On Friday, prosecutors said Ahmad Rahimi, the man convicted of planting pressure-cooker bombs in Manhattan on September 17, 2016, that injured 30 people, has been attempting to radicalize his fellow inmates, offering them bomb-making instructions, the al Qaeda magazine Inspire and speeches by Osama bin Laden.
As NBC News noted when Rahimi was convicted, “The government called it a miracle that nobody was killed by the explosive, which scattered ball bearings meant to serve as shrapnel.” As acting Manhattan U.S. Attorney Joon Kim said, “Inspired by ISIS and Al Qaeda, Rahimi planted and detonated bombs on the streets of Chelsea, in the heart of Manhattan ... hoping to kill and maim as many innocent people as possible.”
A letter from the U.S. Attorney's office to federal judge Richard Berman stated that since October, Rahimi "distributed extremist material to other inmates" at Friday prayer sessions.
The materials, which were found on Rahimi's electronic devices after his arrest, were given to him as pre-trial discovery materials. Prosecutors alleged, "The defendant allowed the inmates to view these materials on his laptop, and also provided some of them with electronic copies.” The prosecutors noted they had recovered the copies from two inmates' electronics.
One inmate, alleged ISIS sympathizer Sajmir Alimehmeti, had Rahimi’s "terrorist propaganda" on a hard drive in his locker in the jail law library.
After learning of the defendant's radicalization efforts, the MCC staff searched his personal property and located, among other things, an address book containing the names and inmate numbers of other defendants charged with terrorism offenses.
Some of the inmates named were Muhanad Mahmoud Al-Farekh, who has been convicted for his part in a 2009 attack on an Army base in Afghanistan, and Maalik Alim Jones, an alleged al-Shabaab recruit.
Meanwhile, Rahimi has been complaining that his wife and children have not been able to visit him, saying, "I am extremely frustrated and physically tired and mentally drained of the continuous runaround they are giving me.” He also claimed he had been on a hunger strike since December 8.