Friends saw changes after terror suspect’s trip to Afghanistan

ELIZABETH, N.J. — A complicated and conflicting portrait emerged of the New Jersey man suspected of planting bombs from Manhattan to Seaside Park, N.J., in a weekend terror spree.

Ahmad Khan Rahami, a naturalized American citizen who was born in Afghanistan, was known to some old friends as a friendly and funny guy, and an auto enthusiast.

But others said the 28-year-old, whose family had once sued Elizabeth, N.J., alleging they were the targets of anti-Muslim bias, had changed after recent trips to south Asia, becoming more religious and conservative in his dress.

On Monday, Rahami was arrested in Linden, N.J., after a shootout with police — not far from his home above a restaurant his family owned and operated on Elmora Avenue in Elizabeth. Officials say there is video of Rahami planting pipe bombs and a jerry-rigged pressure cooker in lower Manhattan and Seaside Park, where people were gathering for a 5K run.


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