Ahmad Khan Rahami, an Afghan-American accused of setting off bombs in New Jersey and New York, will be temporarily represented by a lawyer, who works for the American Civil Liberties (ACLU).
In a statement issued by the American Civil Liberties, it was revealed that Mohammad Rahami, who is the father of Ahmad Khan Rahami, contacted the organization because he is not adequately represented. Asia Bibi Rahami, the wife of the accused, has also reached out to the ACLU.
According to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Rahami, 28, is the man, who perpetrated the four bombings in Seaside Park, Manhattan, and Elizabeth earlier this month. The pipe and homemade pressure cooker bombs caused 31 people to be injured – thankfully no one was killed during the attacks.
After he was identified as the main suspect, a massive search occured, and he was eventually located in Linden, New Jersey. A shootout took place leaving Rahami and three police officers injured. Since the day he was captured, Rahami has been hospitalized and has not been able to speak to authorities.
ACLU attorney Alexander Shalom entered a notice of appearance Monday in Ahmad Khan Rahami’s case in federal court in Newark. Shalom said he would speak for Rahami until he is appointed a federal public defender or another lawyer. Shalom added, “the ACLU took up the case because there was concern that Rahami was being denied the right to counsel.”
Rahami has been charged with five counts of attempted murder of a law enforcement officer in relation to the shootout in Linden. He was also charged with second-degree unlawful possession of a weapon and second-degree possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose.
Public defenders from Newark and New York, who want to represent him have been denied by federal judges “on the grounds that Rahami has not officially been put under federal arrest.” Shalom said:
“Lawyers stand between the government and their clients. It’s a principle that we think is important, that our Constitution thinks is important. It’s important, not just in the easy cases. It’s important also…in the difficult cases. It’s extremely disturbing that Mr. Rahami’s lawyers have not been able to verify their client’s health condition, including his level of consciousness.”
The prosecutor’s office replied by saying:
“Rahami is still incapacitated and cannot even communicate let alone “assert his right to counsel.”
The ACLU has sent letters to the authorities in New York and New Jersey reminding them not to question their client without their authorization.