'Chelsea Bomber' Ahmad Rahimi sentenced to multiple life terms

Ahmad Khan Rahimi, convicted in bombings that injured 30 people, was sentenced  on Tuesday.

New York (CNN)Convicted New York City bomber Ahmad Khan Rahimi was sentenced to multiple life sentences in prison by a federal judge on Tuesday.

Rahimi, 30, was previously found guilty of eight federal charges in connection with a September 2016 bombing that injured 30 in the Chelsea neighborhood.
"The nature of the crime was heinous, wanton and life-threatening ... it's inexplicable that anyone would do that intentionally," said US District Judge Richard Berman.
Rahimi, a Muslim who federal prosecutors say attempted to radicalize other jail inmates while awaiting sentencing, also was ordered to pay about $563,000 to victims.
    Rahimi spoke to the judge, saying he didn't come from Afghanistan as a child with hate in his heart.
    "I grew up amongst you guys, when I started following (my religion), practicing it. That's when I started" noticing discrimination, Rahimi said in his emotionless five-minute statement. He became a naturalized US citizen in 2011.
    Rahimi talked about being targeted for being a Muslim, mentioning he was always picked out in airports by security.
    Prosecutors had used a Rahimi diary as evidence that he wanted to be a part of jihad, but in court Tuesday Rahimi didn't take responsibility for the bombing.

    Father calls him a 'terrorist'

    On Monday, in an interview with WNBC, Rahimi's father called his son a terrorist, but said Rahimi is glad no one died in the incidents.
    "He did it as a terrorist ... this is terrorist," Mohammad Rahami, who goes by a different last name, said in the interview. "He told me, 'Thank God I didn't kill anybody, that's good news for me,' " the elder Rahami said.
    Rahimi, known as the "Chelsea Bomber," was found guilty on eight charges in late 2017.
    He was convicted of charges including the use and attempted use of a weapon of mass destruction, bombing a public place, destroying property by means of fire or explosives, and using a destructive device in furtherance of a crime of violence -- namely, the use and attempted use of weapons of mass destruction.

    Education and family visits

    His sentencing attorney, Xavier Donaldson, requested in a letter to the judge that Rahimi, as part of his sentencing, "be allowed to avail himself of any educational opportunities" that he might qualify for in prison.
    "Since his arrest, Mr. Rahimi has completed classes in business, entrepreneurship and drama while in BOP (Federal Bureau of Prisons) custody," the letter said.
    Further, his attorney requested that "the court recommend to the Bureau of Prisons that Mr. Rahimi be housed in a location as close to Virginia as possible to facilitate family visitation. We make this request primarily because since Mr. Rahimi's arrest, he has only been allowed approximately six family visits."

    Radicalizing other inmates

    In late 2017, federal prosecutors said Rahimi provided inmates with copies of terrorist propaganda and jihadist materials, including speeches by Osama bin Laden and militant cleric Anwar al-Awlaki -- both of whom were killed in 2011-- along with bomb-ma