According to U.S. State Department data, almost 60 percent of the refugees resettled in New Jersey in the 2016 fiscal year so far were placed in Elizabeth, N.J., the hometown of Ahmad Khan Rahami, the man arrested Monday in connection with the bombings in New York and New Jersey this weekend.
Of the 505 refugees resettled in New Jersey between Oct. 1, 2015 and Sept. 19, 2016, 293 — 58 percent — were placed in Elizabeth. The vast majority of the refugees came from countries in the Middle East and Africa.
In this fiscal year so far, New Jersey has resettled 289 Syrian refugees, 174 of which were placed in Elizabeth.
Elizabeth resettled 62 of the 68 refugees from the Congo, and 13 of the 22 refugees from Afghanistan. Refugees also came from Iraq, Iran, Pakistan, Somalia and Sudan, among other countries. (RELATED: Virginia’s Syrian Refugees Resettled In Poor Communities Hours Away From Wealthy D.C. Suburbs)
Rahami was born in Afghanistan and first came to the U.S. in 1995, several years after his father came to the country seeking asylum, CNN reported.
He became a naturalized citizen in 2011, the same year he traveled to Afghanistan and Pakistan. Rahami reportedly married a Pakistani woman while abroad.
Over the course of his trips back-and-forth to the Middle East, Rahami reportedly became radicalized and grew a beard while abandoning Western clothes for traditional Muslim garb.
A woman Rahami fathered a child with in the U.S. told Fox News that Rahami often railed against homosexuals and American culture. (RELATED: REPORT: NYC Bombing Suspect Was Anti-Gay, Hated America)
“He would speak often of Western culture and how it was different back home,” the woman, identified only as Maria, told Fox News. “How there weren’t homosexuals in Afghanistan.”
The same year Rahami became a citizen and traveled to the Middle East, he sued the local police department with his father and older brother. The three men claimed the police were persecuting them because of their Muslim faith, subjecting them to “selective enforcement.” (RELATED: NYC Bombing Suspect Sued Police For Anti-Muslim Discrimination)