Ahmad Khan Rahimi, 29, the man who planted a homemade bomb in the Chelsea neighborhood of New York City, injuring dozens, has received multiple life sentences. A jury initially found Rahimi guilty of eight federal crimes related to bombs, weapons of mass destruction, and other methods of destruction in October. He is facing separate charges in New Jersey.
Ahmad Khan Rahimi, a U.S. citizen who was born in Afghanistan and lived in New Jersey, planted two explosives in New York City on the night of Saturday, September 17, 2016. One detonated in a dumpster in the Chelsea neighborhood of Manhattan, injuring 30. A second bomb planted on nearby 27th Street did not go off.
Earlier that same day, a small pipe bomb went off near the start of a Marine Corps 5K Charity Run in Seaside Park, New Jersey. No one was injured in that explosion because the race had been delayed.
Two days after the Chelsea bombing, the manhunt for Rahimi ended with a shootout in Linden, New Jersey. Rahimi and two police officers were wounded in the shootout. When arrested, officers found he was carrying a journal that championed Islamic terrorists and promises of violence.
“The sounds of bombs will be heard in the streets,” he wrote.
During the trial, prosecutors presented evidence, including DNA and fingerprints, linking Rahimi to the bombs in New Jersey and New York.
At his sentencing hearing on Tuesday, Rahimi said he doesn’t “harbor hate for anyone.” But investigators maintain that Rahimi has not shown any remorse since his arrest and has even tried to radicalize fellow prisoners at the federal jail in New York.
On Monday, February 12, the day before the sentencing, Mohammad Rahami, father of Ahmad Khan Rahimi, called his son a terrorist. But there were qualifiers.
“My son, he did wrong, and the FBI did the wrong, too. The government is responsible for that reason. They have the power to stop the crime and they did not stop the crime.”
Mohammad Rahami claims the FBI contacted him in 2014 with concerns that Ahmad might be a terrorist.
“After two months, they say, ‘Your son is not doing any act like a terrorist,'” said Rahami. “I said, ‘You sure he not doing anything?’ He say, ‘Yeah, is good news.'”
Rahami then maintains that the FBI spoke with him after the September 2016 bombing to apologize for “not doing our job,” and that he responded, “It’s too late.”
The FBI tells a different story. The Bureau says that Rahami never discussed his son’s potential interest in Al Qaeda, the Taliban, or radicalization with agents.
As for where his son is at now, Mohammad says Ahmad is remorseful.
“He said to me, ‘I’m sorry,'” he said. “He told me, ‘Thank God I didn’t kill anybody, that’s good news for me.’ I said, ‘That’s good news for me, too, you didn’t kill anybody.'”