The New York man from Afghanistan who went on a bombing spree in New York and New Jersey on September 17, injuring 31 Americans, is now being defended by the American Civil Liberties Union.
The ACLU announced on Monday that they were coming to the defense of Ahmad Khan Rahami, claiming that “denying Rahami’s right to a lawyer violates the Constitution and needlessly sacrifices civil liberties in the name of national security.”
Rahami has been charged by federal prosecutors in both New York and New Jersey in connection with the shootout with police, for federal terror crimes and attempting to murder police officers. He shot two police officers who both received minor injuries.
Rahami has been hospitalized since the shootout, and has undergone surgery for his wounds. Officials say he is still incapacitated and remains unconscious.
Federal judges in both states have denied all attempts by public defenders to represent Rahami, as they have not officially arrested him yet. So the ACLU has jumped in the picture.
ACLU attorney Alexander Shalom claimed in a filing that Rahami’s father and wife requested the ACLU to step in and represent him, until a federal public defender or lawyer is appointed for him.
Udi Ofer, the executive director for the ACLU’s New Jersey chapter, said, “It is outrageous that Mr. Rahami has been in custody for a week yet has been denied the right to have an attorney visit him to confirm his condition and protect his constitutional rights.”
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