How New York City Crowdsourced a Manhunt

At approximately 8 a.m. Monday morning, as many New Yorkers were beginning their day, heading to work or school, their cellphones vibrated, notifying them of an incoming message: “WANTED: Ahmad Khan Rahami, 28-yr-old male. See media for pic. Call 9-1-1 if seen.”

Rahami, suspected of executing bombings in Manhattan and New Jersey over the weekend, would be arrested hours later following a brief shootout with police — his apprehension reportedly an unlikely combination of detective work, a vigilant New Jersey resident, and, apparently, some petty street thieves who saw something and said something.

While New York City’s Wireless Emergency Alert system has been used more than a half dozen times over the last few years, Monday marked the first time it had been activated as a means to encourage the public to aid the police in the search for a wanted man.

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