Local and federal authorities were warned back in 2014 by the father of Ahmad Khan Rahami, the man suspected of planting bombs in New York and New Jersey this past weekend, that he might have terrorist sympathies, the New York Times reports.
Mohammad Rahami told the paper Tuesday that he grew worried about his son after he allegedly stabbed his brother in a domestic dispute two years ago. The incident prompted the father to go to New Jersey police and disclose concerns that his son might be flirting with extremism.
"Two years ago I go to the FBI because my son was doing really bad, OK?" Mohammad Rahami told the Times. "But they check almost two months, they say, 'He's OK, he's clean, he's not a terrorist.' I say OK."
After Rahami made the initial report to New Jersey police, it was passed on to the Joint Force Terrorism Task Force headed up by the FBI in Newark. Agents then opened up a basic "assessment," interviewing the father, who at that point recanted the accusation. It's unclear if cops spoke with Ahmad Khan Rahami directly.
Meanwhile, federal law enforcement is looking into trips the younger Rahami took to Pakistan between 2010 and 2014. They are also probing a notebook recovered at the time of his arrest allegedly containing jihadist tracts about killing nonbelievers, as well as praise for Anwar al-Awlaki, the deceased al Qaeda propagandist whose teachings have been linked to the San Bernardino shooters, the Boston bomber, and the Orlando shooter.
Although Ahmad Khan Rahami spent over three months in jail following the domestic dispute, he was not on the terrorist watchlist or the NYPD watchlist, according to CNBC. After engaging in a chase and shootout with police Monday, the man faces five counts of attempted murder of a law enforcement officer, though other charges are likely.