New York bombing suspect could face hearing in hospital bed

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NEW YORK, Sept 21 (Reuters) - A lawyer for an Afghan-born U.S. citizen charged with bombings in New York and New Jersey over the weekend asked a federal judge to schedule his first court appearance for Wednesday, possibly in his hospital bed.

Ahmad Khan Rahami, 28, was arrested on Monday after a gunfight with police in Linden, New Jersey. He is now receiving treatment for his wounds at a hospital in Newark, New Jersey, where he could formally face his charges if he cannot travel to the U.S. District Court in Manhattan, his lawyer said.

SEE ALSO: Chelsea bombing suspect Ahmad Khan Rahami left behind 'rambling' note

"He has been held and questioned by federal law enforcement agents since his arrest," David Patton, head of the New York City federal public defenders office, said in a court filing. "The Sixth Amendment (of the U.S. Constitution) requires that he be given access to counsel on the federal charges, and that he be presented without delay."

Patton also asked to meet with Rahami on Wednesday. Police also have said they have not yet been able to interview Rahami.

Federal prosecutors said Rahami injured 31 people in Manhattan's Chelsea neighborhood with a homemade bomb that detonated on Saturday night in a case that law enforcement authorities now regard as terrorism.

Rahami is also charged with planting bombs that went off in Seaside Park, New Jersey, and his hometown of Elizabeth, New Jersey, but did not injure anyone. He faces charges from federal prosecutors in both states.

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Fire fighters and other first responders stand near an alleged explosion on West 23rd Street on September 17, 2016, in New York. An explosion in New York's upscale and bustling Chelsea neighborhood injured at least 25 people, none of them in a life-threatening condition, late Saturday, the fire department said. / AFP / Bryan R. Smith (Photo credit should read BRYAN R. SMITH/AFP/Getty Images)
Members of the NYPD, FBI, ATF and other agencies invesitgate the the scene, following a late night explosion on West 23rd Street September, 18, 2016 in New York. An explosion rocked one of the most fashionable neighborhoods of New York on September 17 night, injuring 29 people, one seriously, a week after America's financial capital marked the 15th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks. Mayor Bill de Blasio indicated the blast was not accidental, even if there was no known link to terrorism. The blast occurred in Chelsea -- an area packed with bars, restaurants and luxury apartment blocks -- at a typically bustling time of the weekend. / AFP / Bryan R. Smith (Photo credit should read BRYAN R. SMITH/AFP/Getty Images)
Members of the NYPD, FBI, ATF and other agencies invesitgate the the scene, following a late night explosion on West 23rd Street September, 18, 2016 in New York. An explosion rocked one of the most fashionable neighborhoods of New York on September 17 night, injuring 29 people, one seriously, a week after America's financial capital marked the 15th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks. Mayor Bill de Blasio indicated the blast was not accidental, even if there was no known link to terrorism. The blast occurred in Chelsea -- an area packed with bars, restaurants and luxury apartment blocks -- at a typically bustling time of the weekend. / AFP / Bryan R. Smith (Photo credit should read BRYAN R. SMITH/AFP/Getty Images)
Evidence markers are seen on the street around officials from the New York City Police Department (NYPD) and Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) near the site of an explosion in the Chelsea neighborhood of Manhattan, New York, U.S. September 18, 2016. REUTERS/Rashid Umar Abbasi TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo(R)visits the scene of an explosion on West 23rd Street September, 18, 2016 in New York. An explosion rocked one of the most fashionable neighborhoods of New York on September 17 night, injuring 29 people, one seriously, a week after America's financial capital marked the 15th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks. Mayor Bill de Blasio indicated the blast was not accidental, even if there was no known link to terrorism. The blast occurred in Chelsea -- an area packed with bars, restaurants and luxury apartment blocks -- at a typically bustling time of the weekend. / AFP / Bryan R. Smith (Photo credit should read BRYAN R. SMITH/AFP/Getty Images)
The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) officers stand near the site of an explosion in the Chelsea neighborhood of Manhattan, New York, U.S. September 18, 2016. REUTERS/Stephanie Keith
Police block a road after an explosion in New York on September 17, 2016. An explosion in New York's Chelsea neighborhood injured multiple people Saturday night, police said. / AFP / William EDWARDS (Photo credit should read WILLIAM EDWARDS/AFP/Getty Images)
Explosion on 23rd and 6th. These two cars had back windows blown out while driving. 8 year old in back seat injured. https://t.co/aKDra2LaIC
Apartment is being blocked off - #Explosion #Chelsea #NewYork https://t.co/B14pWOFpZ0
#Explosion outside our apartment at 23rd and 6th in #newyork. Terrified. Hoping everyone is okay. https://t.co/i3q4cG7aWT
23rd and 6th Ave NYC explosion. Emergency responded within seconds https://t.co/3ZOYQJ2A5J
The situation at 23rd and 6th in NYC. Explosion happened on 23rd, subway station blocked off. https://t.co/NPNjXqIerH
Bomb squad just arrived... Block has been cordoned off between 6th and 7th on 23rd st. https://t.co/vnZ4TxciGj
Two woman look on as police block a road after an explosion in New York on September 17, 2016. An explosion in New York's Chelsea neighborhood injured multiple people Saturday night, police said. / AFP / William EDWARDS (Photo credit should read WILLIAM EDWARDS/AFP/Getty Images)
New York City firefighters stand near the site of an explosion in the Chelsea neighborhood of Manhattan, New York, U.S. September 17, 2016. REUTERS/Rashid Umar Abbasi
New York City firefighters stand near the site of an explosion in the Chelsea neighborhood of Manhattan, New York September 17, 2016. REUTERS/Rashid Umar Abbasi TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
New York City police and firefighters stand near the site of an explosion in the Chelsea neighborhood of Manhattan, New York, U.S. September 17, 2016. REUTERS/Rashid Umar Abbasi
People look on as the police, fire department and other first responders work near an alleged explosion on West 23rd Street on September 17, 2016, in New York. An explosion in New York's upscale and bustling Chelsea neighborhood injured at least 25 people, none of them in a life-threatening condition, late Saturday, the fire department said. / AFP / Bryan R. Smith (Photo credit should read BRYAN R. SMITH/AFP/Getty Images)
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NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 18: Security members take security measures at Grand Central Station after the explosion in Chelsea neighbourhood in Manhattan, New York, USA on September 18, 2016. (Photo by Bilgin S. Sasmaz/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
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NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 18: A mangled dumpster sits on the sidewalk at the site of an explosion that occurred on Saturday night on September 18, 2016 in the Chelsea neighborhood of New York City. An explosion in a construction dumpster that injured 29 people is being labeled an 'intentional act'. A second device, a pressure cooker, was found four blocks away that an early investigation found was likely also a bomb. (Photo by Justin Lane-Pool/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 18: New York Governor Andrew Cuomo (R) and New York Mayor Bill de Blasio (L) talk to area residents while touring the site of an explosion that occurred on Saturday night on September 18, 2016 in the Chelsea neighborhood of New York City. An explosion in a construction dumpster that injured 29 people is being labeled an 'intentional act'. A second device, a pressure cooker, was found four blocks away that an early investigation found was likely also a bomb. (Photo by Justin Lane-Pool/Getty Images)
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"Inshallah (God willing), the sounds of bombs will be heard in the streets," Rahami wrote in a journal he was carrying when arrested, according to prosecutors. "Gun shots to your police. Death to your oppression."

