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New Video From Accused Chelsea Bomber's Trial Shows Moment of Explosion

By Maya Rajamani | October 4, 2017 9:23am
 Surveillance footage captured the moment a bomb exploded on West 23rd Street in Chelsea.
Surveillance footage captured the moment a bomb exploded on West 23rd Street in Chelsea.
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U.S. Department of Justice

MANHATTAN FEDERAL COURT — New video footage released during the trial of the accused Chelsea bomber shows terrified pedestrians running for cover at the moment of the explosion on West 23rd Street.

The video was among the evidence presented Tuesday on the second day of the trial of Ahmad Khan Rahimi, who prosecutors said had read up on pressure-cooker bombs in a magazine published by al-Qaeda and ordered BBs to use as shrapnel in the months leading up to the incident.

A laptop seized from Rahimi’s New Jersey home contained several issues of a magazine published by al-Qaeda called “Inspire,” including the Summer 2010, Spring 2013 and Winter 2014 editions, testified Reginald Donaldson, who works for the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York.

An article from one of the magazines maintained that you "do not need to be a chemistry specialist or an experienced bomb maker to prepare lone Jihad operations."

“If you have the knowledge and the inspiration, all that’s left is to take action,” states a page from one of the magazines, accompanied by a silhouette of a man kneeling next to a pressure cooker. 

“The pressurized cooker is the most effective method,” the article added, noting that the bomb’s maker should glue shrapnel to the inside of the cooker.

“Put your trust in Allah and pray for the success of your operation,” a safety precaution advised.

Receipts presented by prosecutors Tuesday indicated that Rahimi purchased materials used to create the pressure-cooker bombs found in Chelsea and in Seaside Park, New Jersey.

READ MORE: How the Alleged Chelsea Bomber Was Found

During the summer of 2016, Rahimi placed a $142.78 Amazon order and shipped it to the address of a Kennedy Fried Chicken in New Jersey that a former co-worker testified he worked at until September 2016.  

The order included a pack of “precision quality galvanized steel BBs,” a receipt presented in court showed.

A notebook prosecutors say Rahimi kept, meanwhile, stated that “ ... the sounds of the bombs will be heard in the streets.”

Also testifying Tuesday was the director of an annual race benefiting injured Marines and sailors based in Seaside Park. Prosecutors claim Rahimi planted one of the pressure-cooker bombs along the route of the race on the same day he placed the two bombs in Chelsea.

One of the races, a 5K, was scheduled to start at 9:30 a.m. on Sept. 17, but was delayed due to registration issues, race director Frank Costello testified.

The bomb, which “annihilated” the trash can it had been placed inside, would have gone off just as the “largest chunk of runners” were passing by had it not been for the delay, Costello added.