The hospitalized man accused of setting bombs in New York City and New Jersey has been communicating with authorities by nodding, CBS News has learned.
Two law enforcement officials confirmed to CBS News that, 28, nodded no when asked if anybody else was involved in the bombings that injured 31 people in Manhattan’s Chelsea neighborhood last month. No one was injured in the New Jersey explosion.
Rahimi, an Afghan-born U.S. citizen, was shot between eight and 10 times when he was captured in northern New Jersey two days after he allegedly detonated a pipe bomb along the route of a Marine Corps charity race in the New Jersey shore town of Seaside Park and a pressure cooker bomb in New York City on Sept. 17.
When asked if the bombing locations were chosen at random, Rahimi nodded yes, the law enforcement officials told CBS News.
Rahimi was expected to survive his injuries. His breathing tube has been removed.
He pleaded not guilty on Thursday to charges that he tried to kill police officers in New Jersey before they captured him. An attorney for Rahimi entered the pleas as Rahimi appeared from his hospital bed in Newark in his first public appearance since his arrest.
Authorities have Rahimi on video coming out of New York’s Pennsylvania Station carrying bags.
A second pressure cooker bomb did not explode in Chelsea after two passers-by removed it from a bag left on the sidewalk. Authorities believe the second bomb was disrupted when it was removed from the bag or when the two men, as seen on surveillance video, kicked the pressure cooker.
The men, identified as EgyptAir employees, have been interviewed multiple times by Egyptian intelligence and law enforcement authorities. They have not been questioned by U.S. authorities.
They told authorities the bag was discarded. They were described as unarmed “bouncers” for EgyptAir who earn $400 a month.
EgyptAir reassigned their routes so they will not be coming to the U.S. anytime soon. If that changes, alarms will go off for U.S. authorities because both men have now been flagged.
Authorities were still investigating Rahimi’s family members. They weren’t sure how a video ofin his backyard got on his sister’s phone. Rahimi had gotten rid of his personal cellphone and was using disposable phones.