The Islamic State (ISIS/ISIL)-linked Cyber Kahilafah posted tutorials on the encrypted messaging app Telegram on using pressure cookers to create deadly bombs and modifying cell phones and Bluetooth devices to use as timers to detonate remotely, according to the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI) Jihad and Terrorism Threat Monitor (JTTM).
According to Washington D.C.-based MEMRI JTTM, the tutorials were posted in the wake of the series of bombs planted in New York and New Jersey by Ahmad Khan Rahami, a 28-year-old naturalized U.S. citizen from Afghanistan who is believed to have used two pressure cooker bombs, including one that blew up on a busy street in New York and injured 31 people and another found nearby unexploded.
The [New York] explosion came from a “high explosive charge” placed inside a pressure cooker and left in a Dumpster. The blast propelled the Dumpster 100 feet and shattered windows 400 feet above the detonation. The bomb was packed with ball bearings and steel nuts — likely used to increase the lethality of the device — that traveled as far as 650 feet from the site, [a federal] complaint alleges.
An unexploded pressure cooker found a few blocks away — the one inside the duffel bag taken by the two men authorities want to question — was packed with similar components, including a cell phone that would act as a timer. Twelve fingerprints recovered from the pressure cooker, duct tape and triggering cell phone were matched to Rahami.
Rahami was arrested on September 19 following a shootout with police in New Jersey. Although he is believed to have been influenced by the ISIS and its rival al-Qaeda, neither group has claimed any connection to the attack.
The terrorist used various forms of explosive devices, including the pressure cooker bombs and a pipe bomb that exploded in a New Jersey shore town and appeared to be targeting a Marine Corps charity race. No one was injured.
Both ISIS and al-Qaeda are known for publicizing manuals and tutorials online and on their respective magazines on how to construct explosive devices using household items. Al-Qaeda’s propaganda magazine Inspire specifically detailed how to make pressure cooker bombs a few years ago.
Rahami has been charged with federal crimes, including using weapons of mass destruction, bombing a public place, destruction of property, and use of a destructive device in New Jersey and New York. He has also been charged with five counts of attempted murder of a law enforcement officer in connection to the confrontation with police that ended with his arrest, reports NJ.com.
Federal complaints filed in the District of New Jersey and the Southern District of New York reveal that one of Rahami’s relatives had a cell phone video of the terrorist detonating an explosive in the immediate vicinity of his alleged home in Elizabeth, New Jersey.
The video was taken two days before the bombings, NJ.com reports, citing authorities.
“The video depicts Rahami in a backyard… the lighting of the fuse, a loud noise and flames, followed by billowing smoke and laughter,” the complaints reveal.
Two cell phones used in the bombs were shipped to a Perth Amboy, New Jersey, store located about 500 meters from a residence [in Elizabeth] listed on Rahami’s 2012 passport application as home.
The “user address” for the phone attached to the unexploded pressure cooker bomb found in Chelsea belonged to Rahami’s residence, the complaint alleges.
A social media account associated with the phone contained videos of violent extremist content.
From June 20 to August 10, registered eBay user “ahmad rahimi” purchased items associated with bomb making. They were shipped to a Perth Amboy business where Rahami is believed to have worked until September 12.
In recent years, Rahami traveled for extended periods to Taliban and al-Qaeda strongholds in Afghanistan and Pakistan where he may have received jihadi training, including tutorials on how to create bombs.