The father of New York bombing suspect said on Saturday the FBI had made “mistake after mistake” in handling the case and was now “punishing” the family for his son’s wrongdoing by barring them from travelling to the US.
said by phone that the FBI did not “do its job properly” by failing to act when he contacted investigators in 2014 with concerns his son could be a terrorist. He said he told investigators that his son had become “bad” and his personality had changed after returning from trips to Pakistan and Afghanistan.
Ahmad Khan Rahami spent time at Pakistan seminary tied to Taliban
A senior FBI official last month contested the elder Rahami’s claim that he had warned agents about his son. FBI agents interviewed the father after a 2014 incident in which Rahami was arrested on charges – later dropped – that he had stabbed one of his brothers in the leg, according to the FBI official, who insisted that Rahami’s father “at no time” discussed his son’s radicalization or potential interest in al-Qaida, the Taliban or their propaganda.
The official was not authorized to discuss the case by name and spoke to the Associated Press on condition of anonymity.
Rahami said US authorities had recently turned back his wife and one of his sons when they tried to travel from to the US. He said Ahmad Khan Rahami’s wife was also refused entry into the US. He would not reveal where his daughter-in-law was living, but said her family was from the Pakistani city of Quetta.
He urged US authorities to allow his relatives to travel to the US, saying they were law-abiding citizens.
Rahami is accused of planting bombs in New York and New Jersey that wounded 31 people last month. The Afghan-born US citizen remains hospitalized with gunshot wounds after a police shootout.
Prosecutors said that when he was arrested, Rahami was found to be carrying a journal that praised Osama bin Laden and other militants and that fumed about what he saw as the US government’s killing of Muslim holy warriors.
The elder Rahami said he had been given no information on his son’s condition in hospital.
He expressed his “sympathy for all those who suffered” in the blasts.
“My son’s bad act damaged our repute, it defamed my motherland and it caused bad impression about Islam, which stands for peace,” he said.