PRAISE FOR BIN LADEN

Federal prosecutors portrayed Rahami, who came to the United States at age 7 and became a naturalized citizen, as embracing militant Islamic views, begging begged for martyrdom and expressing outrage at the U.S. "slaughter" of Muslim fighters in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria and Palestine.

Rahami, in other parts of his journal, praised "Brother" Osama bin Laden, the al Qaeda leader slain in a 2011 U.S. raid in Pakistan; Anwar al-Awlaki, an American-born Muslim cleric and leading al Qaeda propagandist who was killed in a 2011 U.S. drone strike in Yemen; and Nidal Hasan, the U.S. Army psychiatrist who shot dead 13 people and wounded 32 at Fort Hood, Texas, in 2009.

The attacks were the latest in a series in the United States inspired by militant groups including al Qaeda and Islamic State. A pair of ethnic Chechen brothers killed three people and injured more than 260 at the 2013 Boston Marathon with homemade pressure-cooker bombs similar to those used in this weekend's attacks.

In the past year, an Orlando gunman and a married couple in San Bernardino killed dozens in mass shootings inspired by Islamic State.

LEARN MORE: The deadliest mass shootings in American history

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Some 135 heads of state descend on New York this week for the annual U.N. General Assembly, prompting officials to step up an already heavy security presence. A block of New York's 42nd Street in Times Square was briefly closed on Wednesday morning as police examined a suspicious package, which was determined to be harmless.

Federal investigators were probing Rahami's history of travel to Afghanistan and Pakistan, and looking for any evidence that he may have been picked up radical views or trained in bomb-making on those trips. They still are trying to find out whether he received any help in planning his attack or building the bombs.

His father, Mohammad Rahami, told reporters outside his family's chicken restaurant on Tuesday that he had called the Federal Bureau of Investigation about two years ago to report concerns about his son's involvement with militants.

READ MORE: Father of bombing suspect told police his son was a terrorist in 2014
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The FBI confirmed that it had looked into the younger Rahami after what it called a "domestic dispute" but found no evidence tying him to terrorism.

The charging documents lay out a wide swath of evidence pointing to Rahami as the bomber. Surveillance video places him in the area, and his fingerprints were on unexploded devices including a pressure-cooker bomb found blocks away from the blast.

If Rahami's first court appearance occurs in the hospital bed, he would not be the first U.S. terrorism suspect to be charged in such a venue.

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, who was convicted last year for his role in the Boston Marathon attacks and sentenced to death, also first faced charges in his hospital bed while he was still recovering from injuries sustained in a gunfight with police. (Writing by Scott Malone; Editing by Lisa Von Ahn and Will Dunham)

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