Opening statements begin in NJ trial for convicted terrorist Ahmad Rahimi

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Opening statements began Tuesday for the state trial of convicted terrorist Ahmad Rahimi.

Rahimi is serving two life sentences for planting pipe bombs in Manhattan September 2016. Several people were injured when those bombs went off. He is also accused of planting bombs along the race route for the Seaside Semper Five Marine charity race that same day.

The bombing led to an intense manhunt. Rahimi was identified as the suspect and arrested on Sep. 19, 2016, two days after the bombing. Police found Rahimi in Linden. He allegedly got into a shootout with police during the arrest.

RELATED: Jury selection begins for NJ/NY bombing suspect Ahmad Rahimi  

Rahimi is now facing attempted murder and assault charges

The Union County prosecutor alleges that Rahimi had a plan to kill police officers on the day of his arrest.

Assistant Prosecutor Meghan Tomlinson sited Rahimi’s own writing while addressing jurors. “Gunshots to your police, death to your oppression,” Tomlinson quoted.

On the day of his arrest, Rahimi was found sleeping in the doorway of a Linden bar. After a confrontation with police, investigators say Rahimi, who had a 9-millimeter handgun and 40 rounds of ammunition, fired on police 20 times as they tried to arrest him while he ran down the street.

But Rahimi’s defense attorney says that Rahimi was shooting at police officers for another reason.

“This case is about one thing, fear,” the attorney said. “The truth is in this case, if you have a plan – you want to murder – you don’t run away.”

Several witnesses took the stand after the opening statements – a police officer injured in the shootout, the owner of the bar and three investigators.

Judge John Deitch allowed jurors to go home at 3 p.m. Testimony will resume Wednesday.


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