Bombing suspect’s family accused city of discrimination

Bombing suspect Ahmad Khan Rahami’s family accused the city of Elizabeth, N.J. and its police department of discrimination and harassment in 2011, according to a new report.

The Rahami family leveled the accusations during a dispute over its handling of their local restaurant, CNN said Monday.


CNN said Elizabeth’s city council voted in 2011 to close the First American Fried Chicken restaurant at 10 p.m. nightly.

Elizabeth Mayor J. Christian Bollwage on Monday said the city’s decision occurred because of “all the people hanging out there” at all hours.

Owner Mohammad Rahami and his two sons countered with a lawsuit, CNN said, claiming that the city conspired to “discriminate” and “illegally harass” them.

It maintained the city unfairly subjected them to citations for allegedly violating a city ordinance on hours of operation. The Rahamis also charged they were “threatened and harassed” by an officer from the Elizabeth, N.J. police department.

Officers and city representatives, CNN said, told the Rahamis their “restaurant presented a danger to the community."

A neighboring business owner also told the family “Muslims make too much trouble in this country” and “don’t belong here.”

CNN added the defendants, including police officers and city officials, denied the Rahamis’ allegations against them.

Federal court filings, it said, show the case disposition as a “statistical closing” without a clear ruling in the suit.

Police took Ahmad Khan Rahami into custody earlier Monday for connection with weekend explosions in New Jersey and New York.

Rahami, 28, a U.S. citizen born in Afghanistan, was apprehended in Linden, N.J. following a standoff with authorities.

One police officer was shot in the vest and another shot in the hand while capturing the possible terrorist. Rahami, for his part, was apparently conscious after he “sustained shots” during the incident.

Rahami was wanted for questioning after an explosion in New York City’s Chelsea neighborhood left 29 people injured late last Saturday.

A bomb also exploded on a charity race rout in Seaside Park, N.J. earlier the same day, and an unexploded device was found blocks away from the crime scene in New York that night.

Officials on Monday additionally found multiple bombs in a backpack near a train station in Elizabeth before capturing Rahami.