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Wife of N.J., NYC bombing suspect arrives in U.S.: source

NEW YORK -- The wife of the suspect in the New York and New Jersey bombings arrived in New York on a flight Wednesday night, a source told CBS New York.

Ahmad Khan Rahami’s wife – Asia Bibi Rahami –  returned voluntarily, CBS News’ Andy Triay reported. She is not believed to be a suspect. After the bombing, she spoke with U.S. investigators in Dubai. Investigators here think she could help them better understand Rahami’s alleged path to radicalization, says CBS New York.

New York bombing 02:28

Federal prosecutors have charged Ahmad Khan Rahami with detonating a pipe bomb in a New Jersey shore town on Saturday morning and a pressure cooker bomb in New York City’s Chelsea neighborhood later that night. Thirty-one people were injured in the New York blast. A second pressure cooker bomb left in Manhattan didn’t explode and is the subject of the latest public plea.

Prosecutors said surveillance video shows Rahami rolling a suitcase down the street, then abandoning it on the sidewalk where that second device was found.

A few minutes later, two men pass by the luggage and appear to admire it, police said. They then remove a pressure cooker from the luggage, leave the pressure cooker on the sidewalk and walk away with the luggage.

Police investigating the bombings in New York and New Jersey have been saying for several days they were looking for the men, who they stressed were being sought as potential witnesses in the case, not as suspects.

“I think they were more interested in the bag, not what they were taking out,” Jim Watters, chief of the New York Police Department’s counterterrorism unit said, adding that they were “very, very lucky” the bomb didn’t explode.

In his early 20’s, during his trips to Afghanistan and Pakistan, Rahami got married. In 2014, he made efforts to bring his wife into the U.S., CBS News correspondent Anna Werner reported

New Jersey Congressman Albio Sires confirms Rahami sent an email from Pakistan to Sires’ office, wanting to know the status of an entry visa and passport for his wife. 

She was later denied the visa, Sires’ office said, because she was found to be 35 weeks pregnant and would have needed Pakistani passports for both herself and the baby to gain entry into the U.S. 

Sires told CBS News that Rahami told his office that he had been in Pakistan since April of 2013, and said he did not have any reason to have concerns about Rahami at that time. 

In court papers, a public defender sought a court appearance for Rahami, an Afghan-born U.S. citizen, so he can hear the federal terrorism charges against him.

Rahami, 28, was arrested on Monday following a shootout with police in Linden, New Jersey. He is being held on $5.2 million bail, and he faces state charges of attempted murder of police officers.

Attorney General Loretta Lynch said Rahami will be moved to New York to face federal charges in the “near future.”

In a bloodied journal recovered by investigators, Rahami made references to Osama bin Laden, American-born Muslim cleric Anwar al-Awlaki and former Army officer Nidal Hasan, who went on a shooting rampage in Ford Hood, Texas, according to a federal complaint.

In one section, the complaint says, Rahami wrote: “Death to your oppression.”

Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo, touring the site of the Manhattan blast on Wednesday, said he believes insurance companies will cover most of the losses incurred by those whose businesses and homes were damaged. But he said if there are gaps in coverage, the state would pay for anything left outstanding from its emergency funds.

Also Wednesday, a homeless man who took a backpack from a garbage can near a train station in Elizabeth, New Jersey, on Sunday night, not knowing it contained pipe bombs prosecutors say were made by Rahami, said he’s grateful he didn’t prompt an explosion.

“I don’t like to think about what could have happened, but I’m just so blessed and glad it didn’t,” Lee Parker said. “I still have my nine lives, I guess, and I’m going to keep trying to live them well.”

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