"I was never discriminated for my religion until I started following it", he said.
Rahimi talked about being targeted for being a Muslim, mentioning he was always picked out in airports by security.
Rahimi was convicted in 2017 October on all eight counts brought against him in court, including the use of a weapon of mass destruction and bombing a public place.
The Chelsea explosion happened just hours after a small pipe bomb exploded along a Marine Corps road race in Seaside Park, New Jersey, frightening participants but injuring no one.
While Rahimi wasn't charged for terrorism, his father, Mohammad Rahimi, had warned the Federal Bureau of Investigation in 2014 his son may have been radicalized.
While imprisoned, Rahimi has completed classes in business, entrepreneurship and drama, Donaldson wrote.
Trump aide to leave White House after abuse allegations
Porter has denied the allegations against him saying, in a statement that, "These outrageous allegations are simply false". Questions in particular have emerged about chief of staff John Kelly's handling of the affair.
Rahimi - a father of three who had worked in his family's fried-chicken restaurant - was not charged with terrorism, but his father said he has no doubt that's what fueled his son.
Rahimi "has been attempting to radicalize fellow inmates in the Metropolitan Correction Center by, among other things, distributing propaganda and publications issued by terrorist organizations", according to a letter from then-Acting US Attorney Joon H. Kim to Judge Berman.
They claimed he had given other inmates copies of speeches and lectures by Osama bin Laden.
He placed a second bomb on West 27th Street, but a passerby on edge from the blast four blocks away noticed it and called police, and the bomb squad took the device away without incident.
She described Rahimi's efforts to radicalize fellow prisoners at the federal jail in NY where he has been imprisoned since his arrest.
U.S. District Judge Richard Berman said Rahimi had offered no explanation for his behaviour that would warrant imposing less than the two life sentences, one of which was mandated by federal law.
Rahimi and two police officers were wounded in the shootout.
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.
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