A NY judge today sentenced a USA restaurant worker to life in prison following a September 2016 bombing that wounded 31 people in Manhattan's upscale Chelsea neighbourhood.
Police Commissioner James O'Neill and Mayor Bill de Blasio at a news conference about Chelsea bomber Ahmad Rahimi on September 19, 2016, in New York City.
Ahmad Khan Rahimi, an Afghan immigrant who became radicalized through online postings by al Qaeda and ISIS, had faced at least one mandatory life sentence since a jury convicted him in October on eight counts, including use of a weapon of mass destruction.
Rahimi was arrested and charged after he planted two pressure cooker bombs in Chelsea on September 17, 2016, according to the complaint.
Rahimi said repeatedly during a 12-minute standing address to the court that he didn't harbor any hatred, but that his growing adherence to Islam caused him to face more harassment from Federal Bureau of Investigation agents at airports after returning to the US from travel to the Dominican Republic, Manchester and Pakistan.
"The Chelsea bombing was an attempt to bring our city to its knees". He was also sentenced to five years of supervised release and ordered to pay $562,803 in restitution.
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Police Commissioner James O'Neill thanked the police officers who responded to the incident, as well as the officers of the Linden New Jersey Police Department.
"With the sentencing of Ahmad Khan Rahimi to multiple terms of life in prison, justice has been served", Cuomo said in a statement.
He placed another bomb several blocks away.
Rahimi's attorney, Xavier Donaldson, said they plan to appeal. It was the most cowardly of all crimes.
A second bomb planted nearby did not detonate. The individual subsequently called 911, and the bomb did not go off.
Rahimi still faces charges in New Jersey over the first bombing and for shooting at police before being captured two days after the bombings. Rahimi also placed a bomb in a garbage can at the finish line of a United States Marine Corps charity race in Seaside Park, N.J., but the start time was delayed and no one was injured when the bomb exploded.