"The nature of the crime was heinous, wanton and life-threatening ... it's inexplicable that anyone would do that intentionally", said US District Judge Richard Berman. The first bombing location he chose was along the route of a Marine Corps charity race in New Jersey.
Ahmad Khan Rahami, an Afghan-born United States citizen, appears in court. One of about a half dozen victims present in the gallery said that she wanted to say something.
Ahmad Khan Rahimi, center, is led into court in Elizabeth, N.J. on December 20.
"After two months, they say, 'Your son is not doing any act like a terrorist, '" Rahimi. said "I said, 'You sure he not doing anything?' He say, 'Yeah, is good news'".
On Monday, in an interview with WNBC, Rahimi's father called his son a terrorist, but said Rahimi is glad no one died in the incidents.
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.
Rahimi, a naturalized USA citizen who was born in Afghanistan, was arrested after a gunfight with New Jersey police, who found he was carrying a journal with praise for Islamic terrorists and promises of violence.
The day after the Chelsea bombing, two men walking by the N.J. Transit station in Elizabeth found a knapsack containing more pipe bombs built by Rahimi.
Authorities said it was a miracle no one was killed by Rahimi's fiendish blast, which sent a nearby dumpster flying more than 120 feet and sprayed shrapnel that tore into the chests, legs and eyes of innocent passers-by.
Rahimi's arrest came two days after the September 17 bombings during a shootout with police.
Rahimi's lawyer, Xavier Donaldson, argued that the court should impose a sentence of only 15 years or less on top of the mandatory 30-year and life terms.
He placed another bomb several blocks away.