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Here’s How 2 Thieves Accidentally Helped Police Identify The NYC Bomber

REUTERS/FBI

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Russ Read Pentagon/Foreign Policy Reporter

Two thieves inadvertently disabled one of the bombs placed in New York City over the weekend, allowing authorities to pull information off an attached phone which identified the primary suspect, Ahmad Khan Rahami.

Rahami allegedly placed two bombs in Manhattan’s Chelsea neighborhood Saturday night, one of which was found by two well-dressed thieves, according to sources speaking to DNA Info. After finding the pressure cooker bomb in a rolling suitcase on West 27th street, the thieves removed the explosive, placed it in a garbage bag and walked away with the suitcase. Investigators believe the pair unintentionally disarmed the bomb, allowing police to retrieve the phone attached to it. It is fairly common practice for terrorists to use cell phones as triggers for homemade explosives.

“Who in this world finds a pressure cooker with a phone and just takes the bag?” A law enforcement source said to DNA Info.

After pulling data from the phone, investigators found pictures of Rahami on social media accounts and matched him with surveillance footage taken at the scene of the crime. Investigators also found a jihadi website on the phone which Rahami had allegedly posted to.

The second Manhattan bomb successfully detonated on 27th street, just a few blocks from the un-exploded bomb, injuring 29 people. Rahami is also believed to be responsible for a homemade bomb found in Seaside Park, N.J.

FBI and local New Jersey police put out wanted notices in and around Rahami’s home town of Elizabeth Monday. He was arrested Monday morning after engaging in a brief firefight with police in neighboring Linden, N.J.

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