Ahmad Khan Rahami, the man arrested for the weekend bombing campaign in New York and New Jersey, was charged by the feds yesterday. The charges include “use of a weapon of mass destruction” and “bombing of a public place.” Astonishingly, the Justice Department accused Rahami of intending to quote “cause death and serious bodily injury’’ end quote by placing the explosive devices. Thirty one people were injured when one of the bombs blew in the Chelsea neighborhood of Manhattan, which launched shrapnel across a six hundred fifty foot radius and shattered windows three stories high and up to four hundred feet away. The pressure-cooker bomb was quote “packed with ball bearings and steel nuts, hundreds of which were recovered from the blast site,” according to the feds.
According to published news reports, Rahami surfaced on the F B I’s radar two years ago when his father, Mohammad, allegedly accused his son of being a terrorist during a domestic quarrel in which Ahmad brandished a knife in a confrontation with his brother. A neighbor heard Mohammad order his son out of the house, calling him a terrorist. The police were called and reported the neighbor’s statement to the F B I, which reviewed Ahmad’s prior activity and twice interviewed the father, who told agents he made the terrorist claim out of anger, though he did express concerns about his Ahmad’s friends.
The feds are questioning Ahmad’s wife, Asia Bibi Rahami, who left the country to visit relatives in Pakistan just prior to the bombings. The feds say it does not appear to be related or timed to the bombing campaign. Yeah, right…
Anyway, when captured, Rahami had a note referencing the 2 0 0 9 mass shooting at Fort Hood, TX, where Major Nidal Hasan gunned down thirteen unarmed soldiers while shouting Allah Akbar, or whatever it is, during what the feds, including the current occupant of the White House, called a “incident of workplace violence,” which the rest of us knew was a terrorist attack.
The Bedford Police Department has received numerous complaints regarding drivers on South River Road failing to stop when a school bus stops to pick up or drop off students. So they’ve issued a reminder that goes like this, quote (emphasis in the original):
When a bus stops, EVERYONE, – ALL 4 Lanes, -BOTH directions, NEEDS TO STOP. Pay attention and stop, kids lives are at stake! Remember, if the bus stops, the students could potentially be crossing all four lanes to get to their destination. This also goes for any school bus that is in the process of discharging or picking up students on any Bedford road. It’s the law and the Bedford Police will be out enforcing this in the morning and afternoons.
News from our own backyard continues after this.
The Hooksett Police Department responded to the end of Campus Dr. on Monday night following a call regarding “an unstable twenty three year old male armed with a semi-automatic rifle.” When officers arrived, they heard four to five rounds being discharged from the woodline in an unknown direction. They backed off, set up a perimeter and waited for the Manchester Police Department SWAT Team to arrive. The male, identified as Christopher Garon, was contained in an undeveloped cul-de-sac and in contact with the officers on scene. He was taken into custody without incident in the wee hours of the morning on Tuesday. In addition to Manchester, the New Hampshire State Police, Bow and Allenstown police departments and the Hooksett Fire Department assisted with the call.
Last night’s meetings of the Manchester Board of Mayor and Aldermen and several of its sub committees proved to be interesting. The Committee on Human Resources learned that the twenty one thousand dollars the city spent to conduct an audit to verify the eligibility of dependents on city employee health and dental insurance plans was well spent. Seven spouses and twenty seven children were receiving benefits to which they were not entitled. Their removal from the plan saved the city over one hundred seventy seven thousand dollars. We’ve uploaded the report.
Also last night, the board approved one year contract extensions with its fire fighters, fleet and facilities workers that granted them a retroactive one percent COLA and reinstated their step and longevity increases. But the marquee moment of the night came when the board overrode Mayor Ted Gatsas’ veto of the contract with the Manchester Police Patrolman’s Association. Citing budget figures showing the city was facing a seven point two million dollar deficit for the coming budget year, Gatsas vetoed the contract, saying adding to a shortfall that was going to require massive layoffs to meet the tax cap was wrong and saying that while he believed the police deserved the raises, he had to balance that with the ability of the city and its taxpayers to pay for it and all the other contracts that would likely follow its adoption. He said the tax cap was the taxpayers voice in the discussion.
The contract passed nine to five with aldermen Ron Ludwig of Ward Two, Patrick Long of Ward Three, Tony Sapienza of Ward Five, Bill Shea of Ward Seven and Joe Kelly Levasseur at-Large opposed. However, the veto was overridden on a vote of twelve to three because Ludwig and Long changed their vote. We’ve linked to the debate we chronicled in our Live Blog Forum at Girard at Large dot com. It was fascinating, to say the least.
That’s news from our own backyard, Girard at Large hour ___ is next!