Man who set off bombs in NYC, NJ gets prison

Glen Norman
February 14, 2018

Afghan-born Ahmad Khan Rahimi, 30, was convicted at trial last October on eight counts linked to two bombs he planted in NY, and others found in New Jersey.

One person who was near the blast, Pauline Nelson, also stood up to address Rahimi. One life term was mandatory but the judge exercised his discretion by imposing life sentences for counts that Rahimi's defense lawyer said deserved only a 15-year sentence.

Regardless, the judge said, Rahimi deserved multiple life prison terms.

Rahimi spoke to the judge, saying he didn't come from Afghanistan as a child with hate in his heart.

Since his arrest, two other lone-wolf attackers have carried out bombings in NY.


Berman called Rahimi, 30, a "clear and present danger" and said it was too big a risk not to impose a life sentence, especially after Rahimi offered "not an ounce of justification" for his crimes.

Rahimi's sentencing attorney Xavier Donaldson failed to sway the court with his proposed sentence of 180 months.

Rahimi's father says he warned authorities about this son two years before the attack.

In late 2017, federal prosecutors said Rahimi provided inmates with copies of terrorist propaganda and jihadist materials, including speeches by Osama bin Laden and militant cleric Anwar al-Awlaki - both of whom were killed in 2011- along with bomb-making instructions, books on jihad, and issues of the al Qaeda-backed magazine Inspire, prosecutors said.

He was convicted last October.


This story corrects to show the location of the New Jersey pipe bombing explosion was in Seaside Park, not Seaside Heights.

He placed a second bomb on West 27th Street, but a passerby on edge from the blast four blocks away noticed it and called police, and the bomb squad took the device away without incident. Like the bombs found the next day at a train station in Elizabethtown, New Jersey, however, this device was discovered before detonation.

During the trial, the prosecution presented evidence - including DNA and fingerprints - linking Rahimi to the bombs that were placed in New Jersey and NY.

The first explosion, on September 17, occurred along the route of a charity 5K race in Seaside Park, New Jersey. Rahimi and two police officers were wounded in the shootout.


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