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Chelsea bomber Ahmad Rahimi sentenced to life in prison

Chelsea bomber Ahmad Rahimi sentenced to life in prison

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.

The New Jersey man convicted of planting bombs in New York City's Chelsea neighbourhood in 2016 received two life sentences on Tuesday, after expressing no remorse in a Manhattan courtroom for engineering the explosion that injured 30 people.

Ahmad Khan Rahimi, a naturalized USA citizen born in Afghanistan, was convicted in October in connection to an explosive device that detonated in a dumpster in New York City's Chelsea neighborhood, injuring 30, as well as another bomb placed nearby that did not detonate.

"I don't harbor hate for anyone", Rahimi said before describing how he believed law enforcement targeted him once he became a practicing Muslim.

"It's inexplicable that anyone would do that intentionally", Berman said. "That's when I started" noticing discrimination, Rahimi said in his emotionless five-minute statement.

His sentencing attorney, Xavier Donaldson, requested in a letter to the judge that Rahimi, as part of his sentencing, "be allowed to avail himself of any educational opportunities" that he might qualify for in prison.

While Rahimi wasn't charged for terrorism, his father, Mohammad Rahimi, had warned the Federal Bureau of Investigation in 2014 his son may have been radicalized. He was convicted of eight criminal charges in October 2017, including bombing a public place and using a weapon of mass destruction.

While imprisoned, Rahimi has completed classes in business, entrepreneurship and drama, Donaldson wrote.

NYC PAPERS OUT. Social media use restricted to low res file max 184 x 128 pixels and 72 dpi
A man examines the damage on 23rd St. and 6th Avenue after a bomb was detonated

In late 2017, federal prosecutors said Rahimi provided inmates with copies of terrorist propaganda and jihadist materials, including speeches by Osama bin Laden and militant cleric Anwar al-Awlaki - both of whom were killed in 2011- along with bomb-making instructions, books on jihad, and issues of the al Qaeda-backed magazine Inspire, prosecutors said.

Late past year, Rahimi began trying to radicalize prisoners at the Metropolitan Correctional Center, prosecutors say.

That blast happened just hours after a small pipe bomb exploded along a Marine Corps road race in Seaside Heights, New Jersey, frightening participants but injuring no one.

The third bomb was found four blocks north at 27th Street.

No one was killed.

A manhunt ensued after the blasts and ended in a shootout two days later.

Rahimi used household goods to create a bomb packed into a pressure cooker and wired to a flip-phone detonator, which he placed on the busy NY street on September 17, 2016.

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