US investigators seek motive for NY, NJ weekend attacks

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Investigators were searching on Tuesday for clues to the motive behind the bombings and attempted bombings in New York and New Jersey over the weekend and to determine whether the Afghanistan-born suspect had accomplices or was radicalized overseas.

RELATED: Bomb blasts in New York City and New Jersey

Ahmad Khan Rahami, 28, was arrested on Monday in Linden, New Jersey following a dramatic gun battle with police after they were summoned by a neighborhood bar owner who thought the bearded man sleeping against his closed tavern's front door in the pouring rain resembled the bombing suspect.

RELATED: Images of Ahmad Rahami

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Ahmad Khan Rahami, who is wanted for questioning in connection with an explosion in New York City, is seen in this image taken from video, released by the New Jersey State Police on September 19, 2016. Courtesy New Jersey State Police/Handout via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY. FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY
Ahmad Khan Rahami, who is wanted for questioning in connection with an explosion in New York City, is seen in this image released by the New Jersey State Police on September 19, 2016. Courtesy New Jersey State Police/Handout via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY. FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY
Ahmad Khan Rahami, who is wanted for questioning in connection with an explosion in New York City, is seen in this image released by the New Jersey State Police on September 19, 2016. Courtesy New Jersey State Police/Handout via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY. FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY
An image of Ahmad Khan Rahami, who is wanted for questioning in connection with an explosion in New York City, is seen in a a poster released by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) on September 19, 2016. FBI/Handout via Reuters ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY. FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY.
An image of Ahmad Khan Rahami, who is wanted for questioning in connection with an explosion in New York City, is seen in a a poster released by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) on September 19, 2016. FBI/Handout via Reuters ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY. FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY. THIS PICTURE WAS PROCESSED BY REUTERS TO ENHANCE QUALITY. AN UNPROCESSED VERSION HAS BEEN PROVIDED SEPARATELY. TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
Ahmad Khan Rahami, who is wanted for questioning in connection with an explosion in New York City, is seen in this image taken from video, released by the New Jersey State Police on September 19, 2016. Courtesy New Jersey State Police/Handout via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY. FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY
Policemen place in an ambulance a man they identified as Ahmad Khan Rahami, who is wanted for questioning in connection with an explosion in New York City, in Linden, New Jersey, in this still image taken from video September 19, 2016. REUTERS/Anthony Genaro
A policeman takes a photo of a man they identified as Ahmad Khan Rahami, who is wanted for questioning in connection with an explosion in New York City, as he is placed into an ambulance in Linden, New Jersey, in this still image taken from video September 19, 2016. REUTERS/Anthony Genaro TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
Ahmad Khan Rahami is taken into custody after a shootout with police Monday, Sept. 19, 2016, in Linden, N.J. Rahami was wanted for questioning in the bombings that rocked the Chelsea neighborhood of New York and the New Jersey shore town of Seaside Park. (Moshe Weiss via AP)
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Rahami and two police officers were wounded in the exchange of gunfire.

Authorities did not offer any immediate information on the possible motives of Rahami, who was charged by Union County prosecutors with five counts of attempted murder in the first degree and two second-degree weapons charges.

More charges were expected to be brought against Rahami in federal court. New York's mayor called the bombing that injured 29 people in the bustling Chelsea district "an act of terror."

RELATED: Ahmad Khan Rahami

Rahami, who lived with his family above the First American Fried Chicken restaurant in Elizabeth, New Jersey, is also suspected of planting a bomb that exploded on the New Jersey shore on Saturday, a device found near the New York blast, and up to six more devices found near the Elizabeth train station on Sunday night.The bombings and subsequent manhunt prompted even greater security in America's biggest city, already on high alert for a gathering of world leaders at the United Nations in New York for the annual General Assembly this week. An additional 1,000 officers were deployed.

While officials did not give much information about Rahami, CNN, citing unnamed law enforcement sources, reported that Rahami traveled multiple times to Afghanistan and Pakistan in recent years, including a year-long stay in Pakistan until March 2014. Police were looking into whether he was radicalized overseas, CNN said.

The New York Times reported that no evidence had yet been found that Rahami had received military training overseas but said FBI agents were trying to determine if his actions had been guided by Islamic State militants or any other terrorist organization.

