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Federal complaint says man accused of blowing up ATM had eight pipe bombs at Decatur home

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Federal complaint says man accused of blowing up ATM had eight pipe bombs at Decatur home

A booking photo of Abdurrahim Jalal. Photo provided by the DeKalb County Sheriff's Office.

This story has been updated. 

Decatur, GA — The man accused of blowing up an ATM at North DeKalb Mall had eight more pipe bombs in his Decatur home when agents arrested him on April 29, according to a federal complaint.

The complaint alleges the suspect was scouting out more ATM locations while he was under surveillance.

Abdurrahim Jalal, who faces numerous charges in connection to the March 29 incident, worked as a landscaper and lived at 748 Scott Boulevard near Westchester Elementary School. Jalal, who had his first court appearance on May 1, remains in the DeKalb County Jail.

His charges include Driving Under the Influence, which occurred in Decatur back in October 2021, and theft by taking, possessing an explosive device with intent to damage a building, manufacturing an explosive device, and arson in the second degree. The federal complaint revealed that numerous agencies were involved in investigating the ATM destruction, and that Jalal had been on law enforcement’s radar well before officers raided his home on April 29.

Agents involved in the case include the FBI, DeKalb County Police, DeKalb County Fire Rescue, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

The complaint alleges Jalal blew up the ATM around 3:11 a.m. on March 29 at the Bank of America Branch located at the mall. The ATM was located in the bank’s drive-through.

Surveillance camera footage showed Jalal trying to take out a camera with what appeared to be a can of bug spray, the complaint says. Jalal allegedly wore a hooded sweatshirt, a cloth facemask, and distinctive, rectangular eyeglasses.

“Minutes later, the same subject reappeared on camera driving a black, Lincoln sport utility vehicle (SUV). The subject appeared to use a pry bar to breach a hole in the ATM and then inserted two blue hoses that appear to originate and extend from the vehicle,” the complaint says. “Investigators believe that the tubing fed in a fuel, gas, or other accelerants into the ATM. The subject then affixed what appeared to be a metal pipe to the front exterior side of the ATM. The pipe appeared to be a few inches long and included two endcaps and wiring extending towards the vehicle.”

Investigators determined Jalal had attached a pipe bomb to the ATM and detonated it remotely. The complaint says Bank of America lost $88,780. It’s not clear whether any of that money was destroyed in the explosion.

Security footage from a nearby medical clinic showed a Lincoln SUV traveling toward the mall at 2:49 a.m.

“Notably, the vehicle’s front, passenger side wheel appeared to be darker than the other three wheels, as if this wheel were utilizing a spare wheel and tire,” the federal complaint says.

Video footage from a nearby gas station also showed a Lincoln SUV driving through its lot around 2:51 a.m. with a spare tire in the same location.

“At 3:14 a.m., following the incident, the medical clinic’s footage depicted a vehicle consistent in appearance with that of a Lincoln SUV, traveling in the direction away from the mall,” the federal complaint says. “As the vehicle was traveling the opposite direction, all four wheels had now been viewed, and it appeared as only the front-passenger wheel was different than the other three.”

Investigators reviewed automatic license plate reader cameras in the area. They saw a black Lincoln SUV traveling in the Decatur area on March 29 between 3:30 a.m. and 3:35 a.m. The vehicle left the area of the bombing and traveled toward Memorial Drive. The last footage of the vehicle was near the vicinity of Memorial Drive and Candler Road near the city of Decatur.

After digging into it further, investigators discovered the license plate on the SUV, identified as a Lincoln Navigator, was registered to another vehicle whose owner had reported the license plate as stolen. Further analysis of automatic license plate reader footage found a similar vehicle with a different license plate.

“In reviewing the images before and after the incident, investigators noted that this Navigator also appeared to be equipped with a black spare wheel on front passenger side,” the complaint says. “These observations are of an approximately 20-year-old body-style Lincoln Navigator. While there may be many black Lincoln Navigators in the greater Atlanta area, there are comparatively fewer of that age. The uniqueness of the spare wheel on the front passenger side of the vehicle is further unique attribute. Investigators believe that the vehicle bearing [a different Georgia license plate number] on March 29 is one and the same with the vehicle observed shortly after the bombing bearing a different plate and that the driver stole a different plate to obscure their identity.”

