Chelsea bomber: man behind NY attack gets multiple life sentences

Saul Bowman
February 14, 2018

U.S. District Judge Richard M. Berman in Manhattan said it was hard to reconcile the "reasonable enough" man he saw in court with the terrorist who tried to kill as many people as he could when he left his home early the morning of September 17, 2016, with two pressure-cooker explosives and a bag full of smaller bombs.

The first explosive threw a 100-pound dumpster more than 120 feet and sprayed hundreds of ball bearings and steel nuts that sliced through pedestrians' faces and legs.

Rahimi is also accused of planting a bomb near a race route in Seaside Heights, New Jersey, that detonated before the runners passed by, and of leaving six bombs in backpack near the Elizabeth, New Jersey, train station. Rahami was shot several times but survived.

"You laugh with your lawyer".

Ahmad Khan Rahimi, an Afghan immigrant who became radicalized through online postings by al Qaeda and ISIS, had faced at least one mandatory life sentence since, including use of a weapon of mass destruction.

Pauline Nelson, 48, of Brooklyn, stepped to the podium. "You have no remorse for what you did".

Federal prosecutors say he has not shown remorse and has tried to radicalize fellow inmates.


"Rahimi's conviction and sentencing are victories for New York City and our nation in the fight against terror".

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

Rahimi, 30, who formerly lived in Elizabeth, New Jersey, was caught bragging about his notoriety over a jailhouse phone during his trial, and he later sent a letter to a crony in Germany claiming that only "Allah will be my Judge".

NYPD Commissioner James O'Neill praised the officers who responded to the Chelsea blast, as well as the authorities who tracked down and prosecuted Rahimi.

Mohammad Rahimi, told NBC New York on Monday that he told the Federal Bureau of Investigation in 2014 that he was anxious his son might have been radicalized.

"Rahimi placed two ticking bombs in a crowded Manhattan neighborhood on a warm Saturday night", O'Neill said. It was the most cowardly of all crimes.

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