Chelsea bomber Ahmad Rahimi was sentenced Tuesday to multiple life terms for setting off a shrapnel-packed explosive as part of a wave of planned attacks in New York and New Jersey.
The 30-year-old terrorist delivered a rambling and remorseless diatribe before Manhattan Federal Court Judge Richard Berman slapped him with two life terms plus 30 years.
“One thing a life sentence does is to make sure you don’t do it again,” Berman said.
Rahimi was found guilty last October of successfully detonating one of two bombs he planted in Chelsea in a Saturday night attack in 2016 that injured 30 people and sent ripples of fear through the city.
In his 15-minute address to the court, Rahimi not once apologized for the bombing.
Instead, he ranted about U.S. policies against Muslims and bizarrely blamed the FBI for not intervening when he started falling under ISIS’ spell.
“The U.S. has this program called ‘see something, say something,’ ” Rahimi said. “My father went to the FBI on multiple occasions.”
“I don’t harbor hate toward anyone,” Rahimi added at one point, “but through life experience, I have learned to understand why there’s such frustration between the Muslim community overseas and the American people.”
Rahimi, a fast-food worker turned homegrown extremist, brought two pressure cooker bombs from New Jersey to Manhattan on Sept. 17, 2016, planting them on W. 23rd and W. 27th Sts., officials said.
The first explosive threw a 100-pound dumpster more than 120 feet and sprayed hundreds of ball bearings and steel nuts that sliced through pedestrians’ faces and legs.
The device four blocks north failed to explode.
Rahimi also detonated a bomb at a charity 5K race in Seaside Park, N.J., earlier that morning — but no one was hurt.
The day after the Chelsea bombing, two men walking by the N.J. Transit station in Elizabeth found a knapsack containing more pipe bombs built by Rahimi.
Aftermath of Chelsea bombing, manhunt
Authorities shut down the station, evacuated the terminal and briefly suspended service in and out of Elizabeth.
Pauline Nelson, a mother of four who was driving near the bomb when it went off, shot Rahimi daggers as she railed against his courtroom demeanor.
“You laugh with your lawyer. You sit down and laugh,” Nelson, 48, said. “You have no remorse.”
Jurors took less than four hours to convict Rahimi on eight counts, including using a weapon of mass destruction and bombing a public place, following a two-week trial.
The verdict resulted in a mandatory life sentence.
“Less than a year-and-a-half after his attacks, Rahimi has now been tried, convicted, and sentenced to life in prison,” said U.S. Attorney Geoffrey Berman.
“Rahimi’s conviction and sentencing are victories for New York City and our nation in the fight against terror.”
In recent court papers, prosecutors painted Rahimi as a remorseless terrorist who was basking in his newfound infamy.
“(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,” Rahimi allegedly told a family member in a jailhouse phone call, while he was on trial.
Rahimi even laughed during the conversation, prosecutors claimed.