Investigators concluded that the navigator was registered to Jalal’s business, Proudland Landscaping, LLC.

“Through a review of social media accounts, investigators identified recent photographs of Jalal having a similar build to that of the perpetrator of the ATM bombing,” the federal complaint says. “In several pictures, Jalal is observed to be wearing distinct, rectangular glasses matching those worn by the individual who perpetrated the bombing.”

The complaint says that investigators learned Jalal bought new tires for the Lincoln Navigator on April 6, which he later installed at a nearby garage. He paid cash, the complaint says. The technician told investigators the vehicle had a spare tire on the front. Investigators continued keeping tabs on Jalal and learned he was gambling at a casino near Murphy, North Carolina on the evenings of April 6, 7, 8 and 9. He exchanged $7,000 in cash for chips. He visited the same casino again on April 17, the complaint says, and he brought a large amount of currency with him.

On April 19, a federal magistrate judge authorized a tracker warrant for Jalal’s vehicle, the complaint says.

Investigators saw Jalal’s vehicle parked at the home at 748 Scott Boulevard on April 23 and concluded that he lived there after watching him for several days. According to the complaint, while tracking Jalal’s movements, investigators noticed he was scouting other ATMs in the Atlanta area that had a similar set-up to the ATM at North DeKalb Mall.

“The locations each had a similarity to the previous bombing location as all were in relative commercial areas that would be largely devoid of traffic and potential witnesses in the early morning hours such as when the previous bombing occurred,” the complaint says.

On April 26, Jalal allegedly visited two ATM locations between 2:30 a.m. and 3:15 a.m. Cell phone records collected by investigators show Jalal’s cell phone was not communicating with cell phone towers around the time of the ATM bombing on March 29, indicating the phone had been turned off or put in airplane mode to avoid detection.

The day before his arrest, Jalal allegedly visited a tool store and purchased multiple items, including a blue air hose, an air hose repair kit, work gloves, a pry bar, and a face mask, similar to the items used in the March 29 ATM bombing.

Agents decided it was time to move.

A judge authorized a search warrant on April 28 and agents raided the home in the early morning hours of Saturday, April 29, startling nearby residents and shutting down roads for most of the day. Jalal told FBI bomb technicians there was a pipe bomb in his study. Agents found eight pipe bombs in the home and bomb-making materials.

According to Fox 5 Atlanta, the Assistant DeKalb County District Attorney asked a judge not to give Jalal bond. His public defender said Jalal is an Army veteran and has three children, Fox 5 reported. The judge granted a $50,000 bond, but Fox 5 noted that if Jalal is released, he would most likely be taken into federal custody.

Decatur DUI charges

Decatur Police Sgt. John Bender said police responded to the 800 block of South Candler Street at 2:41 a.m. on Oct. 22, 2021.

“The accident investigation revealed a black, Lincoln Town Car was traveling northbound on South Candler Street when the vehicle left the roadway striking a tree,” Bender said. “The driver of the vehicle was intoxicated and sustained injuries during the accident. The driver, identified as … Abdurrahim Jalal of Atlanta, GA, was transported to an area hospital for treatment. Warrants were obtained for Abdurrahim Jalal for driving under the influence of alcohol and failure to maintain lane. Abdurrahim Jalal was later arrested on these warrants on Saturday, April 29, 2023.”

Decaturish asked why Jalal wasn’t arrested on the DUI charge before April 29, 2023.

“Mr. Jalal was advised that evening that warrants for his arrest would be obtained and he needed to turn himself into the jail after his release from the hospital,” Bender said. “Mr. Jalal never turned himself in and was located on Saturday, April 29, 2023. The address we had for Mr. Jalal at the time of the arrest in 2021 was for a residence in Atlanta.”

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