US & Canada

US attacks: What we know about Minnesota, New York and New Jersey

Police investigate at the site of an explosion that occurred on Saturday night on September 18, 2016 in the Chelsea neighborhood of New York City. An explosion in a construction dumpster that injured 29 people is being labeled an "intentional act". A second device, a pressure cooker, was found four blocks away that an early investigation found was likely also a bomb. Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption The Chelsea blast injured 29 people

US officials are investigating several attacks that happened over the weekend, including three on one day.

What do we know about who attacked Minnesota, New York and New Jersey?

What happened?

On Saturday morning, a pipe bomb exploded on the route of a charity race in New Jersey. Nobody was hurt, because the road was empty at the time. The race had been delayed due to an unattended bag. The event, which was planned to raise money for Marines and sailors, was cancelled.

That evening, a man dressed in a security uniform stabbed eight people in a shopping centre in a town in Minnesota. They all survived and none of their injuries are life-threatening. The attacker was shot and killed by an off-duty police officer. It happened in St Cloud, 70 miles (110km) from the major city of Minneapolis. The town's police chief said the man had asked at least one person if they were Muslim.

Image caption The stabbings happened more than 1,200 miles (1,900km) away from the bombings

At roughly the same time, more than 1,200 miles (1,900km) away in Manhattan, New York, a pressure cooker filled with shrapnel exploded. It happened in the Chelsea area where there is a bustling nightlife, and 29 people were injured. All were released from hospital by Sunday. The same kind of bomb had been used in the Boston marathon attack in 2013.

A second, similar, bomb found four blocks away was removed safely.

Overnight on Sunday and in the early hours of Monday morning, up to five explosive devices were found in a backpack inside a rubbish bin in Elizabeth, New Jersey. One of them exploded while being handled by a robot. The city's mayor has said this was "not a controlled explosion".

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Media captionA bomb disposal robot tried to disarm a device under a bridge near the station

Who are the suspects?

Image copyright FBI
Image caption The FBI warned that Ahmad Khan Rahami should be considered armed and dangerous

On Monday, Ahmad Khan Rahami was arrested after a shootout with police in Linden, New Jersey, a city four miles (6.4km) south-west of Elizabeth, where more devices were found on Sunday. Rahami, 28, a suspect in the New Jersey and New York bombings, was born in Afghanistan and later became a US citizen.

Earlier on Monday, the FBI sent text message alerts to millions of New Yorkers warning them Rahami "should be considered armed and dangerous".

Dahir A Adan, a 22-year-old student, was identified by his father as the assailant in the Minnesota knife attack. Adan, a Kenyan-born Somali man, had lived in the US for 15 years according to his father. Ahmed Adan said he had "no suspicion" his son was involved in extremist activity.

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Media captionThe moment of the New York blast was caught on CCTV

Were they terrorism attacks?

It's hard to say - not least without a consistent definition of what terrorism is. The authorities have said the motive for all three attacks was unclear.

New York's Governor Andrew Cuomo originally said the bomb in the city was "obviously an act of terrorism, but it's not linked to international terrorism", and clarified that no link to the so-called Islamic State (IS) group "et cetera" had been found.

But after the suspect was identified, Mr Cuomo said: "Today's information suggests it may be foreign related, but we'll see where it goes."

So-called Islamic State said the Minnesota attacker was one of its "soldiers", but the FBI says it has not been able to find any link. IS has called for "lone wolf" attacks and has been known to claim attacks by people who were later found not to have been in contact with the group.

Will security measures change?

They already have. About 1,000 extra security personnel have being deployed to New York's transport hubs as President Barack Obama arrived in the city. He was scheduled to be there on Tuesday to open the UN General Assembly, attended by leaders and delegates from around the world.

Image copyright AFP
Image caption Police officers set up barricades outside UN headquarters in New York ahead of the General Assembly

What have public figures said?

"If you look at a number of these incidents, you can call them whatever you want: they are terrorism, though," said Chris Christie, the Governor of New Jersey.

The Democratic Party's candidate for the presidency, Hillary Clinton, said: "This should steel our resolve to protect our country and defeat ISIS and other terrorist groups."

Republican candidate Donald Trump was one of the first to say Chelsea was a bomb attack. He later tweeted: "Best wishes and condolences to all of the families and victims of the horrible bombing."


Saturday 09:30 local time (13:30 GMT): Pipe bomb explodes on route of charity race in Seaside Park, New Jersey

Saturday 21:00 local time (01:00 Sunday GMT): Manhattan pressure cooker bomb explodes

Saturday 23:30 local time (03:30 Sunday GMT): Manhattan second pressure cooker bomb found but does not explode

Saturday 20:00 local time (02:00 Sunday GMT): eight people stabbed in Minnesota

Sunday 20:30 local time (01:30 Monday GMT): first of five pipe bombs found in a bin in Elizabeth, New Jersey

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