US & Canada

Two sought over unexploded NY device

The FBI is seeking assistance in locating two unidentified men seen on surveillance footage taking a suitcase that contained an explosive device and leaving the device behind. Image copyright FBI Handout
Image caption The FBI is interested in speaking to the two unidentified individuals and recovering the luggage

The FBI is seeking two men pictured with a suitcase that allegedly contained a bomb which failed to explode in New York on Saturday.

The pair appeared to remove the explosive device from the luggage before taking the bag with them.

Authorities are looking to question the two men and recover the suitcase.

The device was allegedly planted by Ahmad Rahami, an Afghan-born, New Jersey resident who is facing charges in connection to twin blasts.

An FBI "seeking information" poster says the two men "allegedly located a piece of luggage on the sidewalk, removed an improvised explosive device from the luggage, and then left the vicinity leaving the device behind but taking the luggage".

Investigators have said the suitcase was left at West 27th Street in Manhattan by 28-year-old Mr Rahami.

The 27th Street bomb never exploded.

But at around the same time another explosive device detonated on West 23rd Street in the Chelsea neighbourhood, injuring 31 people.

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Media captionAhmad Khan Rahami: What we know about NY bombing suspect

Police had earlier said they believed the two men did not appear to be related to the plot.

But in Wednesday's poster it said agents are "interested in speaking to these individuals and recovering the luggage".

Mr Rahami has been charged in relation to the New York explosion and another device that exploded harmlessly hours earlier near a race in Seaside Park, New Jersey.

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He was arrested on Monday after being found sleeping in a pub doorway in Linden, New Jersey.

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Media caption'I cried all day' over US bomb blasts - New Jersey reacts

Mr Rahami was subsequently arrested after a shootout with police. He remains in hospital.

A handwritten journal found on Mr Rahami at the time of his arrest revealed that he had planned a suicide attack and hoped to be martyred rather than caught, according to a federal court complaint filed on Tuesday.

Journal entries from the bloodied book showed his disdain for the US government and included references to Anwar al-Awlaki, the American-born Muslim cleric who was killed in a 2011 drone strike, the Boston Marathon bombings, the 2009 Fort Hood shootings in Texas and Osama bin Laden.

Mr Rahami wrote: "The sounds of the bombs will be heard in the streets."

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

"Death to your oppression," a final message read.

The entries did not appear to make any reference to the so-called Islamic State.

Authorities also said Mr Rahami ordered citric acid, ball bearings and electronic igniters on eBay and had them delivered to a business where he worked in Perth Amboy, New Jersey, on 12 September.

A recording on a relative's mobile phone showed Mr Rahami testing out the material in a backyard just two days before the attacks.

After his arrest, federal authorities admitted that they had looked into Mr Rahami in 2014, when his father expressed concern after a domestic dispute involving his son.

"The FBI conducted internal database reviews, interagency checks and multiple interviews, none of which revealed ties to terrorism," the FBI said in a statement.

Investigators are looking into whether Mr Rahami was radicalised during previous trips to Pakistan and Afghanistan.

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