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'Chelsea Bomber' Gets Two Life Sentences In New York Court

Ahmad Khan Rahami
Ahmad Khan Rahami

A man convicted of planting bombs in New York City's Chelsea neighborhood in September 2016 has been sentenced to life in prison.

A Manhattan federal court on February 13 handed down two life sentences to Ahmad Khan Rahami for engineering an explosion that injured 30 people. A second bomb failed to detonate.

Rahimi, known to many as the "Chelsea bomber," is a 30-year-old U.S. citizen born in Afghanistan who grew up in New Jersey.

He was convicted in October on all eight counts brought against him, including the use of a weapon of mass destruction and bombing a public place.

District Judge Richard Berman said that Rahimi offered no explanation for his actions that would warrant imposing less than the two life sentences.

Rahimi told the court that he does not "harbor hate for anyone.”

"But through life experience, I have learned to understand why there's such frustration between the Muslim community overseas and the American people," he added.

He also said that he had been "harassed" by authorities while traveling because of his Muslim appearance.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said in a statement that "justice has been served," adding that the sentencing “sends a strong message that we will not tolerate those who seek to sow fear, hate, and violence."

Investigators said Rahimi left his home in New Jersey on the morning of September 17, 2016, with several homemade bombs.

He allegedly placed a small pipe bomb on the route of a charity running race in New Jersey, which exploded without injuring anyone, and then planted the two bombs in Chelsea.

Other devices were left in a rubbish bin at a train station in New Jersey.

Rahimi still faces charges in New Jersey over the first bombing and for shooting at police before being captured two days after the bombings.

Based on reporting by AP, Reuters, and the BBC