Federal prosecutors argued Tuesday that a convicted terrorist should spend the rest of his life behind bars because he hasn’t shown “remorse for his crimes” and instead has tried to corrupt other prisoners with his extremist ideology.
Ahmad Khan Rahimi, a 29-year-old New Jersey man, was convicted in October of planting two pressure-cooker bombs in New York and New Jersey on Sept. 17, 2016 and subsequently injuring 30 people in the blast. The charges against him, including using a weapon of mass destruction and bombing a public place, carry a maximum punishment of life in jail. And that’s what prosecutors said they believe he should get.
"Since his arrest and conviction, the defendant has failed to show remorse for his crimes, and has instead attempted to radicalize his fellow inmates and made light of his attacks," prosecutors wrote in a submission to Judge Richard M. Berman, who is scheduled to sentence Rahimi on Feb. 13.
Rahimi, an Afghanistan-born man inspired by the Islamic State and al Qaeda in 2012, reportedly began attempting to radicalize other inmates at the Metropolitan Correctional Center in October.
According to prosecutors, he shared propaganda materials, speeches by terrorist leaders like Osama bin Laden and Anwar al-Awlaki and bomb-making instructions. One inmate who was said to have viewed the materials was facing charges of providing material support and resources to ISIS.
"As the evidence at trial demonstrated, the defendant was committed to waging his holy war against Americans years before he carried out his attack,” prosecutors said. “Even today, he appears to remain steadfast in that commitment and has shown no remorse. The defendant's communications while incarcerated further demonstrate that, far from appreciating the depravity of his actions, he is proud of what he did, scornful of the American justice system, and as dedicated as ever to his terrorist ideology."
Prosecutors added that Rahimi “has not been deterred, but rather emboldened” following his conviction.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.