A trial is scheduled to begin on Monday for a man accused of setting off a pipe bomb in New York City that injured 30 people.
While Ahmad Khan Rahimi has not been charged with terrorism, federal lawyers say his interest in jihad, terrorist attacks and terrorist organizations vastly influenced his plans.
The government said it is seeking to have an expert witness testify about al-Qaida founder Osama bin Laden and other terrorist leaders as a primer for jurors and to help explain some writings he made in a journal.
Defense lawyers have argued the government is trying to wrongly paint a picture of Rahimi, an Afghanistan-born U.S. citizen, as an extremist. They say federal lawyers have drummed up a “radicalization” theory
“To make its case more ‘compelling, dramatic, and seductive,'” the lawyers wrote in court papers.
Rahimi, 29, who lived with his family in Elizabeth, New Jersey, is charged with detonating a pipe bomb along a charity race in Seaside Park, New Jersey, and planting two pressure cooker bombs in Manhattan on Sept. 17.
One device did not explode. The other one detonated in Chelsea.
Rahimi was shot by law enforcement during his arrest two days after the attacks. He has pleaded not guilty and is being held without bail.