An Afghan-born U.S. citizen accused of planting bombs in New York and New Jersey fired on police in New Jersey to evade arrest, but those crimes fall short of attempted murder as charged, his defense lawyer argued on Monday.
Ahmad Khan Rahimi, 29, faces a 30-count indictment in New Jersey’s Union County in relation to a bomb blast in New York City’s Chelsea district last September that wounded about 30 people. Another bomb in New Jersey injured no one and other devices he is accused of planting did not detonate.
Rahimi also faces a host of federal charges brought by U.S. prosecutors in New York and New Jersey, who have portrayed him as a jihadist who bought bomb components on eBay, praised Osama bind Laden and kept a journal expressing outrage at the U.S. “slaughter” of mujahideen fighters in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria and Palestine.
Rahimi, who has pleaded not guilty to all charges, appeared in court shackled at the feet and hands while wearing a blue prison uniform, white skullcap and beard. He appeared to be mouthing verses of the Koran while seated at the defense table.
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