'Chelsea Bomber' Gets Two Life Sentences In New York Court

NYC bomber Ahmed Rahimi sentenced to life in prison

Ahmad Khan Rahimi was sentenced to life in prison Tuesday for carrying out a series of 2016 bombings that, while nonfatal, caused panic in NY and New Jersey.

"I'm an immigrant like you", she told him.

Rahimi's sentencing attorney Xavier Donaldson failed to sway the court with his proposed sentence of 180 months.

Rahimi also detonated a bomb at a charity 5K race in Seaside Park, N.J., earlier that morning - but no one was hurt.

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Rahami, prosecutors said, gave inmates copies of terrorist propaganda and jihadist materials, including speeches and lectures by the founder of al-Qaida, Osama bin Laden, and Anwar al-Awlaki, a US-born cleric who inspired attacks on America and was killed in a USA airstrike in September 2011.

Rahimi, known as the "Chelsea Bomber", was found guilty on eight charges in late 2017. He was convicted of eight criminal charges in October 2017, including bombing a public place and using a weapon of mass destruction. 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.

He said he considered Rahimi to be a danger to the community, citing the "hostile and threatening " nature of the bombings and the influence of "virulent anti-U.S." terrorist propaganda.

Regardless, the judge said, Rahimi deserved multiple life prison terms.

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Prosecutors said Rahimi even tried radicalizing fellow inmates inside Manhattan's notorious Metropolitan Correctional Center by "distributing propaganda and publications issued by terrorist organizations".

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 third bomb was found four blocks north at 27th Street. He also planted a second bomb that failed to explode. The day after the Chelsea explosion, Rahimi returned to New Jersey and left a backpack containing six pipe bombs in an Elizabeth, N.J., train station.

"Rahimi's conviction and sentencing are victories for New York City and our nation in the fight against terror".

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Police arrested Rahimi on September 19, 2016, after a shootout outside the Linden, New Jersey, doorway where Rahimi had been sleeping. Rahimi and two police officers were wounded in the shootout.

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