NEW YORK - Hours before the FBI released the photo of bomb suspect Ahmad Khan Rahami, the 28-year-old Afghan immigrant allegedly appeared on surveillance video, wheeling what appeared to be a suitcase that carried crude explosive devices to two downtown locations, including the powerful bomb that detonated Saturday night injuring at least 29 people.
The video has since launched a massive manhunt for the stocky New Jersey resident, as authorities attempt to determine whether devices planted at four locations across the region are the work of a lone wolf or a larger terror cell.
Federal investigators converged Monday on Rahami's apartment above a fried chicken restaurant in Elizabeth, N.J., where the suspect is believed to have lived.
Online business records show that a relative, Mohammad Rahami, 53, is the owner of First American Fried Chicken, located at 104 Elmora Ave., in Elizabeth, N.J. Phone calls to the business Monday morning went to a voice mail machine.
New Jersey business records show that First American Fried Chicken was incorporated in 2003 by a woman named Molly Hamidullah. A woman who answered the phone Monday at what appeared to be Hamidullah’s most recent address, in Union, N.J., said Hamidullah no longer lived there.
New York Mayor Bill de Blasio said Monday that it was immediately unclear whether the device, dropped at two locations in New Jersey and two others in New York, were the work of one man or a group of operatives.
Rahami, however, was the focus of investigators who were questioning relatives Monday and searching for a 2003 blue Honda Civic believed to be linked to the suspect.
In addition to a wanted poster New Jersey State Police Monday posted a grainy still photograph of Rahami, apparently lifted from surveillance video from the scene where one of the explosives was planted in the Chelsea neighborhood of New York.
The black-and-white photo shows a bearded man in what appears to be a gray hoodie, while a series of other photographs show Rahami both clean shaven and with facial hair.
Born in Afghanistan in 1988, federal authorities described Rahami, now regarded by authorities as "armed and dangerous,'' as a naturalized U.S. citizen.
New Jersey court records show that Harbor Terrace Apartments in Perth Amboy, N.J., filed a 2013 landlord-tenant civil action against Rahami in Middlesex County Court. The outcome of the case was not immediately available, and the company did not respond to a message.
Antonio Barritta won a $1,158 small claims judgment against Rahami in 2012, Middlesex County Court records also show. Barritta did not immediately respond to a message seeking comment.