Mandatory Life Sentence for NY, NJ Bomber

Inset: Bomber Ahmad Khan. After the shootout, police officers recovered a journal containing Islamist rhetoric and praise for known terrorist groups and ideologies.
Inset: Bomber Ahmad Khan. After the shootout, police officers recovered a journal containing Islamist rhetoric and praise for known terrorist groups and ideologies. (Police photo)

 

Bomber Ahmad Khan Rahimi was convicted by a federal jury for a series of explosives he placed in the Chelsea neighborhood of Manhattan and in New Jersey in September 2016.

Rahimi moved to the U.S. from Afghanistan when he was seven. Authorities believe he became radicalized on a trip back to Afghanistan in 2014.

His writings and internet searches indicated he was interested in terrorism and groups such as ISIS, but authorities say he acted as a “lone wolf” contending he had no formal ties with a specific terror group.

Rahimi was found to have placed nine bombs in total, but most of them failed to detonate. He set off the first bomb in a garbage can in Seaside, N.J. at the finish line of a charity race for the U.S. Marine Corps. However, because of the large turnout for the race, the start time was delayed and no one was hurt when the bomb exploded.

Later that evening, a pressure-cooker bomb placed by Rahimi in a dumpster in Chelsea and filled with shrapnel exploded on West 23rd Street between 6th and 7th Avenues, injuring 31 people.

The explosion was so powerful it blew out windows 400 feet away; pieces of the bomb were recovered 650 feet away from the blast.

During a block-by-block search, a second bomb was discovered unexploded in a mailbox four blocks away on West 27th Street.

The next day, six pipe bombs were discovered in a backpack at a train station in Elizabeth, N.J. Those bombs did not explode save for one that was accidentally detonated by a police robot.

Rahimi was later captured in a gun battle with police in Linden, N.J. which left him in critical condition.

Rahimi, since recovered, was convicted on eight counts, including use of a weapon of mass destruction, bombing a public place and interstate transportation of explosives. The convictions require a mandatory sentence of life in prison.

 

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