The man who is suspected of planting a bomb along the route of a charity Marine Corps run in Seaside Park in Sept. 2016 has been convicted of a separate bombing the same day in New York City.
Ahmad Khan Rahimi was convicted Monday morning by a jury in Manhattan federal court of planting bombs in the Chelsea neighborhood of Manhattan Sept. 17, where the detonated and injured about 30 people. Miraculously, due a late start in the Marine Corps Semper Five run in Seaside Park, the bomb planted in a garbage can along the boardwalk detonated without anyone in close proximity. Had anyone been close to the blast, experts have said it would have been deadly.
Rahimi will face a mandatory life prison term when he is sentenced Jan. 18.
Monday’s conviction only covers the New York City bombing; he is facing separate federal charges in New Jersey over the Seaside Park plot and six explosive devices he allegedly left in a backpack at the Elizabeth, N.J. train station.
Additionally, Rahimi, 29, is facing charges related to the shootout he had with police before his capture the morning of Sept. 19, 2016 in his hometown of Elizabeth. He injured multiple officers – though all survived – before he was shot by police and subdued before being taken into custody.
“Ahmad Khan Rahimi attacked our country and our way of life,” said Joon H. Kim, Acting U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York. “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. Rahimi’s crimes of hate have been met with swift and resolute justice.”
In the course of the Rahimi’s arrest, a handwritten journal was recovered on his person, prosecutors said. Written in the journal were, among other things, mentions of explosive devices including, “The sounds of bombs will be heard in the streets” and “Bombs set off in the streets they plan to run a mile”, plus laudatory references to Usama Bin Laden, the former leader of al-Qaeda, Anwar al-Awlaki, a former senior leader of al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, Mohammed al-Adnani, a former senior leader of the Islamic State in Iraq and al Sham, and Nidal Hasan, who shot and killed 13 people in Foot Hood, Texas.
“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,” Kim said. “As a result, he now faces a mandatory sentence of life in prison. Today’s verdict is a victory for New York City, a victory for America in its fight against terror, and a victory for all who believe in the cause of justice.”