New Jersey Man Who Set Off Bombs Gets Multiple Life Sentences
Feb 14, 2018, 18:30
"It is not. Today's sentencing - of life in prison - should be the strongest deterrent to future acts of terror".
"The nature of the crime was heinous, wanton and life-threatening ... it's inexplicable that anyone would do that intentionally", said US District Judge Richard Berman.
Ahmad Khan Rahami, an Afghan-born USA citizen, appears in court.
"I've learned to understand why there's such frustration between the Muslim community overseas and the American people", Rahimi said, attributing this understanding to "life experience".
Rahimi was found guilty last October of successfully detonating one of two bombs he planted in Chelsea in a Saturday night attack in 2016 that injured 30 people and sent ripples of fear through the city.
At the sentencing on Tuesday, Rahimi said he doesn't "harbor hate for anyone", when asked to speak.
Rahimi also said that his father had reported him to the Federal Bureau of Investigation several years ago because he feared that Rahimi was getting involved in terrorism, and believed in the slogan, "see something, say something".
Rahimi let other inmates view the items on his laptop and gave them electronic copies, Kim's letter said. Rahimi shared bomb-making instructions and speeches by terrorist leaders like Osama bin Laden and Anwar al-Awlaki.
The day after the Chelsea bombing, two men walking by the N.J. Transit station in Elizabeth found a knapsack containing more pipe bombs built by Rahimi.
In imposing the sentence on eight different felony counts, Judge Berman said that federal guidelines recommended the following penalties: for six weapons and bombing counts, a life sentence was advised; for one count of using a destructive device, 30 years were recommended by the guidelines; for another count of using a destructive device, the guidelines recommended another life sentence, all to be served consecutively. The other bomb, four blocks north, was discovered and rendered safe before it could explode.
Two days after the bombs went off, police ended a manhunt for Rahimi with a shootout in Linden, New Jersey.
A defense lawyer says Rahimi once aspired to be a police officer.
She described Rahimi's efforts to radicalize fellow prisoners at the federal jail in NY where he has been imprisoned since his arrest.
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