Rahami pleads not guilty to bombings in NY, NJ


The man accused of last month's bombings in NY and New Jersey that injured dozens of people made his first court appearance on Thursday from a hospital bed, pleading not guilty to attempting to murder police officers.

Ahmad Khan Rahimi, 28, a USA citizen who was born in Afghanistan, lay in a medical bed, his arms covered with a blanket and his head propped up with a pillow, as Judge Regina Caulfield read the state charges against him.

Ahmad Khan Rahimi's hearing is set for Thursday in Elizabeth, New Jersey.

Federal authorities filed charges against Rahami on 19 September.

It's unclear when Rahami will make a court appearance on the federal terrorism-related charges he faces in connection with the bombings.

Thirty-one people were injured in the 17 September blast in the Chelsea neighbourhood in New York City. Rahimi appeared via video from his hospital bed in Newark.

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His public lawyer, Peter Liguori, stood over him wearing a hospital gown over his shirt and tie, and blue rubber gloves on his hands. A second pressure cooker bomb located in NY had not exploded.

Rahimi first came to the United States in 1995 and became a naturalized citizen in 2011.

"The federal indictment for the bombings states that a handwritten journal recovered from Rahimi after his arrest lauds Osama bin Laden and says: "(God willing) the sounds of the bombs will be heard in the streets. Rahimi is also accused of planting a device that exploded later that night in New York City, injuring 31 people.

Rahami is also charged with firing at four other police officers who responded after a manhunt in the state.

Rahimi said "Yes, ma'am", when asked if he received a copy of the charges and answered "yes" when asked a few other questions, appearing to find it hard to speak. Rahimi was shot "multiple times" as officers apprehended him.

Public Defender Nick Kormann represented Rahimi in the courtroom.