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Life In Prison For Manhattan Bomber

By Joel Rose NPR

The man who set off a pressure cooker bomb in Manhattan has been sentenced to life in prison.

Ahmad Khan Rahimi was convicted of detonating the homemade bomb in the Chelsea neighborhood in September 2016, injuring 30 people. He also planted a second bomb that failed to explode.

After a two-week trial in October, a jury found Rahimi guilty on eight counts, including the use of a weapon of mass destruction. Federal Judge Richard Berman, who presided over the trial, imposed the sentence Tuesday in New York.

“Ahmad Khan Rahimi will spend the rest of his life behind bars,” said FBI Assistant Director William F. Sweeney Jr. “Once again, the lesson learned is clear: if you plot to cause catastrophic damage against this city and our citizens, you will be held accountable.”

Rahimi is also accused of detonating a pipe bomb near a charity run in Seaside Park, N.J. No one was injured there.

The bombings triggered a two-day manhunt that ended in a shootout with police on the streets of Linden, N.J. Rahimi was injured but survived.

Rahimi is a naturalized U.S. citizen who was born in Afghanistan and lived in Elizabeth, N.J. Prosecutors describe him as acting alone, inspired by terrorist propaganda on the Internet.

At his sentencing, Rahimi said, “I don’t harbor hate for anyone,” the Associated Press reported. But prosecutors said Rahimi has not shown remorse, and that he tried to radicalize fellow prisoners at the federal jail in New York where he’s been held.

The case highlights how easy it is to make a powerful explosive from common materials, and how challenging it can be for authorities to identify homegrown terrorists.

Rahimi’s father says he warned authorities about this son two years before the attack. But the FBI reportedly closed an investigation without finding any links to established terror groups.

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