The wife of suspected bomber Ahmad Khan Rahami is being sought by investigators for questioning. She reportedly left the country days before bomb attacks hit New Jersey and New York on Saturday.
The as-of-yet unidentified woman traveled to Pakistan and now authorities want to know her role—if any—in the attacks. U.S. officials are working in conjunction with officials in Pakistan and the United Arab Emirates to locate her.
Little is known about Rahami’s wife or their marriage, but it has been reported that following a trip to Afghanistan several years ago, Rahami returned to the United States as a married man. Rahami reportedly applied to bring his wife to the US in 2011.
In 2014, while in Islamabad, Pakistan, Rahami sought the assistance of Rep. Albio Sires (D-NJ) to help bring his pregnant wife to U.S. after she had issues with her visa and passport. Her Pakistani passport had expired and she wouldn’t be approved for an immigrant visa unless her passport was renewed, said Sires.
“He wanted his wife to come from Pakistan,” Sires told MSNBC. “At the time she was pregnant and in Pakistan. They told her that she could not come over until she had the baby, because she had to get a visa for the baby.”
It is not yet known when she arrived in the United States.
A federal official told the Los Angeles Times that Rahami had taken at least three trips to Pakistan and Afghanistan since 2014 for months at a time.
Rahami, a 28-year-old naturalized American citizen of Afghan descent, is the primary suspect behind the explosion that injured 29 people in New York City’s Chelsea neighborhood and planting homemade bombs in Seaside and Elizabeth, New Jersey on Saturday.
After a nationwide manhunt, Rahami was captured after a police shootout in Linden, New Jersey on Sept. 19. He has since been charged with five counts of attempted murder of a law enforcement officer.
Rahami has also been charged with second-degree unlawful possession of a weapon and second-degree possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose and is being held on $5.2 million bail.
As authorities continue to investigate the blast, Rahami is also expected to face terrorism charges in relation to the attack.