ACLU to Represent Bombing Suspect Ahmad Rahami

The American Civil Liberties Union is representing Ahmad Rahami, the man accused of setting off bombs in New York and New Jersey that injured over 30 people.

The revelation came after judges in both states denied public defenders’ attempts to represent Ahmad Khan Rahami, the Associated Press reports.

A lawyer for the ACLU’s New Jersey chapter entered a notice of appearance for his case in federal court in Newark Monday after federal judges sided with prosecutors’ arguments that say he had not been officially arrested by federal authorities.

Rahami has been hospitalized and has not made an initial court appearance since the shootout with police in Linden, NJ, on Sept. 17.

Prosecutors say he has been unconscious and intubated as a result of undergoing surgery for his wounds but did not have an updated condition since last week.

ACLU attorney Alexander Shalom said to the AP that officials informed him Rahami remains unconscious.

Shalom said in a filing that Rahami’s father and wife requested that the ACLU represent him until a public defender or other lawyer is appointed.

Udi Ofer, the ACLU’s executive director, said denying Rahami’s right to a lawyer “violates the Constitution and needlessly sacrifices civil liberties in the name of national security.”

“It is outrageous that Mr. Rahami has been in custody for a week yet has been denied the right to have an attorney visit him to confirm his condition and protect his constitutional rights,” Ofer said.

Rahami faces federal charges of using weapons of mass destruction, bombing, destruction of property, and use of a destructive device for leaving bombs in New York, Elizabeth, and Seaside Park.

He is also accused of five counts of attempted murder in the shootout with Linden police.


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