A man who set off a series of pressure cooker bombs in New York City in 2016, injuring 30 people, has been sentenced to life in prison.
Ahmad Rahimi, 30, planted a series of bombs in the New York district of Chelsea and along the course of a New Jersey fun run in September 2016. He was arrested in New Jersey, where he lives, following a shoot-out with police.
Rahimi was convicted in October of eight federal charges stemming from the two explosive devices in Manhattan: one that detonated in a skip in Chelsea, and another left a couple of blocks away that failed to detonate.
He is also accused of planting a bomb near a race route in Seaside Heights, New Jersey, that detonated before the runners passed by, and of leaving six bombs in a rucksack near the Elizabeth, New Jersey, train station. He is awaiting trial in New Jersey on those charges.
The Afghan-born US citizen said he was singled out because he was a Muslim.
"I don’t harbour hate toward anyone," he said in court on Tuesday, during a rambling statement in which he criticized the FBI, prosecutors and prison officials, who accused him of distributing terrorist propaganda behind bars.
But, he added: "I have come to understand why there is such a big frustration between Muslims overseas and the American people."
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Prosecutors, asking for the maximum sentence, noted that his statement showed no remorse or sympathy for his victims.
"Mr Rahimi just stood here for the last 10 minutes and blamed everyone else for his actions," said Shawn Crowley, assistant US attorney. "He is unrepentant. He shows no sympathy for his victims."
When Rahimi was found, he had on him a journal with praise for Islamic terrorists and promises of violence.
"The sounds of bombs will be heard in the streets," he wrote.
His own father, Mohammed Rahimi, who owns the New Jersey fried chicken shop where Rahimi worked, described his son as "a terrorist" and accused the FBI of failing to act when he called them. The FBI said Mr Rahimi never voiced concern about his son’s possible terrorist leanings.
Judge Richard Berman said it was miraculous the Chelsea bomb didn’t kill anyone.
"It’s inexplicable that anyone would do that intentionally," he said. "But it’s clear from the evidence and the record that you did."