"Less than a year-and-a-half after his attacks, Rahimi has now been tried, convicted, and sentenced to life in prison", Geoffrey Berman, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of NY, said in a statement.
An unrepentant, homegrown Islamic terrorist was sentenced to multiple life terms behind bars Tuesday for setting off a time bomb that injured 31 people in Manhattan's Chelsea neighborhood as part of a planned wave of attacks across NY and New Jersey. On Sept. 17, 2016, Rahimi traveled to Manhattan from his home in Elizabeth, New Jersey, pulling suitcases on rollers with each hand.
Ahmad Khan Rahami, an Afghan-born United States citizen, appears in court. He went on to place a homemade bomb - packed into a pressure cooker and wired to a flip-phone detonator - on a stretch of the Chelsea neighborhood's West 23rd Street, busy with pedestrians on a warm Saturday night. A second bomb failed to detonate.
The bombings led to a two-day manhunt ending with a shootout in Linden, New Jersey, during which Rahimi was shot eight times.
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"It's inexplicable that anyone would do that intentionally", he said.
But, he added, "I have come to understand why there is such a big frustration between Muslims overseas and the American people".
Wearing blue prison smock and white cap Tuesday, Rahimi refuted these claims, telling the court that the fellow inmate was already "radicalized by Federal Bureau of Investigation agents when he was on the outside".
Prosecutors said Rahimi gave inmates copies of terrorist propaganda and jihadist materials.
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Assistant U.S. Attorney Shawn Crowley argued that everything Rahimi has done since 2016 "has been fueled by hate", and "he has shown no remorse".
He said he considered Rahimi to be a danger to the community, citing the "hostile and threatening " nature of the bombings and the influence of "virulent anti-U.S." terrorist propaganda.
"Rahimi's conviction and sentencing are victories for New York City and our nation in the fight against terror". "It is not." Rahimi was convicted on October 16, 2017, following a two-week jury trial before U.S. District Judge Richard M. Berman, who also imposed today's sentence.
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