RELATED: Authorities search home of Ahmad Rahami:

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Authorities investigate Residence in Elizabeth NJ for Chelsea Bombing
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Authorities investigate Residence in Elizabeth NJ for Chelsea Bombing
Ahmad Khan Rahami, who is wanted for questioning in connection with an explosion in New York City, is seen in this image released by the New Jersey State Police on September 19, 2016. Courtesy New Jersey State Police/Handout via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY. FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY
Ahmad Khan Rahami, who is wanted for questioning in connection with an explosion in New York City, is seen in this image taken from video, released by the New Jersey State Police on September 19, 2016. Courtesy New Jersey State Police/Handout via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY. FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY
Law enforcement officers mark evidence near the site where Ahmad Khan Rahami, sought in connection with a bombing in New York, was taken into custody in Linden, New Jersey, U.S., September 19, 2016. REUTERS/Eduardo Munoz
Law enforcement officers mark evidence near the site where Ahmad Khan Rahami, sought in connection with a bombing in New York, was taken into custody in Linden, New Jersey, U.S., September 19, 2016. REUTERS/Eduardo Munoz TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
Law enforcement officers secure the area where they allegedly arrested terror suspect Ahmad Khan Rahami following a shootout in Linden, New Jersey, on September 19, 2016. The FBI led a major manhunt Monday for an 'armed and dangerous' Afghan-born American wanted in connection with weekend bombings in New York and New Jersey as a third nest of bombs was discovered in his hometown. Federal investigators released a mugshot of 28-year-old Ahmad Khan Rahami, who has brown hair, brown eyes and a brown beard, saying he was last known to live in Elizabeth, a town adjacent to Newark International Airport. / AFP / Jewel SAMAD (Photo credit should read JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images)
Ahmad Khan Rahami alive but injured, loaded into ambulance in Linden https://t.co/aMCNYxwFnH https://t.co/JJlFhPLYSu
ELIZABETH, NJ - SEPTEMBER 19: A local police officer stands guard at an intersection as members of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and other law enforcement officials investigate a residence in connection to Saturday night's bombing in Manhattan on September 19, 2016 in Elizabeth, New Jersey. This morning law enforcement released a photograph of 28-year-old Ahmad Khan Rahami, who they are seeking in connection to the attack in Chelsea. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
Onlookers watch while Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) personnel search an address during an investigation into Ahmad Khan Rahami, who was wanted for questioning in an explosion in New York, which authorities believe is linked to the explosive devices found in New Jersey, in Elizabeth, U.S., September 19, 2016. REUTERS/Eduardo Munoz
ELIZABETH, NJ - SEPTEMBER 19: Members of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and other law enforcement officials investigate a residence in connection to Saturday night's bombing in Manhattan on September 19, 2016 in Elizabeth, New Jersey. This morning law enforcement released a photograph of 28-year-old Ahmad Khan Rahami, who they are seeking in connection to the attack in Chelsea. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
ELIZABETH, NJ - SEPTEMBER 19: Members of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and other law enforcement officials investigate a residence in connection to Saturday night's bombing in Manhattan on September 19, 2016 in Elizabeth, New Jersey. This morning law enforcement released a photograph of 28-year-old Ahmad Khan Rahami, who they are seeking in connection to the attack in Chelsea. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
ELIZABETH, NJ - SEPTEMBER 19: Members of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and other law enforcement officials work near a residence they are investigating in connection to Saturday night's bombing in Manhattan on September 19, 2016 in Elizabeth, New Jersey. This morning law enforcement released a photograph of 28-year-old Ahmad Khan Rahami, who they are seeking in connection to the attack in Chelsea. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
ELIZABETH, NJ - SEPTEMBER 19: Members of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and other law enforcement officials investigate a residence in connection to Saturday night's bombing in Manhattan on September 19, 2016 in Elizabeth, New Jersey. This morning law enforcement released a photograph of 28-year-old Ahmad Khan Rahami, who they are seeking in connection to the attack in Chelsea. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
ELIZABETH, NJ - SEPTEMBER 19: A local police officer stands guard at an intersection as members of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and other law enforcement officials investigate a residence in connection to Saturday night's bombing in Manhattan on September 19, 2016 in Elizabeth, New Jersey. This morning law enforcement released a photograph of 28-year-old Ahmad Khan Rahami, who they are seeking in connection to the attack in Chelsea. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
