Bomber gets multiple life sentences for Chelsea, Seaside Park attacks

FILE - In this file photo from Tuesday, Dec. 20, 2016, Ahmad Khan Rahimi, the man accused of setting off bombs in New Jersey and New York in September is led into court in Elizabeth, N.J. On Monday, Oct. 16, 2017 jurors found Rahimi guilty of all charges, including counts of using a weapon of mass destruction and bombing a public place. The Afghanistan-born man who was living in Elizabeth, New Jersey at the time of the bombing, faces a maximum punishment of life in prison. (AP Photo/Mel Evans, File)

(Sketch/Jane Rosenberg)

Outside court, Nelson said it brought her relief to confront him. She said she’s still frightened whenever she hears a siren.

Rahimi, a naturalized U.S. citizen who was born in Afghanistan and lived in New Jersey, injured 30 when one of his bombs exploded in Chelsea. A second bomb planted nearby did not detonate.

That blast happened just hours after a small pipe bomb exploded along a Marine Corps road race in Seaside Park, New Jersey, frightening participants but injuring no one.

The bombings triggered a two-day manhunt that ended in a shootout with police in Linden, New Jersey. Rahimi was shot several times but survived.

Federal prosecutors said in court papers that Rahimi has not shown remorse and had tried to radicalize fellow prisoners at the federal jail in New York where he has been imprisoned since his arrest.

“He is proud of what he did, scornful of the American justice system, and as dedicated as ever to his terrorist ideology,” they wrote.

Rahimi, given a chance to speak at his sentencing, said: “I don’t harbor hate for anyone.”

RELATED: 3 NYC terror attacks in 15 months: Many similarities

Rahimi, prosecutors said, gave inmates copies of terrorist propaganda and jihadist materials, including speeches and lectures by al-Qaida founder Osama bin Laden and Anwar al-Awlaki, a U.S.-born cleric who inspired attacks on America and was killed in a U.S. airstrike in September 2011.
Rahimi also allowed some inmates to view materials on his laptop or provided electronic copies as he spread “The Book of Jihad,” bomb-making instructions and various issues of a propaganda magazine.

Defense attorney Xavier Donaldson said that Rahimi had once aspired to be a police officer and worked as a security guard after studying criminal justice at a community college.

“It was Mr. Rahimi’s belief that he could help people while employed in a position that would guarantee him some type of pension,” Donaldson wrote.

While imprisoned, Rahimi has completed classes in business, entrepreneurship and drama, Donaldson wrote.

Click here for more coverage of the Chelsea bombing and subsequent investigation.


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