A prosecutor in the case of accused Chelsea bomber Ahmad Khan Rahimi on Monday urged a judge to impose special protections on materials to be turned over to the defense because they include evidence of an “ongoing investigation” of “targets that are domestically located.”
Prosecutor Emil Bove, who made the remark at a hearing in federal court in Manhattan, did not explicitly say the ongoing investigation related to Rahimi’s alleged bombing spree last summer, but if it does it would be the first official indication others may be drawn into his case.
The government also told U.S. District Judge Richard Berman some of the so-called discovery materials to be given to Rahimi’s lawyers required special handling because they include details on how Rahimi carried out the attack that could be useful to terrorists.
“The discovery is going to include materials that do relate to ongoing investigations, including an investigation of some targets domestically located, and also contains materials that could be used by others to create other situations that compromise public safety and national security, and what I am talking about here are follow-on attacks,” Bove said.
The office of U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara declined to offer clarification of the remarks.
Prosecutors want to mark some of the discovery in the case “confidential” and prohibit the defense from disclosing it to witnesses without permission from Berman. Defense lawyer Sabrina Shroff argued that, without more specifics, the condition could improperly hamper the defense.
But Bove said the procedure would be limited to matters relating to the ongoing investigation and other “sensitive materials” including “evidence of radicalization, attack planning, evidence relating to funding and financing, bomb building and communications methods, and evidence relating to communications security.”
Rahimi, 28, of Elizabeth, New Jersey, is accused of planting two pressure cooker bombs in Chelsea. One detonated, injuring more than 30. He also planted bombs in New Jersey, which didn’t detonate, and then was captured after a shootout with police in Linden, New Jersey.
His lawyers have complained that the shootout left Rahimi with severe medical injuries, including a leg wound, a disabled hand and liver damage. He hobbled in court Monday with a limp that was more severe than it was during his first appearance in Manhattan last month.
Rahimi is charged alone in his nine-count indictment, which includes charges of detonating a weapon of massive destruction but no conspiracy allegation.