ELIZABETH, NJ - SEPTEMBER 19: Members of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and other law enforcement officials investigate a residence in connection to Saturday night's bombing in Manhattan on September 19, 2016 in Elizabeth, New Jersey. This morning law enforcement released a photograph of 28-year-old Ahmad Khan Rahami, who they are seeking in connection to the attack in Chelsea. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
Elizabeth NJ. Mayor J. Christian Bollwage answers a question as he stands not far from where police and officials gathered at a building early Monday, Sept. 19, 2016, in Elizabeth, N.J. The Elizabeth apartment is tied to a man wanted for questioning in the New York City bombing. Ahmad Khan Rahami has lived at that address in Elizabeth. He is a naturalized citizen from Afghanistan, the FBI said. (AP Photo/Mel Evans)
***WANTED FOR QUESTIONING**** RETWEET! https://t.co/B3IgarqY2D https://t.co/QUjCFdtVc2
ELIZABETH, NJ - SEPTEMBER 19: Law enforcement officials tow a car near the site of an investigation of a residence in connection to Saturday night's bombing in Manhattan, September 19, 2016 in Elizabeth, New Jersey. On Monday morning, law enforcement released a photograph of 28-year-old Ahmad Khan Rahami, who they are seeking in connection to the attack. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
FBI agents walk around the roof outside an apartment during an investigation at a building Monday, Sept. 19, 2016, in Elizabeth, N.J. FBI agents are searching the apartment in New Jersey that is tied to Ahmad Khan Rahami wanted for questioning in the New York City bombing. (AP Photo/Mel Evans)
An FBI agent carries a box of material from an apartment to a car during an investigation at a building in Elizabeth, N.J. early Monday, Sept. 19, 2016. The Elizabeth apartment is tied to a man wanted for questioning in the New York City bombing. Ahmad Khan Rahami has lived at that address in Elizabeth. He is a naturalized citizen from Afghanistan, the FBI said. (AP Photo/Mel Evans)
Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) personnel search an address during an investigation into Ahmad Khan Rahami, who was wanted for questioning in an explosion in New York, which authorities believe is linked to the explosive devices found in New Jersey, in Elizabeth, U.S., September 19, 2016. REUTERS/Eduardo Munoz
ELIZABETH, NJ - SEPTEMBER 19: A man exits from the fried chicken restaurant and walks to a car, near the site of where members of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and other law enforcement officials are investigating a residence in connection to Saturday night's bombing in Manhattan, September 19, 2016 in Elizabeth, New Jersey. On Monday morning, law enforcement released a photograph of 28-year-old Ahmad Khan Rahami, who they are seeking in connection to the attack. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
Ahmad Khan Rahami is taken into custody after a shootout with police Monday, Sept. 19, 2016, in Linden, N.J. Rahami was wanted for questioning in the bombings that rocked the Chelsea neighborhood of New York and the New Jersey shore town of Seaside Park. (Moshe Weiss via AP)
Policemen place in an ambulance a man they identified as Ahmad Khan Rahami, who is wanted for questioning in connection with an explosion in New York City, in Linden, New Jersey, in this still image taken from video September 19, 2016. REUTERS/Anthony Genaro
A policeman takes a photo of a man they identified as Ahmad Khan Rahami, who is wanted for questioning in connection with an explosion in New York City, as he is placed into an ambulance in Linden, New Jersey, in this still image taken from video September 19, 2016. REUTERS/Anthony Genaro TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
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U.S. security sources have confirmed that the suspect underwent secondary screening after returning from foreign travel in recent years and passed on every occasion.

Sources, however, could not immediately confirm that Rahami traveled to Pakistan and Afghanistan, as other media have reported. Travelers coming from places such as those two countries are routinely required to undergo secondary screening.

RELATED: Common paths leading to radicalization for lone wolf terrorists

The blasts, the manhunt and an apparently unrelated stabbing attack in Minnesota over the weekend created tensions similar to those that followed other recent attacks, such as the mass shootings in Orlando and San Bernardino, California.

The Minnesota attacker was described a "soldier of the Islamic State," the militant group's news agency said.

Rahami had not previously been identified as dangerous but his family was known to police as a result of late-night noise and crowd complaints at a family halal chicken restaurant in Elizabeth.

The events also fueled the debate about America's security challenges seven weeks before the presidential election, with candidates Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton clashing once again on Monday.

(Additional reporting by Mark Hosenball, Julia Edwards, Susan Heavey and Doina Chiacu in Washington; Roberta Rampton, Hilary Russ and Daniel Trotta in New York, Roselle Chen in Linden, New Jersey, Brendan O'Brien in Milwaukee and Dan Whitcomb in Los Angeles.; Writing by Dan Whitcomb; Editing by Simon Cameron-Moore)

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