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Accused NY-NJ Bomber Ahmad Rahimi Hit With Charges in Manhattan Federal Court

Accused Chelsea bomber Ahmad Khan Rahimi was hit Wednesday with an eight-count federal indictment.

The 28-year-old Afghan immigrant was charged with setting off and planting bombs two months ago in New York City.

Image: Ahmad Khan Rahami
Ahmad Khan Rahimi Union County Prosecutor's Office via AP

“The bomb that exploded in Chelsea shattered windows hundreds of yards away and propelled a 100-pound dumpster over 120 feet, injuring over 30 people," said Preet Bharara, the U.S. Attorney in Manhattan. Now indicted by a grand jury, Rahimi will face justice in a federal court for his alleged violent acts of terrorism.”

The federal charges came a month after Rahimi was formally charged with trying to murder police officers.

Rahimi was arrested after a shootout with police officers in Linden, New Jersey on Sept. 19 that left him seriously wounded and two cops with minor injuries.

IMAGE: Ahmad Khan Rahami
Ahmad Khan Rahimi is taken into custody after a shootout with police on Sept. 19, 2016, in Linden, New Jersey. Nicolaus Czarnecki / AP file

In the indictment, Rahimi was charged with one count of using a weapon of mass destruction, one count of attempting to use a WMD, one count of bombing a public place, one count of destroying property by means of fire or explosive, one count of attempting to destroy property by means of fire or explosive.

He was also charged with a single count of interstate transportation and receipt of explosives, and two counts of using of a destructive device in furtherance of a crime of violence.

Rahimi faces life in prison if convicted of the most serious charges in Manhattan federal.

He also faces separate charges for the two bombs he allegedly planted in Elizabeth and Seaside Park, New Jersey, but federal prosecutors plan to try him in New York City first.

While U.S. intelligence officials are investigating possible ties to terrorism, the indictment was silent on that subject and instead described how on Sept. 17 Rahimi allegedly "transported two explosive devices from New Jersey to New York."

"Rahimi placed one of the devices in the vicinity of 135 West 23rd Street in the Chelsea neighborhood of New York (the 23rd Street Bomb) and the other in the vicinity of 131 West 27th Street in the Chelsea neighborhood (the 27th Street Bomb)," the statement reads.

At around 8:30 p.m., the 23rd Street bomb went off, wounding 30 people and causing millions of dollars in property damage.

"The injuries included, among other things, lacerations to the face, abdomen, legs and arms caused by flying glass; metal shrapnel and fragmentation embedded in skin and bone and various head injuries," the statement says. "The explosive components appear to have been placed inside a pressure cooker and left in a dumpster."

Image:
Crime scene investigators work at the scene of an explosion the night before on West 23rd street in Manhattan's Chelsea neighborhood on Sept. 18. Andres Kudacki / AP file

The blast sent a 100-pound dumpster flying more than 120 feet and shattered windows 400 feet away and more than three stories high.

The 27th Street bomb was also wired to a pressure cooker but did not go off.

Earlier that day, the feds said, another bomb allegedly planted by Rahimi went off in Seaside Park "along the route for the Seaside Semper Five Marine Corps Charity 5K race," the statement says.

Nobody was hurt. Nor was anybody injured by the bomb hidden in a backpack that Rahimi allegedly planted at the entrance to a New Jersey Transit station in Elizabeth, New Jersey that failed to go off.