At a Glance | January 22

Prosecutors Urge Mandatory Life Sentence for Elizabeth Man in Manhattan Bombing

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An Elizabeth man convicted in a 2016 Manhattan bombing should receive a mandatory life sentence, according to federal prosecutors in a submission January 16 to US District Judge Richard M. Berman. Ahmad Khan Rahimi (right) has shown a lack of remorse and “has instead attempted to radicalize his fellow inmates and made light of his attacks,” the submission reads. He is scheduled to be sentenced on February 13. Rahimi was found guilty on October 16 on federal charges in the bombing that injured 30 people. Prosecutors said Rahimi began providing other inmates at the Metropolitan Correctional Center in New York with materials promoting his extremist ideology following his conviction, including a Bronx man accused of trying to join ISIS. He has also joked with family members about his actions and prided himself on his bomb-making expertise. Rahimi still faces charges in US District Court in New Jersey for placing a bomb that detonated in Seaside Park prior to a charity 5K race, leaving explosive devices inside a backpack at a train station in Elizabeth, and engaging in a shootout with Linden police.

Statue of Liberty, Times Square Targeted in Failed ISIS Plot

Two New York men acting on behalf of ISIS planned to attack the Statue of Liberty and Times Square with pressure-cooker bombs, according to court documents released ahead of their sentencing that begins on February 8. The court filings revealed that Munter Omar Saleh, of Queens, and Fareed Mumuni, of Staten Island, discussed hitting a weak point in the Statue of Liberty with pressure-cooker bombs to force the structure to fall forward. A separate or simultaneous attack to Times Square was also mentioned in Saleh’s notes. The documents also revealed Saleh received instructions on how to build pressure-cooker bombs from British ISIS recruiter Junaid Hussain in 2015. Saleh, 21, and Mumuni, 22, pleaded guilty in February 2017 to conspiring to support ISIS and for plotting the attacks. Saleh, who faces up to 53 years in prison, was arrested on June 13, 2015, after charging at a federal officer observing him. Mumuni, who could receive up to 85 years in prison, was apprehended four days later after stabbing an FBI agent wearing protective body armor with a knife.

Report Finds Extremists Killed 34 People in United States Last Year

A new report from the Anti-Defamation League, “Murder and Extremism in the United States in 2017,” said that extremists were responsible for the deaths of 34 people in the United States in 2017. That total marked a 52 percent decline from 2016 (71) but still ranks as the fifth-deadliest year since 1970, according to the report. White supremacists were responsible for 18 of the extremist-related killings, while Islamic extremists were linked to nine deaths. The deadliest incident of 2017 was committed by reported ISIS supporter Sayfullo Saipov, of Paterson, on October 31. Saipov is charged with killing eight people when he drove a rental truck down a bike path in New York City. Firearms remained the most commonly used weapons in extremist-related killings; however, they were only involved in 59 percent of the incidents in 2017 compared to 93 percent in 2016. The report also noted that three law enforcement officers were killed by extremists in 2017.

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