NEW YORK (NBC) — A note found on the pressure cooker bomb left on 27th Street in Manhattan Saturday referenced Anwar al-Awlaki, the American-born al-Qaida-linked cleric killed in a U.S. drone strike in 2011, and the Boston Marathon bombings, a law enforcement official familiar with the investigation tells NBC News.
The note, described by one official as “a hodge podge, a rambling, disconnected, choppy series of references to past events,” also mentioned the 2009 mass shooting at Fort Hood, where a U.S. Army major and psychiatrist killed 13 people and injured 30 others.
The pressure cooker, which had a flip-phone attached and wires protruding, did not explode; it was removed to a Bronx firing range for controlled detonation. The device was found four blocks from the scene where a device exploded in or near a dumpster on 23rd Street, injuring 29 people and spraying the street with shattered glass and debris.
Authorities took suspect Ahmad Rahami, a 28-year-old naturalized citizen born in Afghanistan, into custody Monday following a shootout in Linden, New Jersey, that left two police officers wounded. They are expected to make full recoveries. Rahami, who was shot 10 times, remains hospitalized. He has been charged with five counts of attempted murder of a law enforcement officer, and is expected to face federal charges related to bombs that exploded at the site of a Marine 5k race in Seaside Park, New Jersey, and in Chelsea.
Federal officials say surveillance video shows a man believed to be Rahami at the scene of the Chelsea explosion and also at the scene where the pressure cooker device was left. Additional details about the contents of the note weren’t immediately available, but law enforcement officials wondered about the purpose of leaving a note with a bomb. If the bomb went off, the note would have been destroyed. Authorities are considering whether the intent may not have been for the pressure cooker device to explode, but for it to draw attention to the note.