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Federal Charges Filed Against Chelsea Bombing Suspect Ahmad Khan Rahami

By  Kathleen Culliton and Aidan Gardiner | September 20, 2016 7:19pm | Updated on September 21, 2016 8:01am

 Ahmad Khan Rahami, of New Jersey, was charged with using a weapon of mass destruction, court documents show.
Ahmad Khan Rahami, of New Jersey, was charged with using a weapon of mass destruction, court documents show.
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MANHATTAN — The man accused of planting a bomb in Chelsea that injured 31 people wrote in his journal that he looked forward to the time when "the sounds of bombs will be heard in the streets," prosecutors said Tuesday.

The revelations into the steps leading to Ahmad Khan Rahami's New York and New Jersey bomb spree came in court documents in which federal prosecutors charge him with using a weapon of mass destruction, bombing a public place and two other charges leveled by U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara of the Southern District of New York.

If convicted, Rahami faces life in prison, prosecutors said.

Read the complaint below.

Rahami was captured on Monday in Linden, New Jersey, after police identified him as their primary suspect in the Saturday bombings in Chelsea in Manhattan and Seaside Park in New Jersey, police said.

He was carrying a journal at the time, which was partially damaged in the course of the arrest, in which he wrote jihadi missives.

"God willing, the sounds of the bombs will be heard in the streets. Gun shots to your police. Death To Your OPPRESSION," he wrote.

"You (USA Government) continue ... slaught[er] against the mujahidean be it Afghanistan, Iraq, [Syria], Palestine..." Rahami added.

He also included references to "pipe bombs" and "pressure cooker bombs," authorities said.

Before his arrest, Rahami frequently watched YouTube videos on his account, "Yaafghankid786," prosecutors said. His favorite videos, all of which were uploaded by other people, included videos like "jihad is a martyr's anthem" and "best jihad anthem."

►READ MORE: Chelsea Bomber Liked 'Best Jihad Anthem' and Drake on YouTube

Rahami's father had warned law enforcement officials that his son was a “terrorist” in 2014, during a domestic violence arrest, but later recanted his story, sources said. The FBI did not pursue the investigation, sources said.

In June, Rahami started taking concrete steps toward unleashing mass destruction when he began buying bomb components off eBay under the account "ahmad rahimi," prosecutors said.

He bought citric acid, which the seller noted was "great for bath bombs and candy making," along with a fireworks firing system and hundreds of ball bearings and metal balls for slingshots, prosecutors said.

The bomb parts weren't sent to his home, but to Rahami's job in Perth Amboy, officials said. He stopped working there on Sept. 12, but it wasn't immediately clear if he quit or was fired.

Five days later, he placed a bomb in Seaside Park, New Jersey, the first in a series across New York and New Jersey, prosecutors said.

The Seaside Park bomb went off without wounding anyone because a military race set to pass by was delayed. 

Of the two homemade bombs Rahami left in Chelsea, only the one planted on West 23rd Street went off, wounding 31 people and "causing significant injuries and multiple-million dollars of property damage across a 650-foot crime scene," prosecutors said.

One woman had to have ball bearings plucked from her body along with other metal fragments that were embedded in her ear and wood shards that pierced her neck, prosecutors said.

One driver passing by was knocked unconscious, officials said.

Investigators were able to lift Rahami's fingerprints from a bomb left in a bag on 27th Street in Chelsea. The bomb never detonated after two men removed it from the suitcase it was in, and then took the luggage, prosecutors said.

U.S. v. Ahmad Rahami Complaint by DNAinfoNewYork on Scribd