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New York Bombing Suspect, Al-Qaeda Sympathizer, Pleads Not Guilty


Suspected bomber Ahmad Khan Rahami attends his first court hearing via video link last month.

Suspected bomber Ahmad Khan Rahami attends his first court hearing via video link last month.

The suspect behind a bombing that wounded 31 people in New York in September pleaded not guilty to terrorism-related charges on November 17.

Ahmad Khan Rahimi appeared in a Manhattan federal court.to plead not guilty to eight counts linked to homemade bombs he is suspected of planting in Manhattan and New Jersey.

The charges include the use of a weapon of mass destruction, the interstate transportation and receipt of explosives, and the bombing of a place of public use.

One bomb exploded in Manhattan's Chelsea neighborhood, lightly wounding 31 people.

Police found five additional pipe bombs in Rahimi's hometown of Elizabeth, New Jersey, and a second device in Chelsea that was defused.

Most of the other bombs did not explode and no one was killed.

Police said Rahimi, 28, an American who was born in Afghanistan, lauded Al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden and criticized U.S. wars in Iraq and Afghanistan in a hand-written journal.

Officials said he traveled extensively to Afghanistan and spent around a year in Pakistan, where he married and his wife became pregnant.

Despite his leanings, the FBI believes Rahimi acted alone and is not connected to any extremist groups.

Based on reporting by AP and AFP
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