Convicted Manhattan bomber attempted to radicalize fellow inmates

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A man convicted of setting off a bomb in Manhattan that injured 30 people last year has been working to radicalize fellow prison inmates.

According to The New York Times, federal prosecutors contend that Ahmad Khan Rahimi gave other inmates access to speeches by Osama bin Laden and Anwar al-Awlaki and materials that included bomb-making instructions.

The speeches and materials were allegedly discovered on Rahimi’s laptop and later used as evidence at his trial, in which jurors in Manhattan found Rahimi guilty of all eight counts against him, including charges of using a weapon of mass destruction and bombing a public place.

The allegations that Rahimi has been attempting to radicalize other inmates were detailed in a letter sent Friday from the office of Acting U.S. Attorney Joon Kim to Judge Richard Berman, who is scheduled to sentence Rahimi on Jan. 18, following his October conviction.

Rahimi, who was born in Afghanistan and lived in Elizabeth, New Jersey, faces a maximum sentence of life in prison.

The federal government alleged that Rahimi shared the materials with inmates during Friday prayer sessions at the Metropolitan Correctional Center in Manhattan, where inmates are housed while they await trial or sentencing.

According to the allegations included in the letter from Kim’s office to the judge, after employees at the correctional center learned of Rahimi’s ‘radicalization efforts,’ they searched his personal property and found an address book containing names and inmate numbers of other suspected terrorists, including Muhanad Mahmoud Al Farekh and Maalik Alim Jones.

Texas native Al Farekh was convicted in 2009 of helping to plot an attack on a U.S. military base in Afghanistan; while Jones, a Maryland native, pleaded guilty to providing aid to the Shabab terrorist organization in Somalia.

Inmates with whom Rahimi shared the speeches and radical information included Sajmir Alimehmeti, a Bronx man who has been charged with providing material support to the Islamic State, prosecutors said.

Rahimi has also sent a letter to the judge, indicating that he began a hunger strike on Dec. 8 to protest the decision by authorities not to allow his family to visit him while he has been incarcerated. He also claims that the government has not allowed him to contact his attorney.

“I am extremely frustrated and physically tired and mentally drained of the continuous run around they are giving me,” Rahimi wrote.

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