He allegedly placed a small pipe bomb on the route of a charity running race in New Jersey, which exploded without injuring anyone, and then planted the two bombs in Chelsea. Rahimi's total sentence is life, followed by another mandatory term of 30 years, followed by a second term of life.
A defense lawyer says Rahimi once aspired to be a police officer.
In his 15-minute address to the court, Rahimi not once apologized for the bombing. He went on to place a homemade bomb - packed into a pressure cooker and wired to a flip-phone detonator - on a stretch of the Chelsea neighborhood's West 23rd Street, busy with pedestrians on a warm Saturday night.
After a two-week trial in October, a jury found Rahimi guilty on eight counts, including the use of a weapon of mass destruction.
He said he doesn't "harbor hate for anyone".
Given a chance to speak, Rahimi, shackled at the ankles, portrayed himself as a victim, saying he came to America as a 7-year-old boy with no hatred for anyone and was raised by a father in a household where there was no mention of what his father experienced during the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan.
Rahami, prosecutors said, gave inmates copies of terrorist propaganda and jihadist materials, including speeches and lectures by the founder of al-Qaida, Osama bin Laden, and Anwar al-Awlaki, a US-born cleric who inspired attacks on America and was killed in a United States airstrike in September 2011. In an interview with WNBC, his father called him a terrorist.More news: Apple's confidential iBoot source code leaked online
While imprisoned, Rahimi has completed classes in business, entrepreneurship and drama, Donaldson wrote.
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-making instructions, books on jihad, and issues of the al Qaeda-backed magazine Inspire, prosecutors said.
The device four blocks north failed to explode.
Rahimi let other inmates view the items on his laptop and gave them electronic copies, Kim's letter said.
Rahimi even laughed during the conversation, prosecutors claimed.
Two days after the bombs went off, police ended a manhunt for Rahimi with a shootout in Linden, New Jersey.