.” “It is certainly leaning more in the direction that this was a specific act of terror.”
Late Sunday night, police stopped a car on the Belt Parkway near the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge and questioned five people who were connected to Rahami.