‘Chelsea Bomber’ Found Guilty on All 8 Counts

A photo of Ahmad Khan Rahimi, released by the NYPD, before he was apprehended in connection to the Sept. 17 Chelsea bombing. Photo via NYPD.

BY DUSICA SUE MALESEVIC | Ahmad Khan Rahimi, 29, has been found guilty of all charges related to a bomb that exploded on W. 23rd St. that injured 31 people, and for planting another device on W. 27th St.

The federal jury took only a handful of hours (two on Friday, then reconvening today) to convict Rahimi on eight charges that included use and attempted use of a weapon of mass destruction, bombing a place of public use, and destroying and attempting to destroy property with an explosion.

Rahimi faces life in prison. His sentencing date is Jan. 18, 2018.

At approximately 8:30 p.m. on the evening of Sat., Sept. 17, 2016, an explosion rocked W. 23rd St. (btw. Sixth & Seventh Aves.), injuring people with flying shrapnel and damaging buildings along the street. During the trial, victims of the bombing testified to the explosion’s immediate and lingering impact — some sustained serious injuries, some still have shrapnel embedded in their body, and some sought counseling.

The device on W. 27th St. did not go off, with local Chelsea resident Jane Schreibman tipping off law enforcement by calling 911.

Rahimi, who lived in Elizabeth, NJ, also faces charges in New Jersey’s Union County, Reuters reported. He is accused of planting a bomb that exploded in Seaside Park, NJ, before a charity race, and pipe bombs at the Elizabeth, NJ train station.

“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,” Joon H. Kim, acting Manhattan US Attorney the Southern District of New York, said in a statement. “Rahimi’s crimes of hate have been met with swift and resolute justice… 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.”

Mayor Bill de Blasio, in a statement, called the Chelsea bombing “an attempt to bring our city to its knees. Instead, our NYPD, FBI and federal prosecutors have brought Ahmad Rahimi to justice. His evil was met with the bravery and resiliency of a beautiful neighborhood and an entire city. New York City will never be intimidated. We remain vigilant, resolute and safe. Congratulations to all those involved in this important prosecution.”

See our Oct. 19 print edition (online version available evening of Oct. 18) for full coverage.

Chelsea resident Jane Schreibman, at the W. 27th St. location where she saw the bomb on the night of Sept. 17, 2016. “I saw something that caught my eye on the curb. It seemed strange,” she recalled, during testimony on the opening day of Ahmad Khan Rahimi’s trial. File photo by Tequila Minsky.