FILE PHOTO: Ahmad Khan Rahimi, an Afghan-born U.S. citizen accused of planting bombs in New York and New Jersey, appears in Union County Superior Court for a hearing in Elizabeth, New Jersey, U.S. May 15, 2017. REUTERS/Mike Segar/File Photo – RC1EF057F210
4:38 PM 02/13/2018
A New York judge handed down multiple life sentences to an Islamic State terrorist Tuesday for carrying out multiple bombings across the state in 2016.
Ahmad Khan Rahimi injured 30 people when he detonated a pressure cooker bomb in Manhattan in September 2016. 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. Rahimi claimed at his sentencing that he “doesn’t harbor hate for anyone,” but prosecutors claimed he was proud of his actions and had already tried to radicalize people in prison.
“Rahimi attempted to wreak havoc in the Chelsea neighborhood of New York City. He failed,” said New York Police Department Commissioner James O’Neill. “Committing terrorism may seem, from the darkest places of the internet and espoused in propaganda, as a higher calling. It is not. Today’s sentencing — of life in prison — should be the strongest deterrent to future acts of terror.”
Rahimi’s first explosive went off on the morning of Sept. 17, 2016, in Seaside Park, New Jersey, along a route for a Semper Five Marine Corps Charity 5K,. No one was injured because the race had been miraculously delayed from its 9 a.m. start time. Hours later at 8:30 p.m., Rahimi’s main explosive – a pressure cooker filled with ball bearings – went off on 23rd St. in downtown Manhattan.
“The injuries included lacerations to the face, abdomen, legs, and arms caused by flying glass; metal shrapnel and fragmentation embedded in skin and bone; and various head injuries. The explosive components appear to have been placed inside a pressure cooker and left near a dumpster,” the Justice Department said in an October press release. “The explosion propelled a more-than-100-pound dumpster – which was introduced as an exhibit at trial – more than 120 feet. The blast shattered windows as far as approximately 400 feet from the blast site and, vertically, more than three stories high.”
A bystander found an identical device on 27th Street that police deactivated. Investigative authorities uncovered and dismantled six more explosive devices the following day.
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