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Security Theater: How Bombing Suspect Ahmad Rahami Stayed Off The FBI’s Radar

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He traveled repeatedly to regions in Pakistan and Afghanistan known for their ties to militant Islamist groups like the Taliban and al-Qaeda. His friends noticed that he’d become a startlingly different person in recent years, growing a beard and appearing more deeply rooted in his Muslim faith. His father even once told police that his son was a terrorist.

Yet Ahmad Khan Rahami remained virtually unknown to law enforcement until hours after he allegedly went on a bombing rampage across New York and New Jersey over the weekend.

On Monday, Rahami, a 28-year-old naturalized citizen, was charged for the string of incidents that injured dozens and triggered one of the largest manhunts in the region’s history. That an alleged bomb maker who frequented terrorist hot spots overseas could elude detection underscores the immense challenge counterterrorism officials face as they seek to curb mounting threats across the country. It also speaks to the difficulties in identifying those who have set on a path toward radicalization, analysts say. – READ MORE

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