Ahmad Khan Rahimi was accused of planting a pressure cooker bomb on West 23rd Street in New York City, last September, injuring 30 people. Rahimi is said to have planted another bomb on West 27th Street, which never detonated. He had been jailed since last year as a result of the bombing in Chelsea. On Monday, he was found guilty for both crimes. He now faces a mandatory life sentence.
After two days of deliberation, the jury reached their verdict. Acting Manhattan U.S. Attorney Joon Kim defended the court’s decision on Monday at a news conference outside the courtroom.
“Today’s verdict is a victory for New York City and a victory for America in its fight against terror, and a victory for all who believe in the cause of justice,” said Kim.
Mayor Bill de Blasio hailed the outcome of the case as a product of justice.
“The Chelsea bombing was an attempt to bring our city to its knees,” Mayor de Blasio said in a statement. “Instead, our NYPD, FBI and federal prosecutors have brought Ahmad Rahimi to justice.”
NYPD Commissioner James O’Neill believes the court’s decision to be “the most forceful deterrent” against terrorism.
“Today’s verdict is the most forceful deterrent for anyone considering waging terror in our City,” O’Neill said in a statement. “We will investigate; we will find those responsible; and justice will prevail.”
Most jurors declined to comment.
“It’s always difficult to work on this kind of case,” said foreman Eric Obenzinger. “It’s never easy for anybody to be part of.”
The jurors heard more than a dozen’s witnesses emotional testimonies. They also saw dozens of security camera footage, which showed Rahimi pulling two suitcases, around Manhattan, and wearing a backpack with six pipe bombs which he never used.
Who is Ahmad Khan Rahimi?
Rahimi is a 29-year-old Afghan-American from Elizabeth, New Jersey. He worked at a family fast-food business. He was accused of planting a pressure cooker bomb on West 23rd Street in Manhattan, which injured a total of 30 people. This New Jersey is also accused of planting a bomb on West 27th Street, but it never detonated. Fingerprint and DNA linked him to the bombs. There is also evidence that he purchased some of the components used in the bombing, such as ball bearings used as shrapnel.
The 29-year-old also faced charges for planting bombs in New Jersey and a shootout at the time of his capture. He has been jailed since last year, and is now facing a mandatory life sentence.
The man had bomb-making instructions on his laptop from al Qaida’s “Inspire” magazine. He also had jihadist statements in a notebook. Prosecutors believe that jihadist-sentiment fueled the bombing in Chelsea.
The convicted terror suspect’s lawyer said that he would appeal the case.