By Kelsey Mitchell, National News Writer
On Saturday September 17, New York and New Jersey experienced a string of bombings believed to have been related terrorist attacks.
Seaside Park was the first site hit in the string of related bombings. The Marine Semper Five race was set to take place that day; runners eagerly lined up in anticipation for the race.
At 9:30 am near the race line, which was moments away from starting, a pipe bomb exploded in a nearby trashcan. As the race was running late, no runners were injured. Two other pipe bombs that had failed to explode were found in the same trash can. Federal authorities arrived after being alerted to other possible bombs, and organizers cancelled the race to ensure the safety of its participants.
At 8:30 pm in the Chelsea neighborhood of Manhattan, on West 23rd near Seventh Ave, a pressure cooker filled with bits of metal shrapnel exploded. According to NY Daily News, the bombs were similar to the ones used in the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing. The bomb sent a dumpster skyrocketing and shattered the windows of nearby shops. NYPD closed off the street for the protection of the public.
Although nobody was killed, 29 people were injured due to the shrapnel. The bomb’s cell phone wiring matched the previous bombs in Seaside Park.
About three hours after the explosion in Chelsea, another bomb was discovered on 27th Avenue. Like the pipe bombs in Seaside, it also failed to detonate.
Around 10:17 pm New York’s ATF responded to the bombing, and around 10:30 nearby subway lines were closed. At 11:27, the NYPD tweeted, “At the current moment the cause of the explosion has not been determined.”
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo stated at 12:30 am that “whoever placed these bombs we will find and they will be brought to justice, period. And they will be punished.”
New York residents awoke to text message alerts the next morning stating “Imminent extreme alert. WANTED: Ahmad Khan Rahami, 28-yr-old male.”
Early Monday morning, a backpack with exposed wire was found near the Elizabeth train station in New Jersey. Luckily the bomb did not detonate.
Around 10 a.m. Monday morning Ahmad Khan Rahami was found in Linden, New Jersey. Rahami was asleep in the doorway of a bar when he was met by local law enforcement. Rahami was armed, and began to open fire on the police. One officer took a bullet to the abdomen, but was wearing a vest. Rahami was taken into custody following the shootout.
Rahami is responsible for both the Seaside Park and the Chelsea bombings.
At the time, there is no known motive for the bombings. Mayor Bill de Blasio stated; “Was it a political motivation? A personal motivation? We do not know.”
Following the explosions, presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump offered their own commentary on the attacks.
At his Colorado Springs rally, Trump stated, “Just before I got off the plane, a bomb went off in New York, and nobody knows exactly what’s going on, but boy, we are living in a time”. On Sunday before Rahami was arrested, T
rump tweeted ““I would like to express my warmest regards, best wishes and condolences to all of the families and victims of the horrible bombing in NYC”.
Clinton, who was briefed on the bombings following her speech at the Congressional Black Caucus, stated “Obviously, we need to do everything we can to support our first responders…Also to pray for the victims. We have to let this investigation unfold.”
A version of this article appeared in the Tuesday, September 27th print edition.
Contact Kelsey at