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Bombing suspect carried writings endorsing jihad

NEW YORK — A bloody and tattered page from a notebook of the man who is charged with carrying out bombings last weekend in New York and New Jersey suggests that he drew inspiration not just from Al Qaeda but also from the Islamic State.

In a list of international terrorist leaders written in the notebook, according to investigators, was the name of a founding member of the Islamic State who called on Muslims around the world to take up whatever arms they could find and spill the blood of nonbelievers.

On Wednesday, more details emerged about the man charged, Ahmad Khan Rahami, and his activities on the day he is said to have carried out the attacks.

After a pipe bomb exploded in Seaside Park, N.J., on Saturday morning — one of the two bombings Rahami is accused of conducting — he was seen in Elizabeth, N.J., where he lived in an apartment above his family’s chicken restaurant.

He visited a hair salon next door to his home early Saturday afternoon along with two men and two women, according to the salon owner’s wife, Sonia Reyes.

Reyes said that she knew Rahami well as a neighbor and a frequent customer and that he would bring in new clients, often cousins.

But Reyes said that she did not recognize the people he was with Saturday, hours before the bombing that injured 31 people in the Chelsea neighborhood of Manhattan.

According to a criminal complaint filed against Rahami in federal court Tuesday, he was recorded driving into Manhattan via the Lincoln Tunnel around 6:30 p.m., two hours before the bombing, and he stayed in the city until 11:30 p.m. He left the city through the Lincoln Tunnel as well.

The questions about where Rahami drew his inspiration and whether he had help are at the center of the investigation.

The Islamic State figure he cited in the notebook, Abu Muhammad al-Adnani, was killed in a US drone strike in Syria in August.

Rahami, in the notebook, refers to “Dawla,” meaning “State,” a reverential way in which Islamic State supporters refer to their movement.

An image of the notebook, published by ABC News and confirmed as authentic by law enforcement officials, included the following fragment: “Alhumdulilah” — meaning “praise be to God” — “Guidance come Sheikh Anwar Brother Adnani Dawla. Said it clearly attack The Kuffar in their backyard,” a reference to nonbelievers.

The fragment expands considerably on a summary of the notebook in the criminal complaint against Rahami. That summary mentioned Anwar al-Awlaki, once Al Qaeda’s leading propagandist, who is equally popular with Islamic State followers, but made no mention of al-Adnani.

Al-Adnani’s message continues to resonate, especially his call for Muslims to take violent action.

“We will strike you in your homeland,” he warned foreign governments in 2014. And he urged Muslims to attack in any manner they could: “Smash his head with a rock, or slaughter him with a knife, or run him over with your car.”

In his notebook, Rahami refers to more recent comments al-Adnani made. In a speech released by the Islamic State in May, al-Adnani acknowledged that travel to Syria to join the group had become more difficult. Instead, he encouraged Muslims in Western countries to stay and wage attacks there.

“If the tyrants have closed in your faces the door to hijrah, then open in their face the door of jihad and make their act a source of pain to them,” he said. “The smallest action you do in the heart of their land is dearer to us than the largest action by us, and more effective and more damaging to them.”

Rahami is recovering in New Jersey from wounds he sustained in a shootout with police Monday morning, when he was taken into custody.

The US attorney general, Loretta E. Lynch, said on Wednesday that the government would bring Rahami to New York to face charges.

“In the near future, it is our intention to bring the defendant to the Federal District Court for the Southern District of New York,” she said in remarks made in Washington.

The chief federal public defender in Manhattan, David E. Patton, wrote late Tuesday to Magistrate Judge Gabriel W. Gorenstein, asking for a court hearing at the earliest possible time and proposing that if Rahami’s health did not permit his travel to Manhattan, Patton’s lawyers could represent him in New Jersey at the hearing by telephone or video.

“The Sixth Amendment requires that he be given access to counsel on the federal charges, and that he be presented without delay,” Patton wrote.

The US attorney for the Southern District of New York, Preet Bharara, asked the judge to deny the request. In court papers Wednesday, his office said that because Rahami was arrested by the local police and is being held on state charges in connection with the shootout in Linden, N.J., he is not in federal custody. That, the prosecutors argued, means that he does not yet have a right to a prompt appearance in federal court and the provision of a lawyer there.

Peter Liguori, the deputy public defender in Union County, where the shooting of the Linden police officers took place, said he had not received notification that Rahami had requested a lawyer. “We want to make sure that his constitutional rights are protected,” Liguori said. “If he or his family has requested our assistance, we will certainly help him and make sure that he gets proper representation.”