Prosecutors have asked the presiding judge to sentence Ahmed Khan Rahimi, the Manhattan bomber, to life behind bars.
“His conduct reflects a complete lack of respect for the law and indicates that he has not been deterred, but rather emboldened,” they wrote to the judge ahead of Rahimi’s February 13 sentence hearing.
While in jail, Rahimi tried to “radicalize his fellow inmates and made light of his attack,” they said. In a letter to a friend, Rahimi wrote, “My Judge is a kaffir [infidel], my lawyer is a kaffir, my prose[c]utor is a kaffir, and my jury are all kaffirs.”
“Who among them will understand the Muslim problem. Their hands are already drenched with Muslim Blood and how will they understand our struggle,” he continued.
To family members who visited him in jail, according to court documents, he said laughingly, “I don’t need to watch the news because I am the news.”
Rahimi was thrown out of court on the first day of his trial. During the prosecutor’s opening remarks he stood up and began to speak. Marshals escorted him from the room, and the trial proceeded without him.
The 29-year old set off a series of bombs in New York City and New Jersey in September of 2016. Two were set in the in the Chelsea neighborhood of Manhattan, one of which injured 30 people. He detonated another bomb in Seaside Park, New Jersey at a marathon, which was timed to go off at the beginning of the race. No one was hurt since the marathon was rescheduled for a later start time.
Rahimi was born in 1988 in Afghanistan. He came to the United States in 1995 a few years after his father sought asylum.
He became a naturalized U.S. citizen in 2011. That same year, he married a Pakistani woman. She came to the U.S., but left for Dubai before he carried out his attacks. She cooperated with U.S. authorities who questioned her about her husband.
Rahimi was found guilty on eight charges, including five attempted murder charges for the shootout with police that occurred during his capture.
Who Are the Terrorists in America’s Jails? Part I