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Chelsea bomber deserves life sentence, prosecution says

Ahmad Rahimi joked in jail about his lone-wolf 2016 terror attack in Chelsea, prosecutors said.

Ahmad Khan Rahimi is standing trial in connection

Ahmad Khan Rahimi is standing trial in connection with bombing attacks in Chelsea in September 2016. Photo Credit: Union County Prosecutor’s Office; Getty Images / Stephanie Keith

Prosecutors on Tuesday urged a Manhattan federal judge to sentence Chelsea bomber Ahmad Rahimi to life in prison as they disclosed he joked in jail about the pressure cooker bomb used to wreak havoc and wondered how non-Muslims with their hands “drenched in blood” could judge him.

Rahimi, 29, of Elizabeth, New Jersey, was convicted last year of a lone-wolf 2016 terror attack in Manhattan where 30 people were injured by an explosive device that he planted. He also left a second bomb that didn’t go off in Chelsea, and still faces charges of leaving bombs near a New Jersey charity race.

He faces a mandatory life term at his scheduled Feb. 13 sentencing. The government told U.S. District Judge Richard Berman in Tuesday’s sentencing memo that Rahimi’s jail behavior shows a “lack of remorse” that justifies the harsh punishment — citing a letter to an associate explaining why Rahimi didn’t testify.

In the letter, Rahimi used a term for non-Muslims to describe the judge, his lawyer, the prosecutor and the jury.

“Who among them will understand the Muslim problem,” Rahimi asked in the letter. “Their hands are already drenched with Muslim Blood and how will they understand our struggle?”

Prosecutors also said Rahimi shared terrorist publications that were part of the evidence at his trial with other jailed terror suspects, and was monitored on a call to his wife chortling about how the government showed what an “expert” he was at making pressure cooker bombs.

Another inmate “asked me how are we going to watch the news and I told him I don’t need to watch the news because I am the news,” he said, according to a transcript.

“The defendant’s jokes about the items he used to construct his deadly devices, his pride in being ‘an expert’ bombmaker, and his dismissal of the legitimacy of this proceeding, make clear that he does not acknowledge the horrific nature of his crimes,” prosecutors said. “He does not regret the harm he caused.”

Rahimi’s defense lawyer did not respond to a call for comment.


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