Bombing suspect Ahmad Khan Rahami bought all his bomb-making materials off eBay, the Tuesday FBI criminal complaint against him alleges.
Rahami made little effort to conceal his identity, selecting the eBay username “Ahmad Rahimi,” and shipping the items to his place of work. Rahami bought items ranging from citric acid, circuit boards for building the bomb’s triggers, fireworks components, and lead ball bearings.
Ebay defended the sale of these items, telling Gizmodo they “are legal to buy and sell in the United States and are widely available at online and offline stores,” and that eBay is “proactively working with law enforcement authorities on their investigation.”
Rahami allegedly assembled his bomb in the same fashion as the 2013 Boston Bombers, using two pressure cookers. Boston Marathon bombers Dzhokhar and Tamerlan Tsarnaev also used two pressure cooker bombs placed in backpacks to kill six and maim several hundred others. The brothers constructed their bomb using a manual within popular al-Qaida magazine, Inspire.
The manual the Tsarnaev brothers used is titled “Make A Bomb in the Kitchen of Your Mom.” The manual encourages would-be terrorists to use common household items, such as pressure cookers, to fashion maiming explosive devices packed with shrapnel.
Rahami’s bomb was quite powerful, constructed to inflict maximum damage. The suspected bomber placed the pressure cooker bomb inside a dumpster, which the FBI noted flew nearly 120 feet up in the air. The blast radius of the shrapnel injured nearly 30 people, and caused multiple million dollars in property damage to surrounding establishments.
The FBI’s special agent in charge noted that “injuries included lacerations to the face, abdomen, legs, and arms caused by flying glass, metal shrapnel, and fragmentation embedded in skin and bone.” The agent continued that the blast shattered windows 400 feet away from the detonation site, even breaking glass three stories up from the street.
The FBI charged Rahami with use of a weapon of mass destruction, bombing a place of public use, and destruction of property.
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