Federal authorities investigating the bombing attacks in New York City and New Jersey over the weekend are looking to interview the wife and mother of Ahmad Khan Rahami, the suspect who was captured Monday after a shootout with police. Rahami’s wife, who hasn’t been named, left the country a few days before he allegedly planted the bombs at multiple locations in New York and New Jersey, according to a report by The New York Daily News. His mother, Najiba Rahami, left the country three weeks ago and has not returned, a federal official reportedly said.
According to reports, Rahami’s wife, Asia Bibi Rahami is in the United Arab Emirates and has been cooperating with federal investigators. Authorities reportedly said she hasn’t been charged with any wrongdoing and they haven’t revealed what she’s told them. She was reportedly scheduled to fly back to the U.S. later this week. Earlier on Tuesday, The New York Times reported that Rahami’s father, Mohammad Rahami, told FBI agents in 2014 that his son was a terrorist. Rahami had made multiple trips to Pakistan and his native Afghanistan.
Little else is known about his mother and wife. On Tuesday, U.S. Rep. Albio Sires of New Jersey appeared on cable news morning shows and recalled that he received a phone call from Rahami in 2014 while he was in Islamabad, Pakistan, seeking help. Sires said Rahami’s wife was having problems with an expired passport. “He wanted his wife to come from Pakistan,” Sires said during an appearance on MSNBC. “At the time she was pregnant and in Pakistan. They told her that she could not come over until she had the baby, because she had to get a visa for the baby.” None of this raised any red flags with the congressman, though he noted that Rahami’s demeanor on the phone was “kind of nasty.” In a turn of events that echoes what led to the terror attack in San Bernadino last December, Rahamai’s wife was eventually allowed into the United States.