NEW YORK, Feb 14 (APP): An Afghan-American man who set off bombs in New York and the neighbouring state of New Jersey in 2016 has been sentenced to life, according to media reports.
Ahmad Khan Rahimi, the 30-year-old Afghan-born US citizen, who was captured after a shootout with police, told the court that he does not “harbour hate for anyone”.
Thirty people were injured when he set off a bomb in Manhattan’s upscale Chelsea district.
“There is nothing that could justify anything but a life sentence,” US District Judge of New York Richard Berman said.
“There is no comparison between the grievances that you may feel and the actions you took,” he said. “The conclusion is inescapable that you remain extremely dangerous.”
According to federal prosecutors, Rahimi has not shown remorse and has attempted to radicalize others in prison to support ISIS/Da’esh.
Rahimi, known to many as the “Chelsea bomber”, was convicted in 2017 October on all eight counts brought against him in court, including the use of a weapon of mass destruction and bombing a public place.
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said in a statement “justice has been served”.
“The sentencing will not heal the pain and suffering that this despicable act caused New Yorkers, but it sends a strong message that we will not tolerate those who seek to sow fear, hate and violence.”
On the morning of 17 September 2016, Rahimi left his home in Elizabeth, New Jersey with several homemade bombs.
The first bombing location he chose was along the route of a Marine Corps charity race in Seaside Heights, New Jersey. Due to a last-minute change to the race schedule, no people were injured when that pipe bomb detonated.
Investigators said Rahimi then planted two bombs in the Chelsea neighbourhood of New York but one failed to detonate.
Other remaining devices were left in a discarded rucksack in a rubbish bin at a train station in New Jersey on the day after the weekend attack.
Rahimi was arrested two days after the attacks following a shootout with police in New Jersey, which left him in the hospital for weeks. Prosecutors said that Rahimi had started following terrorist propaganda in 2012 and had tried to influence his fellow inmates since arriving in prison, including sharing speeches from deceased al-Qaeda leaders Anwar al-Awlaki and Osama bin Laden.
The sentence of multiple life terms means Rahimi is likely to never leave jail, according to the reports.