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The New York and New Jersey terrorist Ahmad Khan Rahani was not a lone wolf. Based on the sophistication of the bombs Rahani constructed, authorities suspect he received some sort of personalised explosives training. The New York Police Department and FBI detectives began also investigating a possible link of these attacks to the al-Qaeda terrorist group.
As Perth Herald Tribune reported the Saturday’s attack was an attack on four American states. One of the US authorities’ investigative scenarios is such a complex plot.
It is still too early to say whether Mr. Rahani was involved in all of the bombing attacks and other attempts of terrorist attacks that took place on Saturday, including at the Downtown Mall in Virginia.
al-Qaeda links to NYC terrorists possible
The facts that FBI has learned indicate that the author of the attacks was not an amateur.
For nearly a year until March 2014 Mr. Rahani lived in the Pakistani city of Quetta, one of the places where the al-Qaeda and ISIS leaders dispatch their couriers to terrorist cells around Western Europe. The suburbs of the city of al-Quetta in northern Pakistan were believed to be a shelter for the deputy of the al-Qaeda terrorist group Ayman al-Zawahiri as late as in 2011.
The American investigators were never able to reach these areas that remain under control of the Pakistani intelligence service. Although the United States authorities made the extraordinary efforts to nab al-Qaeda leader al-Zawahiri, he escaped.
In 2011 Chief Minister Balochistan Nawab Aslam Raisani made clear to US Ambassador Cameron Munter, that Ayman al-Zawahiri is not in Pakistan. In 2012 Pakistani authorities also made clear to American diplomats that any US intelligence agent in the region of Baluchistan, including al-Quetta, is a persona non-grata.
Speaking at the Council for Foreign Relations in the US in March 2016, Sartaj Aziz, advisor to Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on foreign affairs, conceded that Pakistan exercises some influence over the Afghan Taliban since “their leadership is in Pakistan, and they get some medical facilities, their families are here”.
Homegrown terrorist are neither homegrown nor lone wolves
Any homegrown terrorists are in fact non-homegrown, experts say. They are being taught, trained and financed by the external groups in foreign countries, including Pakistan, Afghanistan and Syria.
United States today conducts the complex investigations on about 1,000 potential naturalised violent extremists in all 50 states.
“These suspects thought to have been lone wolves might more accurately be described as known wolves – people whose radicalization, suspicious travel, and changes in behavior were observed by acquaintances”, Matthew Levitt, director of the Stein Program on Counterterrorism & Intelligence at The Washington Institute for Near East Policy said.