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Terrorist and attempted cop killer Ahmad Rahimi faces a 3rd trial for bombs found in NJ

Accused bomber Ahmad Kahn Rahimi appears in Union County Superior Court in Elizabeth before Judge Regina Caulfield on Monday for a hearing. May 15, 2017. (NJ Advance Media Group/TNS)

Already serving life behind bars for a Manhattan bombing and convicted of attempting to kill five Linden cops on Tuesday, Ahmad Khan Rahimi still faces a possible third trial for bombs authorities say he planted in two New Jersey towns in September 2016.

But when that occurs is unclear.

The charges against Rahimi in federal court in New Jersey have been on hold with no filings in the case since the days after he was arrested on charges of planting bombs in Seaside Park and Elizabeth.

“The federal charges in the District of New Jersey remain pending,” said Matthew Reilly, spokesman for the New Jersey District Attorney’s office. He would not comment on the timeline of when Rahimi is expected to be in court next, or why the New Jersey federal case has had no activity for three years.

On Sept. 17, 2016, police say Rahimi placed homemade pipe bombs along a 5K military charity run in Seaside Park, which detonated in a trash can. Nobody was injured in the blast.

Later that day, Rahimi placed two pressure cooker bombs in Manhattan’s Chelsea neighborhood — one detonated and injured more than 30 people. He’s also suspected of leaving bombs at the Elizabeth Train Station, which were found by a homeless man and detonated by police using a robot.

The bombings triggered a massive two-day manhunt, which sparked the shootout with Linden police. Rahimi was shot several times in the gun battle, and two officers suffered gunshot wounds.

At the time, he faced three trials: one in federal court in the Southern District of New York for the Chelsea bombs, one in Superior Court in Union County for the shootout with police and one in federal court in Newark for the bombs found in New Jersey.

The 31-year-old man was convicted on the five attempted murder charges relating to the Linden shootout Tuesday, for which he’ll be sentenced on Nov. 15. He was previously sentenced to two life terms in January for the bombs found in Manhattan.

But officials won’t say when he’ll face the six charges pending against him in federal court for the attempted bombings in New Jersey.

Rahimi faces two counts of use of a weapon of mass destruction — one for the bomb in Seaside Park and another for the bombs in Elizabeth — one count of bombings of a public transportation system, and several counts of destroying property.

No motions have been filed in the case since Sept. 26, 2016 — nine days after the first bomb detonated, according to online court filings.

The last filing even names Alexander Shalom of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of New Jersey as his attorney, but Shalom said the ACLU had not represented Rahimi in court in more than three years.

It’s unclear who is representing Rahimi in the remaining case against him court. He was represented by public defender Nicholas Kormann in his most recent trial, and by a federal public defender in district court in New York.

A spokesperson for the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York in Manhattan, which prosecuted Rahimi for the Chelsea bombing, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.


© 2019 NJ Advance Media Group