Of course. It isn’t as if he were a right-wing extremist or anything really dangerous like that.
In any case, it is clear from the photographs of him that Rahimi is a devout, observant Muslim, and that, no doubt, was a considerable part of his motivation in planting the bombs. But that almost certainly will not be explored in the courtroom. To do so would be “Islamophobic.”
“Lawyers for bomb suspect say feds falsely linking him to terrorism,” Associated Press, July 21, 2017:
NEW YORK — Lawyers for a man accused of plotting bomb attacks in New Jersey and New York say the government is doing everything it can to wrongfully portray their client as a terrorist.
The lawyers said in papers filed in Manhattan federal court Thursday that prosecutors plan to show jurors inflammatory evidence against Ahmad Khan Rahimi at his October trial, including letting them hear that he owned a gun, shot at police and has been charged in New Jersey with attempted murder.
Prosecutors responded in court papers, saying “the defendant’s murderous efforts to flee, less than 48 hours after the bombings in Manhattan, are probative of his consciousness of guilt.”
Defense lawyers noted Rahimi has not been charged with a federal crime of terrorism.
Rahimi, an Afghanistan-born U.S. citizen, has pleaded not guilty to charges alleging he detonated a pipe bomb near a Seaside Park, New Jersey, charity run and planted two pressure cooker bombs in Manhattan last September. A bomb in Manhattan’s Chelsea neighborhood went off, injuring 30 people.
Federal prosecutors said evidence defense lawyers want excluded from trial is important.
“The defendant’s interest in jihad, terrorist organizations, terrorist attacks, and other terrorists, is probative of his motive, intent, and plan to commit the charged crimes,” prosecutors said.
The defense said it is particularly bothered by government plans to show jurors emails seized from Rahimi’s electronic accounts that attach video links showing people with headscarves, an assault rifle and a rocket-launcher, and other links to a criminal complaint and “The Book of Jihad.”
“The government’s insistence on introducing these three plainly inadmissible emails can only be explained by the government’s desire to cherry-pick the most inflammatory evidence to force-fit the ‘radicalization’ theory it has drummed up to make its case more ‘compelling, dramatic, and seductive,'” the lawyers wrote…..