A 29-year-old New Jersey man was convicted Monday of planting two pressure-cooker bombs in New York City in 2016, one of which exploded and injured 30 people.
A federal jury found Ahmad Khan Rahimi guilty of eight criminal counts, including use of a weapon of mass destruction, and could face life in prison.
Prosecutors said Rahimi, who was born in Afghanistan but moved to the U.S. with his family as a child, was inspired by ISIS and al Qaeda to plan the attack. He constructed bombs filled with ball bearings meant to act as shrapnel when the detonated, and placed them in trash bins in New York. One of the bombs left on 23rd Street in the Chelsea neighborhood exploded the night of Sept. 17, 2016.
The second bomb was discovered before it could detonate.
“On September 17, 2016, Ahmad Khan Rahimi attacked our country and our way of life,” said Joon H. Kim the acting U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, whose office prosecuted the case. “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.”
Prosecutors said Rahimi had also planted bombs along the route of a charity race in Seaside Park, New Jersey and in a train station in Elizabeth, New Jersey. The bomb planted near the route of the race exploded before the race began Sept. 17 while the other explosive devices were found before they could explode.
Rahimi was arrested two days later after a shootout with police in Linden, New Jersey. He faces separate charges in New Jersey in connection with the devices planted there and the shootout with police.
Rahimi is set to be sentenced in the New York case in January.