A look into the personal journal carried by New York City and New Jersey bombing suspect, Ahmad Khan Rahami, at the time of his capture shows the true jihadi intentions behind his terrorist acts.
The 28-year-old Rahami, who was captured after a shootout with police on Monday in New Jersey, has been charged by federal prosecutors in both New Jersey and New York with planting a series of bombs across the two states, including a pressure cooker bomb that exploded on West 23rd Street in Manhattan on Saturday and injured 31 people.
An affidavit filed in Manhattan federal court on Tuesday provides details on the radical Islamic thoughts floating through the head of Rahami, who was born in Afghanistan in 1988 and first came to the United States in 1995 before he became a naturalized citizen in 2011.
The affidavit filed by FBI special agent Peter Fredrick Licata not only points to various pieces of evidence, such as surveillance footage and fingerprints, that could prove Rahami's culpability but also explains that Rahami was carrying with him a handwritten journal when he was detained by authorities on Monday.
Some of the radical Islamic rhetoric written in the journal could point to Rahami's motivation to plant the bombs.
"You (USA government) continue your [unintelligible] slaught[er] against the mujahidean [jihadis] be it Afghanistan, Iraq, Sham [Syria], Palestine," the affidavit states, citing one line in Rahami's journal.
Licata further claims in the affidavit that the journal makes references to "pipe bombs" and a "pressure cooker bomb."
As radical terrorist groups like the Islamic State have long called on radicalized lone wolves to kill non-Muslims in the West, Licata's affidavit claims that Rahami's journal discusses the "instructions of terrorist leaders" that urge Muslims to kill nonbelievers where they are if it is infeasible to travel to Iraq or Syria.
"I looked for guidance and ... guidance came Sheikh Anwar [al-Awlaki] said it clearly attack the Kuffar [disbelievers] in their backyard."
Al-Awlaki was a senior leader and recruiter for the al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula before he was killed in 2011. Along with al-Awlaki, the affidavit claims that the journal makes reference to Osama bin Laden and Fort Hood shooter Nidal Hasan.
The affidavit further claims that the journal shows that Rahami must have been concerned about the possibility of him being arrested before he could carry out bomb plots.
"[T]he FBI and homeland security [unintelligible] looking for me [unintelligible] my heart I pray to the beautiful wise ALLAH. To not take JIHAD away from. I beg [unintelligible] for shahadat [martyrdom] and Inshallah [God willing] this call will be A[n]swered," the affidavit quotes the journal as stating.
According to affidavit, Rahami's journal concludes by stating: "Inshallah [God willing] the sounds of the bombs will be heard in the streets. Gun shots to your police. Death To Your OPPRESSION."
Rahami had previously been investigated by the FBI in 2014 after his father reported concerns that his son was getting involved with radicalized terrorists. However, the FBI said that it found no "ties to terrorism" when it first investigated Rahami and quickly dropped its investigation.
According to Reuters, the White House said on Tuesday that the bombings and bomb plots were "an act of terrorism."
Authorities continue to investigate whether or not Rahami acted alone or if he had accomplices. They are also investigating whether or not he became radicalized during his trips to Afghanistan or Pakistan.
"The investigation is active and ongoing, and it is being investigated as an act of terror," U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch said.