Rahimi, a fast food worker turned homegrown extremist, brought two pressure cooker bombs from New Jersey to Manhattan on September 17 2016, planting them on W. 23 and W. 27th St., officials said.
"After two months, they say, 'Your son is not doing any act like a terrorist, '" Rahimi. said "I said, 'You sure he not doing anything?' He say, 'Yeah, is good news'". He became a naturalized United States citizen in 2011.
"The nature of the crime was heinous, wanton and life-threatening ... it's inexplicable that anyone would do that intentionally", said US District Judge Richard Berman. "That's when I started" noticing discrimination, Rahimi said in his emotionless five-minute statement.
Rahimi wasn't charged with terrorism, but his father, Mohammad Rahimi, said he contacted the Federal Bureau of Investigation to warn that his son may have been radicalized and the agency informed him his son wasn't engaged in terrorist behavior.
"She described Rahimi's efforts to radicalize fellow prisoners at the federal jail in NY where he has been imprisoned since his arrest".More news: Apple Cuts iPhone X Production In Half After "Disappointing Holiday Season Sales"
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After a two-week trial in October, a jury found Rahimi guilty on eight counts, including the use of a weapon of mass destruction.
Rahimi "has been attempting to radicalize fellow inmates in the Metropolitan Correction Center by, among other things, distributing propaganda and publications issued by terrorist organizations", according to a letter from then-Acting US Attorney Joon H. Kim to Judge Berman.
He placed a second bomb on West 27th Street, but a passerby on edge from the blast four blocks away noticed it and called police, and the bomb squad took the device away without incident.
Rahimi also detonated a bomb at a charity 5K race in Seaside Park, N.J., earlier that morning - but no one was hurt.
During the trial, the prosecution presented evidence - including DNA and fingerprints - linking Rahimi to the bombs that were placed in New Jersey and NY.
Two days after the bombs went off, police ended a manhunt for Rahimi with a shootout in Linden, New Jersey.
Rahimi, prosecutors said, gave inmates copies of terrorist propaganda and jihadist materials, including speeches and lectures by al-Qaida founder Osama bin Laden and Anwar al-Awlaki, a US -born cleric who inspired attacks on America and was killed in a USA airstrike in September 2011. The bomb left along the Seaside Park boardwalk was a pipe bomb stuffed in a trash can; the NY bombs were "pressure cooker" style devices.