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NYC and N.J. bombing suspect captured in shootout with police

Ahmad Khan Rahami was arrested Monday after a shootout with police in Linden, N.J., just hours after police issued a bulletin and photo of the naturalized US citizen from Afghanistan.

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    Bomb squad personnel stand around the scene of an explosion near the train station early Monday in Elizabeth, New Jersey. A suspicious device found Sunday night in a trash can near a New Jersey train station exploded early Monday as a bomb squad robot attempted to disarm it.
    Jessica Remo/NJ Advance Media for NJ.com/AP
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UPDATE 12:30 p.m. Monday

An Afghan immigrant wanted for questioning about bombs planted in New York City and New Jersey was captured Monday after being wounded in a shootout with police, authorities said.

WABC-TV video footage showed a man believed to be 28-year-old Ahmad Khan Rahami being loaded into an ambulance on a stretcher in Linden, N.J. 

Two officers were wounded in a shootout with Rahami, the Associated Press reported, but were not believed to have been seriously hurt, authorities said.

The arrest came just hours after police issued a bulletin and photo of Rahami, a naturalized U.S. citizen from Afghanistan with an address in Elizabeth, New Jersey.

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The Federal Bureau of Investigation was executing a search warrant in Elizabeth, N.J., on Monday morning after five bombs were found near a train station and bar in the area late Sunday, one day after an explosion injured 29 people in Manhattan's Chelsea neighborhood. The FBI has identified an Afghan national who lived in Elizabeth as a suspect in the Chelsea explosion. 

The discovery of the five bombs in Elizabeth, one of which detonated as a bomb squad robot attempted to disarm it, follows a weekend of attacks. On Saturday, a pressure-cooker bomb packed with shrapnel exploded in Chelsea, and another device was found in the same neighborhood later that day. Also on Saturday, a pipe bomb disrupted a charity run in New Jersey, and a man injured nine people with a knife at a Minnesota shopping mall. 

Authorities said they are investigating possible connections between the string of attacks. Law enforcement officials told NPR that the bombs found in New Jersey on Sunday night were similar to the one found late Saturday in Chelsea. Both devices used pressure cookers, Christmas lights, and flip phones and were filled with BBs and ball bearings as shrapnel. 

The New Jersey devices were discovered in a backpack in a trash can by two men, who said they reported it to the police after seeing "wires and a pipe" in the bag. There were no injuries, but, as Elizabeth's mayor, Christian Bollwage, told reporters, "I can imagine that if all five of them went off at the same time, that the loss of life could have been enormous if there was an event going on."

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said on Monday morning that there may be a possible foreign connection behind the Chelsea explosion. Minutes later, authorities named Ahmad Khan Rahami, a 28-year-old man born in Afghanistan, as an individual wanted in connection with the bombing. A wanted poster issued by the FBI requests public assistance in finding Mr. Rahami but cautions that he "should be considered armed and dangerous":

The FBI is asking for assistance in locating Ahmad Khan Rahami. Rahami is wanted for questioning in connection with an explosion that occurred on September 17, 2016, at approximately 8:30 p.m. in the vicinity of 135 West 23rd Street, New York, New York.

Rahami is a 28-year-old United States citizen of Afghan descent born on January 23, 1988, in Afghanistan.  His last known address was in Elizabeth, New Jersey.  He is about 5’ 6” tall and weighs approximately 200 pounds.  Rahami has brown hair, brown eyes, and brown facial hair.

Officials have said that all attacks over the weekend were deliberate and that they were investigating them as potential acts of terrorism, but did not provide any additional details. No international militant group has claimed responsibility for the bombs in New York and New Jersey, but the self-proclaimed Islamic State has taken credit for the Minnesota stabbings.

The Minnesota attacker, who was shot dead by an off-duty police officer, has been identified as Dahir Aden, a university student and a private security guard. Witnesses said the man made references to Allah and asked at least one victim if he or she was Muslim. 

Authorities have not identified a connection between the attacks in Minnesota, New York, and New Jersey. 

This report contains material from Reuters and the Associated Press.

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