A United States restaurant worker inspired by Osama bin Laden was sentenced to life in prison Tuesday for wounding 31 people in a 2016 NY bombing, branded "extremely dangerous" by a federal judge. He also ordered $562,803 in restitution.
Ahmad Khan Rahimi injured 30 people when he detonated a pressure cooker bomb in Manhattan in September 2016.
Rahimi, a fast food worker turned homegrown extremist, brought two pressure cooker bombs from New Jersey to Manhattan on September 17 2016, planting them on W. 23 and W. 27th St., officials said.
Hours earlier, a small pipe bomb Rahimi set at a Marine Corp charity race in Seaside Heights, N.J., but no one was injured because the race has been delayed.
Berman called Rahimi, 30, a "clear and present danger" and said it was too big a risk not to impose a life sentence, especially after Rahimi offered "not an ounce of justification" for his crimes.
"Less than a year-and-a-half after his attacks, Rahimi has now been tried, convicted, and sentenced to life in prison", said U.S. Attorney Geoffrey Berman.
While speaking in court Rahimi placed blame on the Federal Bureau of Investigation for not acting on his father's warning.
"My son, he did wrong, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation did the wrong, too", the father added. "He's proud of what he has done".
Rahimi, 30, who formerly lived in Elizabeth, New Jersey, was caught bragging about his notoriety over a jailhouse phone during his trial, and he later sent a letter to a crony in Germany claiming that only "Allah will be my Judge".
Rahami also allowed some inmates to view materials on his laptop or provided electronic copies as he spread The Book of Jihad, bomb-making instructions and various issues of a propaganda magazine, the court heard.
"We intend to appeal", Rahimi's attorney, Xavier Donaldson, said outside of the courthouse here, after the hearing.
After the sentence was announced, Berman invited several victims watching the proceedings to speak.
Pauline Nelson, a mother of four who was driving near the bomb when it went off, shot Rahimi daggers as she railed against his courtroom demeanor. She was hospitalized when the auto she was driving was jolted by the explosion. "That's when I started" noticing discrimination, Rahimi said in his emotionless five-minute statement. "You have no remorse for what you did".