Ahmad Khan Rahimi appears in Union County Superior Court earlier in the year
Terror bomber Ahmad Rahimi was found guilty on Monday of detonating a shrapnel-packed explosive device that injured 30 people on a terrifying night in Chelsea.
A jury found Ahmad Rahimi guilty of eight federal charges Monday in connection with a September 2016 bombing that wounded 30 people in New York, with the Manhattan Federal Court jury deliberating for three and a half hours before returning its verdict against the New Jersey man.
Rahimi, 29, allegedly was radicalized during a 2014 visit to his native Afghanistan.
He faces a mandatory life sentence.
The eight charges include using a weapon of mass destruction, bombing a public place and interstate transportation of explosives.
“Inspired by ISIS and al Qaeda, Rahimi planted and detonated bombs on the streets of Chelsea, in the heart of Manhattan, and in New Jersey, hoping to kill and maim as many innocent people as possible,” acting Manhattan U.S. Attorney Joon Kim said.
“Just over a year after his attacks, and following a fair and open trial, Rahimi now stands convicted of his crimes of terror by a unanimous jury of New Yorkers.”
Ahmad Khan Rahimi is taken into custody in NJ Sept 19, 2016
Federal prosecutors described Rahimi as a “soldier in a holy war against Americans,” intent on inflicting as much carnage as possible with his homemade pressure cooker bombs.
“He designed it,” said Assistant U.S. Attorney Shawn Crowley in her opening argument. “He built it. He filled it with explosives and deadly shrapnel, and he planted it on the street.”
The bomb that exploded in Chelsea on Sept. 17, 2016 was packed with hundreds of ball bearings and steel nuts.
Following the verdict, one juror said the evidence against Rahimi was “overwhelming.”
Rahimi’s lawyers did not call a single witness in his defense.
Rahimi’s defense team vowed to appeal.
Evidence of the powerful blast, in the aftermath of Chelsea bombing, a mangled dumpster
Still, two jurors said the case was a challenge.
“It’s always difficult to work on this kind of case. It’s never easy for anybody to be part of this,” the jury foreman said.
Rahimi started his daylong rampage in his hometown of, of Elizabeth, N.J., by planting a pipe bomb inside a Jersey Shore garbage can just before the annual Semper Fi Charity 5K run.
A delay in the beginning of the race spared all runners from injury. The bomb exploded as participants waited at the starting line.
Rahimi also planted a bomb on W. 27th St., NY, which police discovered before it detonated.
Debris is visible following a bomb blast, more than 30 people were injured by the explosion in Chelsea, Manhattan on Sept 17, 2016
The third bomb, left on busy W. 23rd St. in Chelsea, blew up around 8:30 p.m., injuring 30 bystanders.|
“The fact that victims were not killed when one bomb exploded and another failed to detonate is miraculous,” NYPD Commissioner James O’Neill said.
The jury heard harrowing accounts of the blast from its victims, along with testimony from cops and forensic experts about evidence linking Rahimi to the bomb.
Prosecutors also presented extensive video of Rahimi wandering through the Manhattan neighborhood prior to the bombing — including shots of him dropping duffle bags on W. 23rd St. and W. 27th St. shortly before the explosion.
Among the witnesses was Cort Cheek, a 59, a vocalist who lives in Chelsea.
Ahmad Khan Rahimi was shot in the arrest process, here he’s loaded into the ambulance shortly after. He faces
faces separate charges in New Jersey, including the attempted murder of law enforcement officers stemming from the shootout before his capture
Rahimi’s trial ran for two weeks, kicking off on Oct. 2, it is scheduldrd to conclude Friday.
Day one was delayed for about 40 minutes after Rahimi first refused to enter the courtroom. Once inside, proceeded to ignore instructions from Manhattan Federal Judge Richard Berman to sit down and remain silent.
Rahimi eventually apologized to Berman, telling him the outburst came because he had not seen his family in nearly a year.
Rahimi was arrested two days after the explosion after a shootout with police in Linden, N.J., where two officers were wounded and the suspect was hit seven times.
Ahmad Rahimi was caught on camera with the duffel bags
Evidence: later two men are pictured in this video looking through a bag that held a pressure cooker bomb dropped off by Ahmad Rahimi in Manhattan’s Chelsea neighborhood
He still faces attempted murder charges in New Jersey for the gunfight preceding his arrest.
“His evil was met with the bravery and resiliency of a beautiful neighborhood and an entire city. New York City will never be intimidated,” Mayor de Blasio said.
O’Neill praised the broad array of law enforcement involved in the Rahimi case.
“Today’s verdict is the most forceful deterrent for anyone considering waging terror in our City. We will investigate; we will find those responsible; and justice will prevail,” O’Neill said.
Many faces of Ahmad Rahimi: [L-R] He went from a regular young man to the radicalized person [below, L-R] after a visit to his native Afghanistan in 2014
However, he faces a mandatory sentence of life in prison for his conviction on the charges of using a destructive device in furtherance of a crime of violence – the use and attempted use of weapons of mass destruction.