ELIZABETH - Federal agents on Thursday continued scouring a handful of locations in New Jersey connected to suspected bomber Ahmad Rahami, including his family home and business in Elizabeth.
Earlier Thursday, investigators briefly shut down a Kennedy Fried Chicken establishment in downtown Perth Amboy, one of two chicken joints from which FBI agents have been gathering evidence as they search for clues into the bombings linked to Rahami, who is believed to have once worked and lived in the city.
Rahami's family home and business on Elmora Avenue in Elizabeth remains off limits to the public, with federal agents seen coming and going throughout the day. Made public Wednesday was a journal belonging to Rahami, which was found on him when taken into custody. It purportedly contains references supporting other terrorist acts and well-known terror groups.
An Elizabeth resident who lives near Rahami's home, and who did not want to be identified, says he and another neighbor have seen and heard suspicious activity in Rahami's backyard. That other neighbor says a fire broke out in Rahami's backyard last Thursday. He didn't think anything of it, he says, but the criminal complaint against Rahami says he ignited a device near his Elizabeth residence two days before the Saturday bombings in Manhattan and Seaside Park.
The neighbors said late nights were the norm at the Rahamis' business, First American Fried Chicken. Complaints about the business prompted Mohammad Rahami to square off against the city and others in a lawsuit, citing bias against Muslims.
Several people living in the area admitted that they had problems with the Rahamis, but denied that there was any anti-Muslim sentiment.
Rahami remains at University Hospital in Newark, where he is being treated for gunshot wounds suffered during a shootout with police prior to his capture Monday in Linden. The two police officers allegedly shot by Rahami are out of the hospital and reportedly doing well.
An ex-girlfriend of Rahami's, with whom he shares a child, issued a statement through her lawyer saying that she is shocked and appalled by recent incidents, and that she sends her prayers and thoughts to all those involved.
His current wife was flown back to the U.S. from Dubai Wednesday night and has been speaking with the FBI. So far, she is not considered a suspect in the bombings.