The investigation into explosions in New York City and a New Jersey seaside town over the weekend has led law enforcement to a fried chicken restaurant and allegations of anti-Muslim discrimination after the family of suspect Ahmad Rahami sued the city of Elizabeth, New Jersey.
The lawsuit, which named the police department and neighbors, including a news photographer, was filed by Rahami's father, the owner of First American Fried Chicken in Elizabeth.
Filed in 2011, the 19-page lawsuit claims repeated citations against their business, a restaurant in an area police allegedly said was "known for criminal activity," was discrimination against Muslims.
The lawsuit documents police repeatedly telling them to close the business by 10 p.m. saying the "the restaurant presented a danger to the community" and "there is a lot of crime around here."
Elizabeth Mayor Chris Bollwage says the family sued after being told to curtail round the clock hours.
"There was lots of noise, it was open 24 hours, neighbors in this neighborhood complained. The city of Elizabeth could not tolerate all of the hours they were open… disruptive in the neighborhood for many, many years," he said.
The restaurant was repeatedly cited and ticketed. At one point, two people, including the suspect's father, were arrested and taken to jail for disorderly conduct.
The lawsuit claims news photographer Dean McDermott, who lived on the corner, allegedly told the owners that "Muslims should not have businesses here," "Muslims are trouble" and that "Muslims don't belong here."
Asked if discrimination against Muslims triggered the complaints, Bollwage said, "I've attended many city council meetings and that had absolutely nothing to do with it ... nothing to do with race, religion, or anything else".
We called the First American Fried Chicken for comment, but calls go to a voicemail that is full.
McDermott also did not answer.
The New York Times reports bombing suspect Ahmad and his brothers have worked in the restaurant.