Suspect in Chelsea Bombing Appears in Federal Court

NEW YORK – Mr. Rahimi, a naturalized U.S. citizen who was born in Afghanistan, was captured on Sept. 22 after a shootout with police in Linden, N.J.

He made his first appearance in federal court before a magistrate judge on Thursday. He is accused of setting off bombs in New York and New Jersey two months ago. Federal public defenders are representing Rahimi. The charges are using weapons of mass destruction, bombing a place of public use, destroying property through an explosive and using a destructive device during a crime of violence.

Investigators believe Mr. Rahimi was the one who planted a homemade bomb near a trash bin in Manhattan’s Chelsea neighborhood, which exploded on Sept. 17 and injured 31 people. The criminal complaint also alleges he placed explosives in Seaside Park and Elizabeth, N.J.  Mr. Rahimi hasn’t yet entered a plea, although hi lawyer,Mr. Patton, told reporters after the hearing that he plans to plead not guilty.

Mr. Rahimi pleaded not guilty last month to separate charges filed by New Jersey state authorities—five counts of attempted murder and two gun charges. He entered the plea via video from a hospital bed in Newark.

David Patton said his client went through eight to ten surgeries after the shootout and raised concerns about the medical treatment he would receive at Manhattan’s federal detention facility. Mr. Rahimi nearly lost his hand and still has an open wound on his leg and serious liver damage.

The judge scheduled a hearing next Wednesday to further discuss Mr. Rahimi’s medical needs. Prosecutors said Mr. Rahimi was determined to be “fit for confinement.”

If convicted, he faces a maximum sentence of life in prison.

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