Published: Wed, February 14, 2018
Worldwide | By Victor Meyer

'Chelsea Bomber' Receives Two Life Sentences

'Chelsea Bomber' Receives Two Life Sentences

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.

Pauline Nelson accepted Manhattan federal Judge Richard Berman's invitation Tuesday for victims of the September 17, 2016 attack to speak at the sentencing hearing for the Afghanistan-born Ahmad Khan Rahimi.

"I don't harbor hate towards anyone", Rahimi added at one point, "but through life experience, I have learned to understand why there's such frustration between the Muslim community overseas and the American people". 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.

Rahimi let other inmates view the items on his laptop and gave them electronic copies, Kim's letter said.

Given a chance to speak, Rahimi, shackled at the ankles, portrayed himself as a victim, saying he came to America as a 7-year-old boy with no hatred for anyone and was raised by a father in a household where there was no mention of what his father experienced during the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan.

The bombings triggered a two-day manhunt that ended in a shootout with police on the streets of Linden, N.J. Rahimi was injured but survived.

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Rahimi, 30, claimed that he was harassed by federal authorities while traveling in Muslim garb.

"(Another inmate) asked me how are we going to watch the news and I told him I don't need to watch the news because I am the news", Rahimi allegedly told a family member in a jailhouse phone call, while he was on trial.

Rahimi is a naturalized USA citizen who was born in Afghanistan and lived in Elizabeth, N.J. Prosecutors describe him as acting alone, inspired by terrorist propaganda on the Internet.

Rahimi was arrested and charged after a pressure cooker bomb went off in New York's Chelsea neighborhood the night of September 17, 2016.

The device four blocks north failed to explode.

"The Chelsea bombing was an attempt to bring our city to its knees". He placed several other explosives nearby in New Jersey, but one failed to detonate and the other was a small pipe bomb that caused no injuries, the Justice Department announced.

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