NEW YORK – A terrorist that small bombs in two states, including a pressure cooker device that blasted shrapnel in a New York City block, on Tuesday, sentenced to a mandatory term of life in prison.
Ahmad Khan Rahimi, who was born in Afghanistan, but lived in New Jersey, 30 people were injured when one of his bombs exploded in Manhattan in the Chelsea district, on a September night in 2016. A second bomb in the area did not explode.
That explosion happened a few hours after a small pipe bomb exploded along a Marine Corps road race in Seaside Heights, New Jersey, frightening the participants, but injuring no one.
The bombing led to a two-day manhunt ended in a shootout with the police in Linden, New Jersey. Rahimi was shot several times but survived.
Federal prosecutors said in presentence paper that Rahimi has not repented and has tried to radicalize fellow prisoners in the federal prison 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 committed as ever to terrorist ideology,” they wrote.
Rahimi, prosecutors said, gave the prisoners copies of terrorist propaganda and jihadist materials, including speeches and lectures of 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 prisoners to view materials on his laptop, or the provided electronic copies as he spread “The Book of Jihad,” bomb-making instructions and the different aspects of a propaganda magazine.
Lawyer Xavier Donaldson, said that before the attacks, Rahimi, a naturalized citizen of the V. S., aspired to be a police officer and works as a security guard after studying criminal justice at a community college.
“It was Mr. Rahimi’s belief that he could help people while they are employed in a position that guarantees him a kind of pension,” Donaldson wrote.
While imprisoned, Rahimi has completed classes in business, entrepreneurship and drama, Donaldson wrote.
Rahimi is scheduled to be sentenced by a federal judge in Manhattan.