New York — A federal jury has convicted a man of planting two bombs on New York City streets, including one that injured 30 people when it detonated.
Jurors in Manhattan on Monday found 29-year-old Ahmad Khan Rahimi guilty of all charges, including counts of using a weapon of mass destruction and bombing a public place. The Afghanistan-born man living in Elizabeth, New Jersey, faces a maximum punishment of life in prison.
Prosecutors say Rahimi considered himself “a soldier in a holy war against Americans” and was inspired by the Islamic State group and al-Qaida to carry out the attacks on Sept. 17, 2016. The second pressure-cooker bomb planted in Manhattan didn’t detonate.
Defense attorneys did not challenge much of the government’s evidence but urged jurors to acquit Rahimi.
The Afghanistan-born Rahimi was also charged with planting another bomb four blocks away that did not go off. Prosecutors said a pipe bomb he placed along a charity race in Seaside Park, New Jersey, was part of his plan to kill Americans with weapons of mass destruction. The New Jersey bomb did not injure anyone, in part because the race was delayed by late entrants.
Rahimi pleaded not guilty after his arrest two days after the September 2016 attacks following a shootout with police in New Jersey that left him hospitalized for weeks. He has been held without bail since his arrest.
Prosecutors said Rahimi was inspired by the Islamic State group and al-Qaida to plan the bombings after he began following terrorist propaganda in 2012.
Jurors were shown dozens of videos that captured Rahimi walking the streets of Manhattan to where each of the bombs was placed. Prosecutors said he paused three times along the way because the bombs contained timers and he needed to meet the schedule he had set.
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